The Four of Us Are Dying

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"The Four of Us Are Dying"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 13
Directed by John Brahm
Written by Rod Serling, adapted from "All of Us Are Dying", an unpublished story by George Clayton Johnson
Featured music Jerry Goldsmith
Production code 173-3618
Original air date January 1, 1960
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"What You Need"
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"Third from the Sun"
List of season 1 episodes
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"The Four of Us Are Dying" is episode 13 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on CBS on January 1, 1960.

Plot summary[edit]

Arch Hammer (Harry Townes) is a con man who can change his face to make it look like anyone he chooses. He walks into a nightclub where he impersonates deceased trumpeter Johnny Foster (Ross Martin) to steal Foster's girlfriend Maggie (Beverly Garland), a sultry singer. Hammer then pays a visit to Mr. Pennell (Bernard Fein), impersonating murdered gangster Virgil Sterig (Phillip Pine) to extort money from Pennell, the man who had had Sterig killed. Pennell sends his men after Hammer.

Trying to escape down an alley, Hammer changes his face to one he sees on a poster of boxer Andy Marshak (Don Gordon). But, thinking he is in the clear, at a street newsstand he runs into Marshak's father (Peter Brocco), who mistakes him for the son who broke his mother's heart and ruined a young girl's life. Hammer pushes the old man out of the way and returns to his hotel room. A detective comes to the hotel to pick him up for questioning at the police station. In order to escape from the policeman in a revolving door, Hammer assumes Marshak's appearance again. On the street he again bumps into Marshak's father, who pulls a gun on him. Hammer tries to show the old man he is not who he thinks he is, but before he can concentrate and change, the old man shoots him. As Hammer lies dying, his face shifts from one person to another until he dies wearing his own face.


"After the first half-dozen stories had been written, part of the hustle was getting an agent. Through those years I found several who would let me use their names, though few cared to sign a contract with me. One of these men, Jay Richards - at the time head of the television department of the Famous Artists Agency, long since absorbed by I.F.A. (International Famous Agency), and since embedded in I.C.M. (International Creative Management), which represents me now in television and movies - agreed to read something. I showed Jay 'All of Us Are Dying.' After reading it, he crossed out the title with a ballpoint pen and wrote in 'Rubberface!' Then he sent it to Rod Serling, who had a new series that season called The Twilight Zone." — George Clayton Johnson, writing in the August 1981 issue of The Twilight Zone Magazine

In 2005, The Four of Us Are Dying was produced for the stage by 4 Letter Entertainment.

In popular culture[edit]

"The Four of Us Are Dying" was the title of an instrumental on the 2008 album The Slip by industrial rock artist Nine Inch Nails.

"The Four of Us Are Dying" is also the title of a song from the 2013 album Blood Moon Rise by the Wisconsin native occult rock band Jex Thoth.

"The Five of Us Are Dying" was an early working title for My Chemical Romance's Welcome to the Black Parade.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]