"The Twilight Zone" A World of His Own (TV Episode 1960) Poster

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10/10
Delightful Comedy
chrstphrtully18 July 2007
Although comedy was never the strength of "The Twilight Zone" (or writer Richard Matheson, for that matter), the final episode of the first season is a delightful comedy that plays more on situation -- and a wonderful lead performance by Keenan Wynn -- than punchlines. This is easily one of the best episodes of the series.

Playwright Gregory West (Wynn) is romancing his presumed mistress Mary (Mary LaRoche) while his wife (Phyllis Kirk) jealously looks on. A few moments later, the wife bursts in to find that the mistress has magically disappeared. West explains that he can create real people by stating a description into his dictaphone -- that's when the fun really begins.

Matheson -- who was usually a master of plot, rather than character or situation -- switches gears here. His novel story lends itself remarkably well to a sort of 1930s screwball style, with gentle gags that flow from the characters' personalities -- West's combination of omnipotence and humility; his wife's jealousy and haughtiness (she'd have fit perfectly as the other woman in a Cary Grant comedy); and Mary's gentleness and dignity. The performances match it perfectly: Wynn's bemusement at his situation -- a sort of literary/social Life of Riley -- fits the character delightfully; Kirk's two-dimensionality is ironically apropos; and LaRoche's quiet gentleness (which worked equally well in the very different "Living Doll") makes one wonder why West didn't think of her sooner.

All this, and perhaps the funniest final joke in the series' history. Who could ask for anything more?
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7/10
"Why not leave well enough alone".
classicsoncall2 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The first season of The Twilight Zone ended with a little amusement AND bemusement, and to top it off, Rod Serling was in on the joke. I'm glad he was able to take a self deprecating shot at himself every now and then, it made the series that much more enjoyable.

You can see the resolution of this story coming pretty early, but you have to wonder why Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) didn't dream up Mary (Mary LaRoche) in the first place. However, it would have made for a shorter story, and most of these 'Zones' flew by pretty quickly to begin with. So keeping a shrew like Victoria (Phyllis Kirk) around was necessary to get to the punch line, even if they had to go the elephant route.

While watching, I couldn't help drawing a visual comparison between Keenan Wynn's character and modern day's Dr. Phil. Certainly Dr. Phil would have something to say about playwright West's manifest fantasies attempting to live themselves out in the real world.

The whole 'husband trying to drive his wife crazy' theme must have had some sort of a revival in the Twilight Zone era. Just a couple years earlier you had 1958's "The Screaming Skull", and 1961 saw the release of "My World Dies Screaming". This episode is unusual in retrospect, as Gregory West didn't have to resort to driving his wife crazy, she had already written that chapter for him.
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9/10
I Always Wanted to Be a Writer!
Hitchcoc20 October 2008
I've always enjoyed this episode. The gift that Keenan Wynn has is remarkable. He can create or destroy characters when he wishes. Whatever he writes on a page comes to fruition. His wife isn't so accepting and pays a price for her actions. This is one of those powers that each of us would love to have. Think of the possibilities. The scriptwriter in the story is arrogant and self centered. He whimsically creates what he wishes. Now, the psychologist in me makes me wonder if these are fantasies that he is living strictly in his mind, but there is nothing in here to suggest that. The episode concludes with a wonderful bit featuring Rod Serling and his writing staff. An apt way to put the first season to bed.
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9/10
A welcome funny episode
MartinHafer9 September 2007
While often TWILIGHT ZONE episodes are frightening or disturbing, every so often they created a show that was just plain funny and I welcome these little changes of pace.

