The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
9.1/10
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Time Enough at Last 

A henpecked book lover finds himself blissfully alone with his books after a nuclear war.

Director:

John Brahm

Writers:

Rod Serling (teleplay by), Lynn Venable (based on a short story by)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Burgess Meredith ... Henry Bemis
Vaughn Taylor ... Mr. Carsville
Jacqueline deWit ... Helen Bemis (as Jaqueline deWit)
Lela Bliss Lela Bliss ... Mrs. Chester
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Storyline

Henry Bemis loves to read. The only problem is that he can find neither the time nor the place to enjoy his pastime. At work, his boss has let him know in no uncertain terms that he is not to read during working hours. At home, his shrewish wife won't even let him read a newspaper, let alone a book. One day, he sneaks down to the vault in the bank's basement to read a bit and suddenly, there is a huge explosion above. He emerges to find the world destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He does find books from the library and he sees a great deal of reading time ahead of him. Except for one small unintended event. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1960, John Brahm was awarded a Director's Guild award for his work on this episode. See more »

Goofs

There were no human bodies laying around, after the explosion as to suggest they were all vaporized by the intense heat of atomic bomb, but yet papers, books, furniture, and so many other things survived unscathed. An atomic bomb would have burned just about everything to an unrecognizable crisp. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Carsville: I remember last November you spent the better part of the days reading campaign buttons on customer's lapels. You'll recall, Mr. Bemis, the young woman who took considerable offense at this and tried to hit you with her umbrella.
Henry Bemis: I remember that very well, Mr. Carsville. She never gave me a chance to tell her that I was only looking at who she was voting for.
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Connections

Spoofed in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Now wherever did I put that gun?
14 August 2011 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Bespectacled bank clerk Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith), henpecked by his wife and harassed by his boss, simply yearns for enough time to indulge in his favourite pastime: reading. He eventually gets his wish when a nuclear war wipes out everyone but him—but this being The Twilight Zone, things don't go quite as well as they might for poor Mr. Bemis...

'Time Enough At Last' is one of the best loved Twilight Zone episodes, a solid gold classic with a corker of a twist that brilliantly illustrates creator Rod Serling's warped sense of humour. The bitter irony of Mr. Bemis's final plight deftly combines both comedy and tragedy, and as the credits roll, one can easily imagine the poor fellow, so ecstatic a few minutes before, scrabbling around blindly in the ruins desperately trying to relocate the gun he had earlier.


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