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"
List of season 5 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Sounds and Silences" is episode 147 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


"A model ship magnate thunders about his home and office, until his ears play tricks on him."

Roswell G. Flemington was raised in a home where he could not even have cookies because cookies made too much noise. At least his mother bought brownies. So when he came of age, he went to sea, and his desire to compensate for not making enough noise is driving everyone else mad. He has collected all sorts of nautical noisemakers, from bells and whistles to actual recordings of sea battles.

One day, after twenty years his wife has had enough of his obsession with noise and finally divorces him. Shortly after, every little noise is like an explosion, and he sees a doctor 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.


  • 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

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