Saturday Frights: Twilight Zone – “Long Distance Call” (1961)

Saturday Frights - Sean Hartter
Welcome back to all of you fans of fiendish film and TV! Those howls you hear from the creatures of the night need be no cause for alarm, you are safe down here with us in the Retroist vault! Us? Yeah, that’s the one and only Doug McCoy behind the concession stand and you can see the esteemed Daniel XIII manning the projector. We also have good friend to the Retroist site Claymation Werewolf as head usher and Phishbo3s in the ticket booth!

With the new Retroist Podcast featuring the Twilight Zone and my latest “Why Should You Know This Person?” focusing on Twilight Zone scribe Charles Beaumont it seemed the perfect time to share this Beaumont penned episode entitled “Long Distance Call”. The story involves ailing Grandmother Bayles (Lili Darvas) who dotes on her Grandson Billy Bayles (Bill Mumy) much to the dismay of his Mother (Patricia Smith) and Father (Philip Abbot), on his birthday Billy is given a toy phone by his Grandmother shortly before she passes away. The next day however Billy’s Mother finds him talking on the toy telephone claiming he is speaking to Grandmother Bayles…and she is lonely and wants him to come stay with her.

Now when you watch this classic Twilight Episode pay particular attention to the writing by Beaumont, the subtle way we are given pieces of information regarding the family at the beginning (coupled of course with the great acting by the cast) and how quickly the character of Grandma Bayles goes from being a very sad and lonely woman to something very dangerous and frightening.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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