Keenan Wynn plays a writer who has an amazing ability to create characters using a tape recorder. When he describes them, they magically appear and only disappear when he burns the portion of tape on which he describes them. Unfortunately, this wonderful ability comes to life when Keenan's pesky wife is told about it by him but she just thinks he's a nut! Even when he creates people before her very eyes, this annoying woman refuses to believe it. This leads to a wonderful twist at the end. Be sure to watch all of it--particularly when Rod Serling himself tries to provide an epilogue.
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8/10
Interesting bit of trivia
James Collier22 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is the only one to feature Rod Serling as a character, rather than as simply the narrator. The story revolves around an author who can create things and people by dictating descriptions of them into a tape recorder. He creates and destroys two characters during the episode, along with an elephant, which he created while trying to convince his wife that he had this ability. During what would normally be the final monologue, the author takes offense to what Serling is saying about him and his lady. He removes a section of tape labeled "Rod Serling" from his wall safe and destroys it, apparently destroying Serling as well.
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10/10
"Wouldn't It Be Nice...If..."
gilligan196523 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Wow! What a GREAT EPISODE from "The Twilight Zone," featuring the great Keenan Wynn, and, the immortal Rod Serling; and, written by the impeccable Richard Matheson! :) That 'would' be nice to be able to 'create' your own perfect companions - lovers; friends; neighbors; etc; but, when they become too controlling, overbearing, and/or, a 'pain'...it'd be even 'nicer' to just rid yourself of them in a non-violent but simple way (you just can't 'ask' people to go away - they always 'want' something more!?!?). Richard Matheson ("I Am Legend;" "Stir Of Echoes;" etc.), the writer of this, must have had a bad relationship at one time or another; or, maybe a friend did; and, it inspired him to write this story.

The "KICKER" here, though, "for me," is that my little Son, who is and always has had many problems with his mom (my estranged and deranged 'ex'), is the person who sent this to me on YouTube to watch!?!? Unfortunately, neither of us have her on any kind of 'tape,' for if we did, 'any' judge would make her 'go away' for good. :D Thank you, Son, for sending this to me; and, thank you Richard Matheson (writing), Keenan Wynn (acting), and, Rod Serling (presenting and acting) for reminding me that even in "The Twilight Zone," my Son only has a few more years with his controlling-tyrannical selfish and self-serving mom. :)

And...thank you, Eric Idle, for writing and singing - "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!" :)

NOTE: Anyone who likes this episode, and, wishes to see Rod Serling in a wonderfully-funny 'skit' of "The Twilight Zone" - find and watch "The Twilight Zone - The Lost Episode" on YouTube; or, anywhere else. It's very good, and, stars, Rod Serling, Jack Benny, and, Rochester.

This, "A World of His Own," is a GREAT EPISODE on "The Twilight Zone"...one of the best! :)
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8/10
The Twilight Zone--A World of His Own
Scarecrow-8818 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Keenan Wynn fans will not want to miss this episode of The Twilight Zone (the exceptional ending featuring Rod Serling—playing on narrative appearances—is brilliant in how it ties into the characters, and, in essence, breaking the fourth wall of the show) starring as a playwright whose belief in his characters is so inherently strong those he creates literally come to life when he speaks into his tape recorder. His wife is played by Phyllis Kirk (I know her from House of Wax, with Vincent Price), a real refined and exquisite (just well put together and elegant) woman who had been suspecting her husband of infidelity. A creation of his, Mary (Mary LaRoche; she might be a bit more recognized for her other Twilight Zone episode, The Living Doll as the wife of a hostile Telly Savales), has been keeping Wynn company while Kirk's Victoria has been sent out by her husband (using various excuses). Trying to explain why Mary just disappears, and there's no access of escaping the study that can be found, Wynn's Gregory West has a hard time convincing Victoria of just how he does it. By snipping the audio tape where he described his characters and destroying them in the fireplace, Gregory can rid himself of them if he so chooses. Victoria seems not too amused with Gregory's explanation, considering him off his rocker. He tries to prove to her what he says is true, even producing an elephant to keep her from leaving the house at one point! It never sinks in even as Gregory brings Mary to life and causes her to vanish right before Victoria's eyes…she is just unable to accept what Gregory says is true. When he removes from a safe an envelope with Victoria's name on it, there's an ill-advised move by her that could have severe repercussions. Wynn is so relaxed and at ease here with this character, especially compared to characters of the past that were a bit more high strung, intense, and forceful: it was a breath of fresh air. He attempts futilely to lead the horse to water but Victoria just won't drink. Even as her eyes see Mary just vanish away, this process of character assassination still won't wash with her. Kirk is stubborn, strong-willed, and opinionated; these character traits fly in the face of the polar opposite of Wynn's Gregory, always trying to settle her down and explain with a patience and well-composed voice the absolute truth she just won't swallow. God, if you can't have fun with this one, there's just a defect in your character…let me just snip your tape and toss it in the fireplace, because you are an obvious fuddy-duddy.
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10/10
One of the best TZ's!
John Jennings22 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is clearly one of the best Twilight Zones! Many fiction writers report that their characters sometimes seem to adopt a will of their own and start going where the author never intended. This script simply takes this recognized phenomenon to the next level.

