Four O'Clock

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For the four o'clock flower, see Mirabilis jalapa and Mirabilis (plant).
"Four O'Clock"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 29
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Written by Rod Serling - (Based on the story by Price Day. First published in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 14 of My Favorites in Suspense (1959)
Featured music Stock
Production code 4832
Original air date April 6, 1962
Guest appearance(s)

Theodore Bikel: Oliver Crangle
Moyna Macgill: Mrs. Williams
Phyllis Love: Mrs. Lucas
Linden Chiles: Luther Hall, FBI agent

Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Little People"
Next →
"Hocus-Pocus and Frisby"
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Four O'Clock" is episode 94 (season 3, number 29) of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration[edit]


Oliver Crangle is a fanatic (with a slight German accent) who lives in an apartment with his parrot, Peter. On his wall hangs the framed motto: "An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth." He maintains records of people he believes to be "evil" and/or harmful to society. He makes phone calls to people and/or their employers at all hours and writes letters as well regarding their actions, harasses and demands their immediate firing, and threatens to involve higher authorities if they don't comply. Unsatisfied with the results of his anonymous calls and letters, he searches for a more effective way to eliminate evil from the world. He settles on the idea of shrinking the evil people to two feet tall. He cackles at the idea of that plan. Throughout this, in clever irony, Crangle's parrot Peter periodically calls out, "Nut," asking for a nut to eat, which Crangle gives him.

Crangle calls a number of government agencies, and Agent Hall is sent to investigate. Crangle tells him that he has finally devised a plan to shrink every "evil" person down to two feet tall at 4:00 that afternoon through sheer force of will. As Crangle cackles describing his plan, the parrot calls out "Nut." Hall gives the parrot an old-fashioned look[clarification needed], then asks Crangle if he's ever had any psychiatric help, and tells Crangle that they don't need his kind of help because they have the law. Crangle accuses him of being in on the plot. As Hall leaves, Crangle screams at him that he will be two feet tall in just a few minutes but is ignored.

When 4:00 rolls around, Crangle is horrified to find that he himself has been shrunk to two feet tall. He now looks up at Peter on his perch, and one last time Peter calls out the word "Nut" as Crangle breaks down.

In the radio adaptation starring Stan Freberg, the ending was altered to be more gruesome as Peter the parrot mistakes the now-shrunken Crangle for a "nut".[1]

Closing narration[edit]


  1. ^ The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas Vol. 4, Blackstone Audio, Inc., ISBN 978-1482937022
  • 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
  • The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas Vol. 4, Blackstone Audio, Inc., ISBN 978-1482937022

External links[edit]