William Surka works as a hydrogen specialist in a highly secure plant. Conditions are tense and there are constant rumors of war. The latest is that it's going to happen in the next 48 hours. Unbeknown to his wife Eve and daughter Jody, he and his friend Jerry Riden have been planning an escape of sorts for themselves and their families. Jerry is a test pilot and they plan to steal the government's latest spacecraft heading off to a planet they believe may sustain life. Their biggest challenge is Carling, a security officer who seems to be onto their plan. Written by
During the closing scene, the main characters are depicted aboard a spaceship, a reuse of the ship created for Forbidden Planet (1956); inside, the navigational globe is the same as that of the ship while the gauges shown in the background are taken from the power dials of the "mysterious machine" that Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) used to create the monsters of his id in the same film. See more »
When the Sturka car is being driven, there is engine noise but no road noise. See more »
Quitting time at the plant. Time for supper now. Time for families. Time for a cool drink on a porch. Time for the quiet rustle of leaf-laden trees that screen out the moon, and underneath it all, behind the eyes of the men, hanging invisible over the summer night, is a horror without words. For this is the stillness before storm. This is the eve of the end.
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I agree with the other reviewers. There is so much threat in this. We watch Fritz Weaver, agonizing over what he must do. He has been a part of what has led to the situation, and now he wants out. Is he a hero? I just don't know. When all is said and done, he puts his family first. The society is dying. There is going to be a holocaust and there is talk of thirty million casualties. They also seem to know when this is going to take place. The cinematography is really interesting. We are invited to look at middle class America (though I guess it isn't). Pretty streets and trees and the sun shining. We get those expressionistic tilts when people talk. I suppose to say that things are awry. There is a threat to the plot being completed. Edward Andrews knows what they are up to and either wants in or wants to stop it. He is a threatening visage, with those glasses and his sly smile. The conclusion is a lesson for us all. Cold war fear mongering perhaps, but it is the classic Twilight Zone ending that really punched us in the gut when we saw it for the first time.
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