Twilight Zone: Season 5, Episode 25

The Masks (20 Mar. 1964)
"The Twilight Zone" The Masks (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 750 users  
Reviews: 19 user

Wealthy Jason Foster is dying and he invites his greedy heirs to a Mardi Gras party where they must wear the masks he specially had made for them or else be cut off from their inheritance.

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Title: The Masks (20 Mar 1964)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Robert Keith ...
Jason Foster
Milton Selzer ...
Wilfred Harper
...
Emily Harper
...
Paula Harper
...
Dr. Sam Thorne
...
Wilfred Harper, Jr.
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Storyline

When his doctor tells him that he could die at any moment, the wealthy Jason Foster gathers his heirs including his daughter Emily Harper, her husband Wilfred and their children Paula and Wilfrid Jr. Jason doesn't think much of any of them and it's clear they can't wait to get their hands on his fortune. It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans and he has one last request - for each of them to wear a carnival mask. Each of the masks is meant to reflect some aspect of their personality - and leave a lasting impression on them. Written by garykmcd

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20 March 1964 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The only episode of Twilight Zone (1959) directed by a woman (Ida Lupino, who also starred in Twilight Zone: The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine (1959)). See more »

Quotes

Jason Foster: You know, Wilfred, I think the only book you ever read was a ledger. If somebody opened you up they'd probably find a cash register.
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User Reviews

 
One of the very, very best of the series
29 January 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I can't believe I never got around to reviewing this episode of The Twilight Zone until now, as it's probably in the top five of the best episodes for the show--proving that even the show was on its last gasps (this is one of the last episodes), it still could show signs of great genius.

A very old and sickly rich man is waiting to die. Instead of enjoying his final days in the bosom of a loving family, he is beset by greedy and selfish relatives waiting for him to die like a pack of vultures. Make no mistake about it, the old guy knows exactly what they are like and has no illusions about their intentions. So, in a final gesture of contempt, he makes them spend an entire evening at his home "celebrating" while wearing grotesque Mardi Gras masks--resulting in a wonderful and satisfying twist.

The acting is excellent but what really makes this stand out are the wonderful writing and direction (by Ida Lupino). With such a simple story, they truly make the most of it and the pacing and execution are perfect.


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