The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
24 user 4 critic

It's a Good Life 

On an isolated family farm, a young boy with vast mental powers, but lacking emotional development, holds his terrified family in thrall to his every juvenile wish.


James Sheldon


Rod Serling (teleplay by), Jerome Bixby (based on a short story by) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode complete credited cast:
John Larch ... Mr. Fremont
Cloris Leachman ... Mrs. Fremont
Don Keefer ... Dan Hollis
Bill Mumy ... Anthony Fremont (as Billy Mumy)
Alice Frost ... Aunt Amy
Max Showalter ... Pat Riley (as Casey Adams)
Jeanne Bates ... Ethel Hollis
Lenore Kingston Lenore Kingston ... Thelma Dunn
Tom Hatcher Tom Hatcher ... Bill Soames


In a small farming community in Ohio, a young boy by the name of Anthony Fremont terrorizes those around him. Anthony has the ability to command anything he wants simply by thought. The community is cut off from the outside world and the boy insists that those around him think only pleasant thoughts, and if they don't, he eliminates them. Everyone walks in fear of the lad who ably demonstrates what he's prepared to do at a small party in his home. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis








Release Date:

3 November 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It's a Good Life See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode was one of four to be remade for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). The relevant segment was directed by Joe Dante. See more »


Although we are told that the young boy has shut off all electricity in the town, there are apparently electric lights in the living room of his house. When a character knocks one of the lamps over, no one is concerned, but if it had been a gas lamp there would have been a danger of fire. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: [Opening Narration] Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there's a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken ...
See more »


Referenced in Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) See more »


Happy Birthday
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Don Keefer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sonny Knows Best
9 September 2016 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the plot. As I recall, this oddball episode created a stir from the outset. It's a tricky premise, making a kid the demonic villain. I'm guessing that had not The Bad Seed (1956) been a movie success with its wicked little girl, this premise would never have flown. Credit the cast for making it fly despite the questionable material. Little Mumy is perfect with his impish face and searing glare. I expect the role has followed him for a lifetime. Then too, there's the bevy of adults cowering in his presence, where everything evil he does is "good". Seeing the brawny John Larch quaking in his son's presence is especially unnerving. On the other hand, I wish they had held the Jack-in-the-Box frame a little longer so it could soak in. Still, having it flit by has its own brand of nightmarish impact. Anyway, the premise was a daring one for its time, as Serling's extended prolog suggests. Nonetheless, as the half-hour's lasting reputation shows, the effort succeeded, and in spades.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed