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
The only episode where the name of the show is spoken neither in the opening nor the closing monologues. See more »
Spelling of Sterig is given as Steric in newspaper article. See more »
Virge, this is the happiest day of my life!
This is the happiest day of your life, how come you look like somebody just stuck lemon juice in your beer, huh?
No, Mr. Penell, you're not so happy. You got no reason to be happy. Believe me, Mr. Penell, I know. You got no reason to be happy. No reason at all. Now if you could've kept me in the river, a cold clammy little item without a voice,
*Then* you could've been happy. But this is one double-cross, Mr Penell, that...
[...] See more »
Two-bit bum Arch Hammer (Harry Townes) has a very special talent: he can alter his appearance just by thinking of a different face. He intends to use this amazing power to his advantage, but doing so isn't easy in The Twilight Zone.
I love the general idea of this episode of The Twilight Zone—a man who can change his face tries to use his unusual talent to improve his fortune—but it does suffer from several major plot holes: how does Arch Hammer know so much about the lives of the people whose identity he assumes? How does he know how they would behave? And how the hell does he change his voice so that he can effectively mimic them? Are we to assume that he takes on an entire persona when he makes the change—voice, mannerisms, memories and all? If so, why didn't he recognise his own father when he became boxer Andy Marshak? All of these awkward questions make this one of the less satisfactory episodes of Season One.
On a more positive note, the performances are great, the transformations are effectively handled by director John Brahm, and a cool, jazzy, noirish, nocturnal atmosphere adds to the overall fun of the piece.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this