Told by their parents that they are getting a divorce, Sport and Jeb Sharewood now have to decide who they are going to live with. They decide they would rather live with Aunt T, the woman they've met by traveling through a portal at the bottom of their swimming pool. At the other end is an idyllic world where children play and there are few adults. Aunt T is a kindly old woman but Sport is far more reluctant than Jeb to accept her invitation to stay with them.Written by
The "confrontation" sequence (where Jeb and Sport declare they don't have to live with their bickering parents anymore and dive into the pool for good), was actually written by Earl Hamner Jr. to be the climax of the story; it was also used at the beginning because the final version came up a few minutes short (Whit's "Howdy!" greeting as the kids emerge from the "swimming hole" and the tracking shot of the children in Aunt T's yard were repeated as well for the same reason). There was noise interference on the MGM back-lot during the pool sequences, and everyone had to be called back for post-dubbing, but actress Mary Badham had already flown back to Alabama and it was deemed too expensive to fly her back to Los Angeles. June Foray was brought in to dub her lines. It was a "sloppy" job, and Rod Serling knew it. It was held until the very end of the season as the "final" show (where, it was figured, most people wouldn't notice, having tuned out of the series). See more »
The cake in the first scene w Auntie T was Chocolate. When the kids returned, it was vanilla. See more »
A brief epilogue for concerned parents: Of course, there isn't any such place as the gingerbread house of Aunt T, and we grownups know there's no door at the bottom of a swimming pool that leads to a secret place. But who can say how real the fantasy world of lonely children can become? For Jeb and Sport Sharewood, the need for love turned fantasy into reality. They found a secret place - in The Twilight Zone.
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Growing up in an abusive home with parents who hated each other, this episode became my fantasy. And we had a pool. And I swam around looking for a secret tunnel to Aunt T's cottage. To this day I still want to recreate the cottage as my sanctuary from the cruelty of the world.
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