The After Hours

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This article is about the original 1960 Twilight Zone episode. For the 1986 remake, see The After Hours (1986 The Twilight Zone). For other uses, see After Hours (disambiguation).
"The After Hours"
The Twilight Zone episode
Anne Francis James Milhollin Twilight Zone.JPG
Publicity photo of (l-r) Anne Francis, James Millhollin and Francis's mannequin double
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 34
Directed by Douglas Heyes
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Bernard Herrmann (from Where Is Everybody?)
Production code 173-3637
Original air date June 10, 1960
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of season 1 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"The After Hours" is episode thirty-four of the American television anthology series, The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on June 10, 1960, on CBS.

Opening narration[edit]

The opening narration involves Marsha White riding an elevator to the ninth floor. Then the rest of the narration is heard.

Plot[edit]

Marsha White (Anne Francis), a woman browsing for a gift for her mother in a department store, decides on a gold thimble. She is taken by the elevator man to the ninth floor, a floor beyond that shown on the elevator's floor indicia. She enters the ninth floor and turns to complain to the elevator operator that there is nothing there, but the door closes abruptly, leaving her to ponder her situation. She is approached by a saleslady who guides her to the only item on the floor: the exact gold thimble that Marsha wants. During the sales transaction, she grows increasingly puzzled by the comments and actions of both the male elevator operator who transported her to the barren, seemingly deserted floor, and the aloof and clairvoyant female salesclerk behind the counter who addresses her by name and sells her the thimble. As Marsha rides the elevator down, she notices that the thimble is scratched and dented; she is directed by the elevator operator to the Complaints Department on the third floor.

When she tries to convince Mr. Armbruster, the sales supervisor, and Mr. Sloan, the store manager, that she bought the item on the ninth floor, she is told that the store doesn't have a ninth floor. Marsha spots the back of the salesclerk who sold her the thimble, and is shocked to discover that the woman is not a salesclerk at all; she's one of the department store's display mannequins. While resting in an office following her frightening discovery, Marsha finds herself accidentally locked inside the closed store. She attempts to find a way out and becomes alarmed by mysterious voices calling to her and by some subtle movements made by the supposedly lifeless mannequins around her. Moving about aimlessly, she topples the sailor mannequin, whom she recognizes as the somewhat frustrated elevator operator in earlier encounters.

Becoming hysterical, she flees backward to the now-open elevator, which again transports her to the unoccupied ninth floor. There she gradually realizes that the "ninth floor" is a storage area occupied by thinking, animated mannequins. With the mannequins' gentle encouragement, she eventually realizes that she herself is also a mannequin. Within their society, the mannequins take turns, one at a time, to live among the humans for one month. Marsha had enjoyed her stay among "the outsiders" so much that she had forgotten her identity. Now that she has returned, the next mannequin in line — the female salesclerk — departs the store to live among the humans for thirty days. As the other mannequins bid farewell to the salesclerk, the sailor asks Marsha if she had enjoyed her time among the humans. Sweetly and sadly, she replies, "Ever so much fun. . . . Ever so much fun." She and the sailor assume "mannequin" postures, and grow rigid.

The next day, Mr. Armbruster is making his energetic morning rounds on the sales floor and does a double-take upon passing the mannequin of Marsha White on display. The final shot moves in on her, and then her face, which fades into the stars as the closing narration begins.

Closing narration[edit]

Props[edit]

The head of the mannequin double for Anne Francis was made from a cast of Francis' face done by noted make-up artist William J. Tuttle. Tuttle displayed the mannequin head in the 1968 MGM short film "The King of the Duplicators".[1]

Remake[edit]

The episode was remade in 1986 for The New Twilight Zone. It starred Terry Farrell as Marsha Cullen and Ann Wedgeworth as the Saleswoman. The plot is similar, but the emphasis is more on suspense. In addition, the Marsha in the remake is in denial of her identity and doesn't want to be a mannequin. She wants to be truly human, unlike the Marsha in the original, who simply forgot who she was and enjoyed feeling human for the month in which she lived among the outsiders.

Graphic novel[edit]

In 2008, the original episode was adapted as a graphic novel, "Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone: The After Hours", by Mark Kneece and Rebekah Isaacs.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The After Hours" at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Kneece, Mark and Serling, Rod (authors) and Isaacs, Rebekah (illustrator) "Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone: The After Hours" (2008), Walker Books. ISBN 0802797172

External links[edit]