The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
15 user 7 critic

The Four of Us Are Dying 

A man who can change his face to look like other people uses his ability to improve his life regardless of his affect on others.



(teleplay by), (based on a short story by) (as George Johnson)

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Episode complete credited cast:
... Arch Hammer
... Virge Sterig
... Johnny Foster
... Andy Marshak
Harry Jackson ... Trumpeter
Bernard Fein ... Penell
... Mr. Marshak
... Detective
... Maggie


Arch Hammer arrives in the city and checks into a seedy hotel. He looks like any other man but looks can be deceiving. Hammer has the ability to change his appearance at whim, a trick he definitely uses to his own advantage. He takes on the appearance of the recently deceased musician Johnny Foster. who died in a car accident. He goes to meet Maggie, a lounge singer who is mourning Foster's death, and convinces her to run off with him. He then takes on the appearance of Virge Sterig, a gangster whose bullet-riddled body was recently found in the river. He then visits mob boss Penell who double-crossed him to get his share of the money their most recent job. An unplanned change of face doesn't go over well, however. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 January 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Though Hammer, Foster, Sterig, and Marshank had been planned to be performed by a sole actor using different makeup, the production crew timed the planned scene and noted his time wearing makeup would exceed that of him in front of the camera, so four actors were used. See more »


Spelling of Sterig is given as Steric in newspaper article. See more »


Andy Marshak: [encountering Pop on the street] Hey, old man.
Pop Marshak: You got such a debt, Andy. You owe for so many years. You owe for so many things. And now, you pay off, son.
[pulls up a revolver]
Andy Marshak: Hey! Now, wait a minute! Now, wait a minute. You - you got the wrong guy. I swear to you, you got the wrong guy!
Pop Marshak: [icily] I got the right guy.
Andy Marshak: Now, please. Please wait. Put... put the gun down. I'll show you. I'll show you, honest! But I got to think! I got to concentrate! Just put the gun down. You'll see. I GOT TO ...
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Too Marvellous For Words
Written by Johnny Mercer and Richard A. Whiting
See more »

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User Reviews

Face on/off
19 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

An intriguing title gets half the work done! That's probably what director John Brahm and his crew must have thought and, indeed, "The Four of Us Are Dying" is one of the most enticing and curious episode titles of the entire first season (although on par with "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street") and perhaps even the full series. Obviously this doesn't mean that it's also one of the greatest episodes of the season/series, but nevertheless it's another very entertaining one with a good pace and a fair share of suspense. Pretty much every single installment in "The Twilight Zone" requires a healthy dose suspension of disbelief, but this one right here demands an extreme lot of it. The plot introduces small time crook Arch Hammer; a man with the incredible (and impossible) capacity to change his face! He only has to look at someone's picture or concentrate real hard and his frontispiece switches! Naturally he uses this unique talent to get what he wants, like picking in the girlfriend of a recently deceased musician or extorting a mafia boss. But when he runs into a dark alley in order to escape from a few assailants, he takes on the wrong face. The face of Andy Marshak, a man who broke his father's heart and has retaliation awaiting him. The script never bothers to clarify where Arch's unique gift originates from, and I'm sure you could do more useful stuff with this talent rather than toying with the feelings of a nightclub singer or stealing small cash from the mob? Still, the script of "The Four of Us Are Dying" is quite compelling and the twist-ending is both unpredictable and effectively harsh. The cool title properly makes sense during the climax, in fact! John Brahm's direction is surefooted and skilled as always. I said it before and I'll repeat it forever, but Brahm is truly one of the most underrated directors of the 40s-50s eras.

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