Married couple Chester and Paula have broken into and robbed a curio shop, hoping to sell the loot for a handsome sum of money. Unfortunately, all of it turns out to be junk or fakes. All, that is, save for a mysterious camera. When they try taking a picture, it turns out to be from five minutes into the future. Soon Paula's brother Woodward joins them and the three decide to use the camera at a horse track to win big.Written by
When the three are struggling for the camera, one of them supposedly hits the shutter though no one's fingers are on the button. See more »
Object known as a camera, vintage uncertain, origin unknown. But for the greedy, the avaricious, the fleet of foot, who can run a four-minute mile so long as they're chasing a fast buck, it makes believe that it's an ally, but it isn't at all. It's a beckoning come-on for a quick walk around the block - in The Twilight Zone.
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Rod Serling was a genius in general for creating "The Twilight Zone", but also a truly gifted storyteller and someone bright enough to realize that a series such as this one requires sufficient variation and regularly a drastic change in tone. The last couple of episodes have been quite enduring, with stories about melancholic time-traveling and aristocrats sacrificing their own daughter, so Serling very well knew that it was time for a light-headed interlude when he came up with "A Most Unusual Camera". This easily could have been a grim tale as well, considering the basic plot line, but Serling and Company opted for a tongue-in-cheek approach instead, and I daresay this approach fits the story best. A couple of small crooks sits in their hotel room and overlooks the loot of an antique shop robbery. It's all worthless rubbish until they discover that the old camera develops pictures of situations that have yet to happen in the nearby future. Later they are joined by the wife's brother and the trio ingeniously establish that the camera can make them filthy rich when they use it to take pictures of the ranking board at the horse racetrack. Knowing that crime doesn't pay, and that this is "The Twilight Zone", you know they won't live happily ever after. The tone of this episode is determined by the relaxed performances of the lead actors Fred Clark and Adam Williams and actress Jean Carson, as well as the clever and comical dialogues. It's a very enjoyable (albeit not highly memorable) story that flies by quickly and leaves you with a big smile on the face.
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