The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
21 user 1 critic

The Silence 

Annoyed by a club member's constant chatter, a man bets him he cannot remain silent for a year, living in a glass enclosure in the club basement.


Boris Sagal


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Franchot Tone ... Col. Archie Taylor
Liam Sullivan ... Jamie Tennyson
Cyril Delevanti ... Franklin
Everett Glass ... Club Member
Felix Locher Felix Locher ... Club Member
John Holland ... Club Member
Jonathan Harris ... George Alfred


Jamie Tennyson is an overly talkative member of a private men's club. He is challenged by fellow member Col. Archie Taylor to keep his mouth shut for one year. Should he do so, he would win $500,000. Taylor dislikes Tennyson and if nothing else, finds this a way to get a bit of peace and quiet at the club. Tennyson will live in a room in the club, under observation and will communicate in writing only. As the months go by, Taylor begins to worry that Tennyson may just succeed. He can't believe Tennyson's will but neither party proves to be completely honorable. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis








Release Date:

28 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Silence See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Franchot Tone filmed the club sequences in the early part of production before suffering a facial injury (Liam Sullivan claimed that he had fallen off a terrace to a driveway while picking a flower for a girlfriend; Rod Serling said that a jealous romantic rival had attacked him). Even though the left side of his face was swollen, it was decided not to hire a different actor and re-shoot the previously filmed scenes, but to film him with only his right side exposed to the camera. Interestingly, it caused Tone's character to be denied eye contact while mocking Sullivan's, which made his character more sinister and added an extra dimension of emotion to the plot. See more »


Rod Serling - Narrator: Mr. Jamie Tennyson, who almost won a bet, but who discovered, somewhat belatedly, that gambling can be a most unproductive pursuit, even with loaded dice, marked cards, or - as in his case - some severed vocal chords. For somewhere beyond him, a wheel was turned, and his number came up black thirteen. If you don't believe it, ask the croupier, the very special one who handles roulette... in the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in Planet of the Apes (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Arrogant old money and the bounder
10 January 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For a little peace and quiet to avoid the sound of his voice that disturbs the solemnity of the men's club that Franchot Tone belongs to, Tone offers him a million dollars if talkative Liam Sullivan stays silent for a year. Tone is arrogant old money and he considers Sullivan a bounder.

Sullivan actually lives in a glass room for a year wired so that if he utters a word it will be recorded. Even the taunting of Tone to Sullivan doesn't break the silence.

This is one of Rod Serling's best Twilight Zone episodes. In the end neither proves to have the best of character and both sacrifice considerably.

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