"The Twilight Zone" Nothing in the Dark (TV Episode 1962) Poster

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9/10
Fear of the unknown; the most frightening of all
The_Void17 March 2006
Every time I see The Twilight Zone, I become more and more impressed with it! Nothing in the Dark is a story about the most frightening thing known to man; the unknown. The themes of mortality and fear are well felt in a story of an old woman who forces herself to remain in her small tin shack. She remains there through fear; fear that death may claim her. When she finds a young wounded policeman on her doorstep, she faces a dilemma - does she let him in, and risk letting death claim her - or does she let him die? This episode is shot entirely inside one room, and yet never becomes dull or uninteresting. The claustrophobic feel bodes well with the dark plot, and the way that the program takes an age-old fear and spins a story out of it is fantastic. Gladys Cooper is excellent in the lead role; delivering a performance that is both abstract, yet believable at the same time. The episode also features an early role for one Robert Redford, who gives an early glimpse of his charisma in his role as the policeman. The climax to the tale will probably be guessed way before the ending; but The Twilight Zone is never completely predictable, and it still manages to pull something out of the bag at the end! Nothing in the Dark is surely one of the best episodes of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" and comes hugely recommended from me!
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10/10
A lovely and engaging episode
MartinHafer9 September 2007
Okay, before I begin I should point out that this episode co-stars a very young and attractive Robert Redford--before he was a star. Most women should be very happy about this--making it reason enough to see the show! But, believe me, it's still well worth seeing regardless.

The actual star of this episode is Gladys Cooper, who plays a seemingly crazy and scared old lady who refuses to allow anyone in her basement apartment. You see, she believes that the Angel of Death is stalking her and if she never lets anyone inside, then she'll live forever. Throughout the episode, various people try to get her to open the door but with no success. Only later, when a young policeman (Redford) is shot does she struggle between her fears and her desire to aid this poor dying man.

The episode is exceptionally well written and acted, plus it is very profound in its message about death and the afterlife--and all handled in a very engaging and deft style. This is one classy and enjoyable episode I can't recommend strongly enough.
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My Favorite Episode!
Jillian_Randell31 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As a fan of the Twilight Zone, I have to say this episode is my favorite. What's unfortunate is most people my age (19) who know of the show, don't remember or don't know what episode I'm talking about and it's such a shame!

Since I am terrified of death, this episode brings me a lot of comfort. It makes the idea of death seem not so frightening. My favorite line is from Rod's ending monologue that says "there was nothing in the dark that wasn't there when the lights were on". That line right there is so spot on and great that I always think of it, whenever I find myself scared of death.

All in all I think this is an extremely underrated episode! It's one of the best!
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10/10
Like A Gentle Breeze
AaronCapenBanner28 October 2014
Gladys Cooper stars as an old and dying woman named Wanda Dunn who lives in a decrepit tenement building scheduled to be torn down. She has refused to leave however, convinced that Mr. Death awaits her if she does. One day, a young policeman named Harold Beldon(played by Robert Redford) is shot outside her door, and Wanda reluctantly lets him in, little realizing the profound affect he will have on her, while the contractor(played by R.G. Armstrong) continues to pressure her to leave, or face eviction... Excellent episode is wonderfully understated and incredibly moving by the end, with a welcome message and fine, heartfelt performances.
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10/10
Afraid of the Unknown
claudio_carvalho1 May 2009
The old Ms. Wanda Dunn (Gladys Cooper) had survived many times against death along her long life. Now she is afraid of Mr. Death, and does not open the door of her room in an old building for anyone who knocks the door. When the police officer Harold Beldon (Robert Redford) is shot in her front door, the reluctant woman opens it and lets him in. She helps Harold and she tells him about her fear of Mr. Death and that her time was coming, therefore she could see him. When a contractor (R.G. Armstrong) comes to demolish the building, he explains the "old gives space for the new" to her and she finds that her new journey has begun.

