The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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Kick the Can 

An old man living in a rest home thinks he's found the secret of youth in children's games.



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Episode complete credited cast:
... Charles Whitley
... Ben Conroy
... Sunnyvale Superintendant Cox
... Freitag
... Agee (as Earl Hodgins)
... Mrs. Summers
Lenore Shanewise ... Mrs. Densley
Anne O'Neal ... Mrs. Wister
... Carlson


Charles Whitley is an elderly resident of Sunnyvale Rest, a home for the aged. It's not a happy place and Charles' hopes of moving in with his son David are dashed when he's told they can't take him in. He wistfully recalls his youth where they played kick the can and didn't have a worry in the world. His close friend Ben Conroy begins to worry him when Charles suggests all you have to do is wish it, and you can be young again. Ben is worried his friend will end up in the loony bin but it's Ben who is in for a surprise. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

9 February 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Barry Truex (David Whitley) is the real life son of Ernest Truex (Charles Whitley). See more »


Mr. Cox: I'll bet Whitley's taken them all down to the orchard. Come on!
Ben Conroy: Look all you want, Mr. Cox, you won't find them.
See more »


Remade as Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Arguably one of the best of all of the T.Z. episodes
23 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

KICK THE CAN takes place in an old folks home, and in the general vicinity of the front of this rest home. Don't worry, I WILL NOT GIVE AWAY THE ENDING. The surprise ending is one of the best of the T.Z. series, and it is a charming and satisfying one, but I WILL NOT GIVE IT AWAY. KICK THE CAN, starring Ernest Truax, and WALKING DISTANCE, starring Gig Young, are the two T.Z. episodes that concern nostalgia for childhood. The story gets off the ground when Mr.Truax makes plans to leave the confines of the old folks home, and to move in with his son. But Mr.Truax is somewhat disappointed when he discovers that his plan was really a misunderstanding, that is, his son had never invited him to move in. At any rate, Mr.Truax continues to live in the old folks home, and the viewer will be amused by Mr.Truax's penchant for running through the water sprinkler, and for amusing himself with other juvenile antics. At one point, Mr.Truax borrows a crumpled tin can that had been used by a neighborhood boy for playing kick the can, and he keeps it as a souvenir for himself. A continuing theme in this story, is that Mr.Truax continuously harps at his elderly colleagues to enjoy themselves, and to play kick the can. Russell Collins plays a cantankerous old man, who is steadfast in his refusal to engage in childish games. However, Mr.Truax is successful with persuading the other residents to "let go" and to engage in a childhood game or too. Tension is provided in this story, because the manager of the old folks home tries to prevent the old people from engaging in any childhood shenanigans. At any rate, there is a surprise ending which I DO NOT DISCLOSE HERE. Mr.Truax has an engaging, calm voice and demeanor. Unfortunately, Mr.Truax is in only one other T.Z. episode, WHAT YOU NEED, where he reprises the role of somebody who confronts a problem and responds with infinite calmness.

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