TV Review: THE TWILIGHT ZONE “The Man in the Bottle”
The good folks at Image Entertainment sent us the brand new affordable “episode only” edition of The Twilight Zone: Season Two, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been been binge watching the show. I loved it as a kid, and it’s been a blast revisiting the show. I thought we’d take a look at some of my favorite episodes from The Twilight Zone‘s second season, and to kick things off, we’re going starting with “The Man in the Bottle“.
The Man in the Bottle stars Luther Adler (D.O.A., CAST A GIANT SHADOW) as Arthur, the owner of an antique store that is on the brink of bankruptcy. While he’s trying to his hardest to keep him and his wife Edna afloat, Arthur just can’t bring himself to say no, when an older woman comes in, trying to sell Arthur a “family heirloom” vase. Arthur feels sorry for the old lady, and gives her money for it, a decision that his wife gives him flack for.
After accidentally breaking the vase, a mysterious man appears, saying that he’s a genie, and that he’s there to grant Arthur and Edna four wishes. Not believing him at first, Arthur and Edna challenge him by using their first wish to fix a glass case of theirs, which the genie does. Now believers, Arthur and Edna decide to change their financial problems by using their second wish to gain a million dollars, which instantly turns them into a popular couple. Now millionaires, the couple begin to hand out money to those in need, until an IRS agent informs them that they’re being taxed on their new-found riches, and after all of that is said and done, the couple is now left with almost nothing.
The genie warns the couple to be more specific, and defeated by his life to date, Arthur demand to use his third wish to become a powerful leader, a person in power. He instantly opens his eyes, revealing that he has become Hitler, in one of the final days of World War II. Freaked out, Arthur doesn’t know what to do, and it isn’t made much better when one of his men gives him a glass of poison, so that he can kill himself to avoid capture. Scared out of his mind, and wanting things to be back to normal, Arthur throws the vial down, using his final wish to be transported back to his old life.
Now back at his shop, poor as hell, and with nothing going for him and his wife, Arthur realizes that his life isn’t all that bad, that he has his own shop, a wife that loves him, and that well..he’s not Hitler anymore.
Like any other episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Man in the Bottle” uses the story as a metaphor for being grateful for you have, that always wishing for what’s greener on the other side, usually doesn’t end up the way you think it will. It’s a really awesome episode, definitely one of my favorites. Check it out if you have the chance!
THE TWILIGHT ZONE: SEASON TWO is now available on DVD from Image Entertainment/CBS.