This beautiful tale is among my favorite episodes of "The Twilight Zone". The heartbreak story about the fear of the unknown is magnificently performed like a play on the stage by the awesome Gladys Cooper; Robert Redford in the beginning of his career and R.G. Armstrong. I believe this unforgettable tale shakes with every mature person, and there are many fantastic lines, like for example, "better living in the dark than not living at all" or "old gives space for the new". My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Nada na Escuridão" ("Nothing in the Darkness")
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9/10
Where Is Thy Sting?
Hitchcoc25 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a well-acted, intense episode. It's about a woman who lives in a tenement by herself. She is visited by a handsome young man played by Robert Redford. She comes to know why he is there and attempts with her whole life force to avoid the inevitable. He uses whatever gentle way he can to get her to agree to go with him. And that is what the story is about: The gentleness of the greatest of mysteries. When she finally succumbs to his requests, she knows that this is the time. She knows that her earthly existence offers her no hope and no way out. Of all the Twilight Zone episodes, this one borrows from a classic idea that death comes in corporeal form to take us. Remember "The Seventh Seal." See this. It has wonderful acting and very nice cinematography.
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Lovely Concept... Very Well Executed.
daveyd-8724016 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing this episode as a child who was enamored with the Twilight Zone and its many marathons on WPIX 11 and later on the Sci-Fi channel. I remember a few months before my own grandmother died in 2015 I had wanted to show this most lovely and touching episode to her. I believe she knew her own time was coming and was scared. I wanted to show her this wonderful portrayal of Death and how lovely and painless it could be as personified by Robert Redford. Sadly, I never had the chance to do so but I like to think my beloved grandmother Dorothy had her own "kind angel of death" to gently lead her along the path to peace and renewal. She would talk about seeing an angel who was helping her. I believe it was probably someone like Robert Redford's character who was gently leading Grandma who like Wanda was frightened of the "unknown".

Gladys Cooper was simply marvelous in this role. I believe she gave an abstract but very touching performance as Wanda the old lady who was probably agoraphobic at this late stage in her life. Personally, this was my TZ favorite episode with her followed by a very close second place in Night Call. You can see she really was a master at her craft and really caused me to associate her with my own grandmother who was afraid of death. I like to think my grandma finally found peace just like Wanda. As for Robert Redford I felt he gave a fine performance especially in the second half once he revealed himself to Wanda. The gentle violin music, the soft colors of Mr Death's face and the way he gently called Wanda "Mother" while gently motioning her to take his hand. Who would not melt by such a call? Not to mention such a handsome Mr. Death. :) The contractor had such a small part but one of his lines did have an impact on me. I refer to his saying "out with the old to make room for the new". That was a reference to death making way for life everlasting.

A very fine Twilight Zone Episode with a strong cast led by the great Gladys Cooper. I give it a 9 out of 10!
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8/10
Trust me...Give me your hand.
sol12183 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILER***For the last few years 80 some year old Wanda Dunn, Gladys Cooper, has been terrified of going outside of her basement apartment in fearing that death, or Mr. Death as she calls him, was waiting outside to take her away with him in the world beyond. Like she's seen him do to dozens of people while she was still able to go outside of her shuttered up and cramped apartment.

It's on one snowy night that Wanda heard shots outside her place and saw police officer Harold Beldon, Robert Redford, fall bleeding on the ground that she at last confronted in her mind Mr. Death himself; The person whom she been tying to avoid for the last few years. The fact that Beldon was near death himself didn't get Wanda at first to go help him in that she felt it was a trap by Mr. Death, or Officer Beldon, to get her outside and give him a chance to touch her and with that, the death touch, take her life! The big surprise on Wanda's part is that even when she got Beldon into her apartment she was in fact still alive thus proving to herself that he in fact was not the person that she feared so much: Mr.Death!Or was he?

One of the better "Twilight Zone" episodes that goes to the heart of the matter of one's mortality and how to face it when the end finally comes. Wanda knows that she can't live forever but the thought of her own demise is far too disturbing for her to contemplate. Officer Beldon is just one of the many persons that Wanda saw over the years that she feels is the Grim Reaper in disguised and wants to keep him from taking her. Even if the life that she now leads as a lonely and forgotten shut-in is in many cases even worse then death itself!

****SPOILERS*** It's when Wanda was about to be evicted by the kind and understanding but just doing his job contractor, R.G Armstrong, form her home that was about to be demolished that she finally saw the light in what death, or Mr.Death, was really all about! Despite her fear of it death didn't hit her like the nuclear explosion she felt it would but more like a soft whisper that put her both at ease and out of her suffering in her fear of it! As Wanda soon learned death in itself was only a continuation of one's existence when the life of the person,like herself, it takes away has already reached it's final stage of living. It's like discarding an old and worn out pair of shoes and then getting, possibly in a new life, a brand new pair!
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9/10
"Nothing in the Dark" ...except Mr. Death
chuck-reilly10 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Gladys Cooper plays a lonely old lady who's doing her best to keep death literally away from her doorstep in 1962's "Nothing in the Dark." Living in a condemned building that's about to be demolished, she holds out in a vain attempt to prolong the inevitable coming of the Grim Reaper. She's acutely aware that as soon as she lets her guard down and allows someone to enter her dilapidated apartment, it will be her end. Despite her best efforts, she finally relents when a wounded and helpless policeman cries for help in front of her door. The policeman is young and handsome (Robert Redford) and old Gladys is certain that it can't be "him"---or can it?

