Two (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Montgomery Pittman|
|Written by||Montgomery Pittman|
|Featured music||Nathan Van Cleave|
|Original air date||September 15, 1961|
|“||This is a jungle, a monument built by nature honoring disuse, commemorating a few years of nature being left to its own devices. But it's another kind of jungle, the kind that comes in the aftermath of man's battles against himself. Hardly an important battle, not a Gettysburg, or a Marne, or an Iwo Jima; more like one insignificant corner patch in the crazy quilt of combat. But it was enough to end the existence of this little city.
It's been five years since a human being walked these streets. This is the first day of the sixth year, as man used to measure time. The time: perhaps 100 years from now, or sooner—or perhaps it already happened 2 million years ago. The place: the signposts are in English so that we may read them more easily, but the place is the Twilight Zone.
A female soldier (Elizabeth Montgomery) wearing a tattered brown uniform stumbles into a deserted city. She looks into some of the shop windows before spying what was a restaurant. She finds a can of chicken in the kitchen, but before she can open it, a man (Charles Bronson) wearing a worn gray, shield-front uniform tunic walks in. She attacks him. The man knocks her out and begins to ravenously eat the chicken. The man notices a dove, which flies away.
He leaves the restaurant and goes to a newsstand. A copy of the newspaper reveals that the city was evacuated during the war. He returns to the kitchen and wakes the woman by dumping a pot of water on her face. He says there is no reason to fight anymore and that she can have the leftover chicken, but eventually realizes that she cannot understand English and departs. The woman is wary, but eats the chicken. She then follows him into a barber shop and watches as he shaves. He tosses a bar of soap to her, then a towel, which she uses to wash her dirty face. They wander down the street, coming to a movie theater. He stares at a poster for a wartime romance film and turns to smile at her. They find the skeletal remains of soldiers at the theater entrance and snatch nearby rifles, simultaneously aiming at each other.
After a tense moment, the man turns and walks away, slinging his weapon over his shoulder. The woman follows him, and the two walk along the city street. They stop in front of a store with a dress in the broken display window and she mutters, "pryekrasnyy" (прекрасный), the Russian word for "beautiful". He hands the dress to her and tells her to go and put it on. She enters the building, which turns out to be a recruiting office. As she prepares to change into the dress, she notices the jingoistic enlistment posters on the wall. She grabs her rifle, exits the office and angrily shoots at him twice, but misses. The man gets up, looks at her incredulously, and walks away. As night falls, she returns to the barber shop to sleep in the barber's chair, staring at the dress.
The next morning, the man has changed out of his uniform into a makeshift tuxedo and has found two jars of peaches. He sees the woman waiting, peeking at him from behind a truck in the street below. He yells at her to leave. She emerges from behind the truck wearing the dress. He tosses one of the jars to her and says, "pryekrasnyy". She smiles, and they walk away together.
|“||This has been ... a love story, about two lonely people who found each other ... in the Twilight Zone.||”|
This episode was filmed on the backlot of Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California, which was falling apart due to mismanagement and disuse. (The facilities were finally torn down in 1963.) Very little set decoration was needed to create the illusion of an abandoned city. The interior bracing that holds up the facade is visible through the second story windows in the opening shots of the episode and the credits.
- 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