The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
13 user 1 critic

A Piano in the House 

Sadistic and hated theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune buys a player piano that has the power to reveal the souls of all who hear it.


David Greene


Earl Hamner Jr. (as Earl Hamner), Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Barry Morse ... Fitzgerald Fortune
Joan Hackett ... Esther Fortune
Don Durant ... Gregory Walker
Muriel Landers ... Marge Moore
Philip Coolidge ... Throckmorton
Cyril Delevanti ... Marvin - Butler


Theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune is looking to buy a different sort of gift for his wife's birthday. In a curio shop, he buys an old player piano. It's delivered to his home and when he starts it up it has a strange effect on his manservant, a normally dour man who breaks into mirthful laughter. When he plays another song, this time for a guest, the man breaks down and admits he's in love with Fortune's wife Esther. He decides to have fun with his party guests that evening but Esther decides to turn the tables on him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis








Release Date:

16 February 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the opening scene, the lively song played by the player piano is "I'm In The Mood For Love"; however, the music roll reads, "Three O'Clock In The Morning", which is a slow waltz with music written by Julián Robledo. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: Mr. Fitzgerald Fortune, theater critic and cynic at large, on his way to a birthday party. If he knew what is in store for him, he probably wouldn't go, because before this evening is over, that cranky old piano is going to play 'Those Piano Roll Blues' - with some effects that could happen only in the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in The Pinball Arcade (2012) See more »


"Cradle Song (Brahms's Lullaby) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Tune Of Truth
28 October 2014 | by AaronCapenBannerSee all my reviews

Barry Morse stars as pompous Theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune, who is looking for a present for his young wife Esther(played by Joan Hackett) and chances upon an old player piano in a curio shop. Fitzgerald discovers to his delight that the piano seems to be haunted, and whenever it plays its sheet music forces someone nearby to tell the truth about themselves, which he plans to use on his wife and unsuspecting dinner guests, but doesn't count on the tables being turned... Though similar in theme to earlier 'The Whole Truth', this episode is stronger due to a fine performance by Barry Morse playing a most unlikable man who gets his much earned comeuppance.

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