"Nothing in the Dark" delves into a favorite theme of creator Rod Serling: the fear of the unknown, or in this case specifically, the fear of death. That death itself arrives in the form of someone like Robert Redford makes this entry particularly noteworthy. Veteran actress Cooper is outstanding and highly convincing as the old lady who is forestalling the ravages of age and infirmity. Redford plays the Angel of Death not as a dour Grim Reaper, but as a sort of transitional travel agent with a winning smile. It's this dichotomy that gives the episode a much-needed edgy and unsettling feeling. R.G. Armstrong is also in the cast as a wrecking crew foreman intent on dislodging Ms. Cooper from the premises. Redford beats him to it, however.
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7/10
Expect the unexpected when you journey out and perhaps a visit from a guardian angel?
blanbrn2 February 2009
In this classic "Twilight Zone" episode titled "Nothing in the Dark" it's certainly one of mystery and journey into the unknown. Plus it's a vintage one for the fact that it featured Robert Redford well before he became a big movie star or household name. Redford plays Harold Beldon a policeman who's shot alongside a street corner of a house of a sheltered and old woman played perfect by Gladys Cooper who takes Redford's character in and treats and nurses him back to good health. This woman has a fear of dying and venturing out into the real world she even thinks this arrival could be the angel of death, only it turns out to be the opposite as the Redford character returns a favor as he ventures the old lady out and he looks more like a guardian angel. Overall good episode for it's mystery and discovery of good nature proving life is so unexpected as a mystery can arrive to us and be a find that helps us start a new journey.
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7/10
Always look on the bright side.
darrenpearce11126 January 2014
Wanda (Gladys Cooper) is an old woman afraid to go out, believing that 'Mr Death' is after her. Harold Belmont (Robert Redford) is a policeman lying in a critical state outside her dilapidated home. She fears he may be death in one of his many guises but brings him in.

TZ at its best takes you to all sorts of places and examines the deepest human fears. Gladys Cooper gives one of her three solid performances for the show here. The setting is cold and austere but this is a warm-hearted entry for the Zone. Wanda has been 'running' from death for some time. A gentle story that might take some fear out of death, reminding us its a natural and possibly peaceful process.

George Clayton Johnson wrote this one and his stories make up seven pretty consistent TZ contributions in all. 'A Game of Pool' and 'A Penny For Your Thoughts' are very good.
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9/10
Don't fear the reaper
Woodyanders27 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Lonely and paranoid old woman Wanda Dunn (superbly played with touching vulnerability by Gladys Cooper) has tried her best to evade death in her twilight years by secluding herself in a rundown tenement building. Dunn suspects that wounded policeman Harold Beldon (a fine and charismatic performance by Robert Redford) who asks her for help might be the angel of death in disguise.

Director Lamont Johnson relates this gripping and elegiac story at a steady pace as well as ably crafts a quietly eerie and somber tone. George Clayton Johnson's intelligent script makes a poignant and provocative point about the need to accept one's own mortality and the inevitability of death. Cooper and Redford both do sterling work in the leads while veteran character actor R.G. Armstrong lends sturdy support as a sympathetic contractor. Beautifully moody black and white cinematography by George T. Clemens, too. A lovely and moving episode.
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10/10
One of the best episodes
buffystjohn26 March 2018
I can't believe I hadn't seen this on a top 30 favorite episodes list. I know there are so many fantastic episodes so I can see it doesn't have the impact of my other favorite episodes which I see on others lists. As I am making my way through Twilight Zone (this is the 100th ep I have watched so far) I initially picked ones that I'd heard of and now going through chronologically with the rest. Robert Redford shines in this episode, his presence as an actor just jumps off the screen. There are a few different types of twilight zone episodes and I tend to favor the tighter psychological episodes. I was feeling despondent after watching 'once upon a time' and then this left me shocked like I have before at Rod's mastery. It's funny how uneven this show can be and I mean no disrespect as it is one of my top 10 favorite shows of all time but if you were to introduce TZ with 'sounds & silences' or 'dust' as opposed to this episode, 'eye of the beholder' or 'the hitch hiker' or 'nightmare at 20,000 ft' etc you become more open to watching more. This is my first episode review and a worthy one at that.
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9/10
"You tricked me!"
classicsoncall25 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In another review of a Twilight Zone episode (#2.22 - Long Distance Call), I opined with thoughts of my own grandmother, who lived until the age of ninety eight. She spoke of her imminent death almost from my earliest recollection of her as a kid, which is to say, for almost forty years. She never, ever spoke about being afraid of dying, only that it was right around the corner. If I didn't know any better, she might have been fortified by Robert Redford's character in this chapter, who appears as a guiding spirit about to take Miss Wanda Dunn (Gladys Cooper) on a journey into the unknown that most of us never reflect on. What many consider a frightening and forbidden prospect, Officer Harold Beldon (Robert Redford) turns into an almost welcome invitation to experience the great hereafter. My own theory is that we become less afraid of death the older we get, seeing it as a natural extension of life, and another plane of existence to be experienced.