I generally would regard the deconstruction of Rod Serling at the end as a cheap trick, but it is not a cheap trick if you are the original! Something similar happens years later in "Blazing Saddles", where the story line "breaks out of the studio." I am always awed at how a story can get told with a few deft strokes in the thirty minutes less commercials format.

This episode is one of the best of the best!
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8/10
Delightful comic episode
Woodyanders14 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Gentle and easygoing writer Gregory West (well played by Keenan Wynn) has the ability to control and alter reality by simply speaking into his dictation machine. However, his shrewish wife Victoria (a deliciously bitchy performance by Phyllis Kirk) thinks Gregory is just crazy instead.

Director Ralph Nelson keeps the enjoyable story moving along at a zippy pace and maintains a likable lighthearted tone throughout. Richard Matheson's breezy script has a lot of fun with the concept of a writer's imagination running amuck and makes a nice point about man's basic need for compassionate companionship. Mary LaRoche's endearing portrayal of Gregory's sweet and fetching fantasy woman Mary adds an extra charming quality. Moreover, Victoria's snarky put downs of Gregory positively bristle with sharp sarcastic bite. Better still, Rod Serling even makes an inspired cameo as himself. A really cute and amusing show.
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A Writer's Pipe Dream
dougdoepke29 June 2006
So who wouldn't want to conjure up the perfect wife or husband on command. Keenan Wynn is a writer whose imagination can mold fictional characters, bring them to life, and make them disappear at will. The trouble is the characters can become so vivid, they assume a will of their own and act independently of their creator. A clever idea from the brilliant pen of real life writer Richard Matheson. I expect some such power has been a secret wish of many authors over the centuries.

Unfortunately, the idea has more suggestive value than entertainment value in this very slender half-hour, filmed on a single set with three characters. It's vaguely amusing to watch Wynn's rather shrewish wife (Phyllis Kirk) react to his adoring and adorable fictional wife (Mary La Roche), when she catches them together. However, the premise goes little beyond this rather trite situation, despite a surprise or two. Perhaps most distinctive is the segment where Wynn breaks character to converse with Serling, the only time, I believe, when this occurs in the series. There seems so much more that could have been done with this premise than creating a rather pedestrian marital triangle.
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8/10
The elephant in the room - Does this mean men want their own fantasy creation , not a real woman?
darrenpearce1113 December 2013
Very light, way out and playful entry that I find delightful. West (Keenan Wynn) is a playwright able to make his characters come to life. There are some nice moments like when the suspicious Mrs West (Phyllis Kirk) comes face to face with the new 'woman' (Mary La Roche). The closing is a lovely, quirky twist where something that happens to a lot of people in the Zone reaches an ultimate victim. Also the first and best season comes to an end with the son of the star of episode two (Ed Wynn-One For The Angels)making them almost book ends. On second viewing I noticed how Keenan Wynn played West very true to this light fantasy as he seems to enjoy his wife's anger. I enjoyed Phyllis Kirk as Victoria West, again a case of true playing for the story.

