Two (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Montgomery Pittman|
|Written by||Montgomery Pittman|
|Featured music||Nathan Van Cleave|
|Original air date||September 15, 1961|
"The time, perhaps 100 years from now or sooner; or perhaps it's already happened 2 million years ago. The place, the signposts are in English so that we may read them more easily, but the place is the Twilight Zone."
The setting is a small, deserted city that has not seen a human being since the end of an apocalyptic war five years before. The narration suggests the time could be hundreds of years in the future (or sooner) -- or millions of years in the past. A female soldier (Elizabeth Montgomery), wearing a tattered army uniform, stumbles into town. She looks into some of the shop windows, pausing to examine a white dress, then finds a restaurant and goes inside. She finds a can of chicken, but before she can open it, a man also wearing a military uniform (Charles Bronson) walks in. Recognizing his uniform as that of the enemy, she immediately attacks him. After attempting to subdue her without injuring her, the man knocks her out and begins to ravenously eat the chicken. The man notices a dove, which flies away. He examines a calendar with a woman in a swimsuit on the wall then turns to look back at his opponent.
He wakes the woman up. Speaking in English, he announces that there is no reason to fight anymore and gives her the remains of the food. The woman is wary, but eats the chicken. She follows him into a barber shop and watches as he shaves. He tosses a towel to her, which she uses to wipe her dirty face. They wander over to a movie theater. He stares at a poster for a wartime romance film and turns to smile at her. Then they spy the skeletal remains of soldiers at the theater entrance, and they snatch nearby rifles, simultaneously aiming at each other.
After a tense moment, the man turns and walks away, slinging his gun over his shoulder. The woman follows him, and the two walk along the road. They stop in front of the store with the dress in the window and she mutters pryekrasnyy (прекрасный), the Russian word for "pretty." He takes the dress off the dummy and throws it to her, indicates a doorway and tells her to put it on. She goes through the door, which turns out to be a military recruiting office. As she begins to undress, she notices the posters on the wall. The last one depicts enemy soldiers being held at gunpoint by forces from the man's country. She leaves and angrily shoots at him instead, burning part of his face. The man walks away, not understanding why she has suddenly changed.
Later, the man is changing out of his uniform into a makeshift tuxedo and has found two jars of food. He sees the woman peeking from behind a car and yells at her to go away, to take her war somewhere else. She emerges from behind the car in the dress, and he realizes she has changed her attitude. He throws her one of the jars and calls her pryekrasnyy. She smiles for the first time. With their guns slung over their shoulders, they walk away side-by-side along the road. In his closing narrative, Rod Serling says, "This has been a love story about two lonely people who found each other in the Twilight Zone."
This episode was actually filmed on the backlot of Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California, which was literally falling apart, due to mismanagement and disuse. (The facilities were finally torn down in 1963.) Very little set decoration was needed to embellish an "abandoned city" here.
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0