Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 8

Time Enough at Last (20 Nov. 1959)
"The Twilight Zone" Time Enough at Last (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
9.1
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 2,015 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 3 critic

A henpecked book lover finds himself blissfully alone with his books after a nuclear war.

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(teleplay), (based on a short story by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Time Enough at Last (20 Nov 1959)

Time Enough at Last (20 Nov 1959) on IMDb 9.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Jacqueline deWit ...
Helen Bemis (as Jaqueline deWit)
Lela Bliss ...
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Storyline

Henry Bemis loves to read. The only problem is that he can find neither the time nor the place to enjoy his pastime. At work, his boss has let him know in no uncertain terms that he is not to read during working hours. At home, his shrewish wife won't even let him read a newspaper, let alone a book. One day, he sneaks down to the vault in the bank's basement to read a bit and suddenly, there is a huge explosion above. He emerges to find the world destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He does find books from the library and he sees a great deal of reading time ahead of him. Except for one small unintended event. Written by garykmcd

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20 November 1959 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The exterior, long library steps were filmed some months later and used as the steps up into an Eloi public building, in MGM's 1960 film The Time Machine (1960). They were also seen in John Brahm's later work, Twilight Zone: A Nice Place to Visit (1960). See more »

Goofs

Mr. Bemis expects to live "years and years and years" post-attack. In 1959, the effects of nuclear fallout were still under initial study and not widely understood. We see Bemis emerging from the bank vault more or less immediately after a thermonuclear blast (bomb-shelter protocol says to wait at least two weeks for the worst of the radioactivity to decay), eating packaged food that was probably irradiated, etc. So even with his glasses, Bemis would have not lived to enjoy his books for very long. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Opening Narration] Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page but who is conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock. But in just a moment, Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents or wives or clocks or anything else. He'll have a world all to himself - without anyone.
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Connections

References Of Mice and Men (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Bookworm
19 December 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Burgess Meredith was apparently a favored performer of Rod Serling as he appeared in several Twilight Zone episodes. This multi-faceted player did such a variety of roles that no wonder he was a favorite and Serling found so much material for him.

In this episode Meredith is Henry Bemis a most nearsighted employee of a bank who gets locked in the bank's vault when nuclear war hits his city. When he gets out he's all that's left of humanity.

But that suits him fine because he finds the library's store of books has been left undamaged. Shakespeare, Keats, Milton, everything he ever wanted to go through is at his fingertips.

Of course there is a joker in this deck and it wouldn't be the Twilight Zone without one. Let's hope that Meredith really is not the only human being left alive and he finds some companionship soon. Even just for some conversation about all these classics.

Burgess Meredith was never bad in anything and this is no exception.


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