Sounds and Silences

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"Sounds and Silences"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 27
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Rod Serling
Production code 2631
Original air date April 3, 1964
Guest appearance(s)

John McGiver - Roswell G. Flemington
Penny Singleton - Mrs. Lydia Flemington
Billy Benedict - Conklin
Francis De Sales - Doctor
Michael Fox - Psychiatrist
Renee Aubry - Ms. Abernathy (Secretary)
Lurene Tuttle - Secretary

Episode chronology
← Previous
"I Am the Night—Color Me Black"
Next →
"Caesar and Me"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 5)
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Sounds and Silences" is episode 147 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on April 3, 1964 on CBS.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Roswell G. Flemington, owner of a model ship company and formerly of the United States Navy, grew up in a home where his mother required silence. Thus, as an adult, he makes as much noise as he possibly can, is obsessed with the Navy, and behaves thunderously in response to any slight.

One day, after twenty years his wife has had enough of his obsession with noise and finally walks out on him. Now alone, he begins to hear every little noise – a drip of water, the margin bell on a typewriter – like an explosion or gunshot. He sees a psychiatrist who helps him understand that conflict with his wife has caused him to relive his resentment against his mother to the point that he internalizes his mother's affliction. He now realizes it is all in his head, all he needs to do is overcome the mental block with "mind over matter", and he does. The only problem is that when his wife returns to pick up her jewelry, he tells her about it and proceeds to "shut her out" – going too far in the other direction, so that now he cannot hear anything at all.

Closing narration[edit]

Cast[edit]

Litigation[edit]

In 1961 a script called "The Sound of Silence" was submitted to the producers and rejected. Following the first screening of Sounds and Silences, the original author successfully sued Rod Serling for plagiarism because of similarities in the plot, and was awarded $3,500 in damages.[1] Because of this, the episode was not included in syndicated repeats.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Presnell, Don; McGee, Marty (2008). A Critical History of Television’s The Twilight Zone, 1959–1964. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Co. p. 185. ISBN 978-0786438860. 
  • 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

External links[edit]