The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
20 user 2 critic

A Thing About Machines 

Bartlett Finchley's paranoia about the machines around proves true.


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Richard Haydn ... Bartlett Finchley
Barbara Stuart ... Edith
Barney Phillips Barney Phillips ... TV Repairman
Henry Beckman ... Policeman
Jay Overholts Jay Overholts ... Intern
Margarita Cordova Margarita Cordova ... Girl on TV


Bartlett Finchley is an odd man, a writer who contributes to food magazines and the like. He lives alone and is always it seems in need of a repairman for one piece of household equipment or another. As time has gone by, he seems to be in a constant battle with machines - his typewriter, his television - which all have the same message for him: get out of the house. He has no intention of doing so however and the battle begins. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

28 October 1960 (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?


The car is a 1939 Talbot-Lago coupé. See more »


After Mr. Finchley pulls the paper out of the typewriter and reads its "GET OUT OF HERE FINCHLEY" message, the typewriter starts typing again. When it is shown, it has paper again. How did paper magically reappear in the typewriter? See more »


Narrator: [Closing Narration] Yes, it could just be. It could just be that Mr. Bartlett Finchley succumbed from a heart attack and a set of delusions. It could just be that he was tormented by an imagination as sharp as his wit and as pointed as his dislikes. But as perceived by those attending, this is one explanation that has left the premises with the deceased. Look for it filed under 'M' for Machines - in The Twilight Zone.
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User Reviews

One of the weaker episodes
14 February 2008 | by jcravens42See all my reviews

With the legendary Richard Haydn as the lead in this episode, I expected better things. But a weak script, poorly executed, pretty much sinks this episode entirely. It always takes some suspension of disbelief to watch the Twilight Zone now, given how slickly produced movies and TV shows are now, with incredible special effects, but with good episodes, I can see past the low-budget production values. Not with this one. I actually laughed out loud over the electric shaver attack, not only because of the visible string but also because it was so absurd. This is an episode that could have been made much more effectively, even with the budget restraints. Oh, well, given the brilliance of the other episodes, it's hard to criticize... just don't let this be the first Twilight Zone you ever watch (or it will be the only one).

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