An elephant makes an appearance, but the figurative elephant in the room is the question of whether men simply prefer their own fantasy to a real woman? This was the age, after all, of Julie Newmar as My Living Doll, and Barbara Eden as Jeannie. Come to think of it - didn't Jean Marsh play an attractive android in some obscure, forgotten sci-fi and fantasy TV show? (I know I reviewed that too).

End of season fun, and especially at the end. Rod Serling looks as demob- happy here as he would have been in 1945.
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6/10
Rod Serling vaporizes into thin air!
Coventry4 August 2017
Admittedly the finale of the overall fantastic first season of "The Twilight Zone" deserved a slightly better and more atmospheric episode than "A World of his Own", but still I don't want to complain too much as it's an enjoyably light-headed and imaginative tale. It's about a writer – joyously depicted by Keenan Wynn – who is so passionate about his profession that the characters he invents spontaneously come to life. When he, Gregory West tries to explain his uniquely bizarre talent to his beautiful wife Victoria, she instantly wants a divorce and suggests that he should be committed to a mental institution. Gregory feels the need to provide further evidence to Victoria, but that doesn't exactly work out well for her. "A World of his Own" further follows the disappointing trend of TZ-episodes turning more into dreamy and comical fantasy tales, rather than being raw and unsettling Sci-Fi stories. The concept of this episode is promising, but the script is exaggeratedly talkative and doesn't contain the slightest trace of suspense, morbidity or menace. It's even somewhat ludicrous, in fact, because who uses an elephant to prove a point or even to scare people? The highlight of the story is undoubtedly the physical appearance of creator Rod Serling is his narrator role. It's a nice gimmick for the season's finale that the whole series, and even its creation, is nothing but a mere fraction of someone's imagination.
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7/10
Writer At Work
AaronCapenBanner26 October 2014
Kennan Wynn plays a professional writer named Gregory West, who has a clinging and jealous wife named Victoria(played by Phyllis Kirk) who is certain that her husband is having an affair right in their house; turns out she is right, as Gregory prefers the company of the beautiful and pleasant Mary, but Gregory has a secret involving his dictation machine that threatens the existence of both women, and forces him to choose between them... Last episode of the first season is likable enough, though rather lightweight. Still, it was a fitting end to the season, with a most amusing in-episode cameo by Rod Serling himself(a rare event).
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6/10
A comedic finish to Season One.
BA_Harrison17 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Playwright Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) has such a way with words that any character he describes into his dictation machine becomes reality. Likewise, he can 'uncreate' his characters by throwing the section of recording tape on which they have been described into his fireplace.

It'll probably come as no surprise to seasoned Twilight Zone fans when it is revealed that not only is the delightful and seemingly perfect Mary (Mary LaRoche) one of Gregory's characters but so is his wife Victoria (Phyllis Kirk). What does come as a surprise is when, in a witty end to this comedic final episode of Season One of The Twilight Zone, the show's creator Rod Serling is also revealed to be one of West's creations, vanishing when the playwright throws an envelope bearing his name into the flames.

Of course, Serling would return for more tales of the macabre, the fantastical and the whimsical for several years to come. West must've had a change of heart and described him once more using his recording machine.
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7/10
An Author In Search of Characters.
Robert J. Maxwell9 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Enjoyable comedy about a playwright (Wynn) who dictates characters' descriptions on tape and watches them come to life as he created them. When advisable, he snips out the portion of tape and throws it in the fire, and the characters disappear at once.

An amusing piece of whimsy with Wynn doing a fine job, assisted by his wife, Phyllis Kirk, and the girl friend, Mary LaRoche, whom he creates from time to time to relieve his boredom in his wife's absence.

The props included a live elephant who was guilty of conduct unbecoming a television set just before his scene was shot.

The writer, Matheson, first made the story a nightmarish experience in which characters come to life and disobey all commands but he was asked to lighten it up and was pleased with the results.