But wait - this episode could have been a perfect ten if Rod Serling and writer George Johnson had followed through. The demolition man gave away the ending when he couldn't see Redford's character lying on the cot. But then, after Wanda took Beldon's hand, her own reflection was still visible in the same mirror! Oh no! How could everyone on the set have overlooked that?!! With just a couple of minor re-writes, this one could have left things totally to the imagination of the viewer, and it would have worked so much better. And still, it winds up in my Top Ten TZ episodes.
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Which is Worse: Death or Isolation
dougdoepke27 July 2016
An addled old lady hides in her unkempt apartment so "Mr. Death" will not find her. Just how loony is she.

Hats off to set and art decorations. The old lady's apartment cave is about the last word in grim. Frankly, I'd welcome Mr. Death as a way out of that black hole. Great acting from Cooper that carries the show, and has Redford ever looked handsomer. It's a spare, elegiac story with what I guess is an uplift ending. Still, be prepared for some really bleak visuals, as the old lady tries to keep Mr. Death away from her door. I detect a philosophical point behind the contractor's conflab. Namely, that the old must give way to the new, because that's simply the way of the world. So get used to it. None of us is special. Well, I guess that's not exactly a novel point to make, but it still works within the story's context.

My advice—don't watch the first part in the dark.
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10/10
A great Grim Reaper!
ericstevenson2 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I sometimes have problems if I should call the character Death or the Grim Reaper. He's referred to as Death in "The Twilight Zone". Anyway, this episode features an old woman who thinks that Death is literally at her door. She brings this one injured man into her house, played by Robert Redford. He's so dang charming in this role. Another person comes whom she thinks is Death too.

Turns out she was right the first time! This actually leads to some of the most heartwarming moments in the entire series. We see Redford as Death act so gently towards the woman. She needs to realize that death is natural and it's her time to go. This episode moves so fluidly you have to love the pacing. This show really can be sweet, even when dealing with death. ****
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9/10
A Great Comfort In The Zone For An Isolated Lady
DKosty12320 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This episodes script puts a story of isolation and fate and raises it into a very special story on several levels. It has a veteran cast including Gladys who is well over age 70 (and was in films like Now, Voyager) as a desperate lonely woman in a condemned building trying to avoid death despite a dreary life situation. She is sleeping when she is awakened by a policeman being shot outside her place.

Then she lets her dream into the run down hovel. She keeps he door locked to keep death out. Here she is teaching a young Robert Redford some acting lessons. He learns them well in a short role as the cop. Of course his youthful looks would be the ultimate fantasy for many an older woman. As he recovers from his wounds he provides comfort. Then the man who needs to demolish her building shows up. Gladys only opens the door at Reford's suggestion because he has won her trust.

Then she realizes that the demolition man can not see the man (cop) who has earned his trust. After he leaves, Gladys realizes that in fact she already let death into her door when she let Redford in. Then Reford comforts her and points out she is already dead. This overwhelms her will to survive and then he leads her out to eternity.

This is very well done. This one has the Zone at the top of its game, drama. This series hits great drama points more often than any other Sci-Fi series. Even when Serling does not write the script, in this case he finds a great script from a tv script writer who writes great scripts and does so often.

As we all consider our fates, a lot of us would like the kind of help Gladys gets here. A guide to make it easier.
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1/10
A Really, Really Bad Episode
cbig-8879530 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Let me preface this by saying that I have watched too many cinema sins clips, it's starting to affect everything I watch.

This was not a very good twilight zone episode. The doomed old lady allows a police officer suffering from a gunshot wound into her residence. While the officer is in her house his condition goes from dying from the gunshot wound to perfect health. He turns out to be death who she had been successfully keeping out of her house up until that point because she doesn't want to die.

My problem with it is if she had reason to believe the cop was in fact death attempting to trick her into letting him in, after not falling for all of his past attempts where death had appeared at her doorstep in various other disguises, why fall for this one. It couldn't have been to save his life because she doesn't have a phone to call for help and she does not leave her house for anything, not even food, so calling from a neighbors phone wasn't going to happen either.

This episode has too many holes in the story telling for my tastes.
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