This was Rod Serling's first appearance during the series, at the end of the first season, and the writer has integrated him into the story. We see Serling seated on the edge of the writer's desk, explaining that this is all nonsense, of course. Wynn looks on disapprovingly, then produces a tape labeled "Rod Serling" and tosses it in the fire. "Well, that's the way it goes," says Serling, philosophically, before disappearing.
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7/10
Comedic Finale to a Darker Season
Samuel-Shovel8 May 2017
Considering the overall atmosphere of TZ's first season, it is a bit odd that they decided to finish it on a more comedic note.

Although it does have its comedic moments, there is a much darker undercurrent at play within this episode. The main character's God complex, creating and deleting female companions haphazardly, entrapping them under lock, key, & elephant, making sure they are everlastingly obedient. Whether it's intentional or not, this story feels a bit more misogynistic to modern audience than it probably did back in the 60's. As soon as Victoria disobeys Gregory for the first time, the threatening comes into play.

I don't hate this episode but the message at the end isn't great.
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Season One
ametaphysicalshark1 May 2008
Season One of "The Twilight Zone" probably isn't the best, but watching it again, fully knowledgeable of the twists and turns the stories takes, this season still stands as a beautifully inventive and exciting season of television with numerous classic episodes, the absolute standouts for me personally being "Time Enough to Last", which is probably the most horrific and sad half hour of television there's ever been, and "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street", which is a fascinating commentary on society and one of the best-directed episodes of the entire series. Other memorable episodes include "Third from the Sun" and "Walking Distance". Although there are about five or six episodes this season that I could definitely do without, the fact that there are 29 other episodes which are uniformly excellent really makes up for those episodes. I also really loved the season finale "A World of His Own" which features Rod Serling's first true appearance on camera, and it's one of his most memorable.

Season average based on ratings for all episodes: 8.17/10
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Defies Rationality
bkoganbing26 July 2012
Keenan Wynn and Phyllis Kirk star in a whimsical comedy about a successful playwright known for his ability to write realistic characters in his work. He's got a truly phenomenal ability that could only come from The Twilight Zone.

He works orally recording into a dictaphone and one day through the window Kirk who is married to Wynn spots another woman in the living room with Wynn. When she comes in she's not there and he can not offer any rational explanation. The explanation for what has happened defies rationality.

This is the only episode where Rod Serling interacts with the characters as well as narrating. As for Keenan Wynn this is a real triumph for him, an actor with a range that never was truly appreciated.
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5/10
What a failure of a man
aliases-5333418 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Another episode which represents men in a silly and selfish manner, abusive towards anyone they come across. Desires of a loser coming true...give a man a magic machine and you end up with a psychopath inventing women for his own pleasure. First he is cheating on his "wife", with an imaginary woman. Then he is bullying her into not leaving him for his betrayal, and all of that is simply because she is successful and he suffers insecurity or something of the sort...then he deletes her. Not sure what this story was trying to prove other than making men look bad. A shame, because Matheson was truly a great writer. Unfortunately, not all episodes deliver, in the Twilight Zone...
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9/10
Finally a twist I didn't predict
Talon Jensen22 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The ending twist where the wife was created by the author is pretty obvious as soon as the author discusses his ability. But, adding Rod Serling to the list of "people" created by the author was unexpected, so I really enjoyed that, in spite of Rod's awful pun (aren't puns supposed to be awful?).
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8/10
A writer with the power to make things and even the wife disappear!
Danny Blankenship15 November 2017
This "TZ" episode from 1960 season one is a strange and different kind of tale that kind of has a magic feel and touch to it! It involves a man named Gregory West and he's a writer a type that focuses on plays. And he has a trophy wife yet, on the side he's carrying on an affair with a mistress. Only when one day the wife sees it trouble appears to be on the horizon, yet Gregory has a way to make the mistress and other things go away wow the wife can't believe it! It's like this guy has a magic act with things and people as he can act and make reality go away. So soon the wife will disappear and the episode even has a little fun at the end making series creator Rod Serling vanish also! Overall neat and wild dream type of an episode that proves it's nice to clear people out of your life and have the world to yourself!
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