The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
12 user 1 critic

A Piano in the House 

Sadistic and hated theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune buys a player piano that has the power to reveal the souls of all who hear it.



(as Earl Hamner), (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Esther Fortune
Gregory Walker
Marge Moore
Marvin - Butler


Theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune is looking to buy a different sort of gift for his wife's birthday. In a curio shop, he buys an old player piano. It's delivered to his home and when he starts it up it has a strange effect on his manservant, a normally dour man who breaks into mirthful laughter. When he plays another song, this time for a guest, the man breaks down and admits he's in love with Fortune's wife Esther. He decides to have fun with his party guests that evening but Esther decides to turn the tables on him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

16 February 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the opening scene, the lively song played by the player piano is "I'm In The Mood For Love"; however, the music roll reads, "Three O'Clock In The Morning", which is a slow waltz with music written by Julián Robledo. See more »


[closing narration]
Narrator: Mr. Fitzgerald Fortune, a man who went searching for concealed persons and found himself - in the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in The Pinball Arcade (2012) See more »


Clair de Lune
by Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

'The two of you together- what a picture you must be'
23 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

Alas, the relationship of the Fortunes makes for a different picture. These words are spoken by the proprietor of Treasures Unlimited while temporarily under the spell of the player-piano Fortune is buying. It has a magical quality to make people reveal their inner-self.

All the parts are played well. I mean literally all. Barry Morse leads admirably as the obnoxious theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune. He makes the character both watchable and detestable with a slick performance. The rest of the cast are just as good. His wife Esther (Joan Hackett) is a quiet victim feeling the pain of Fitzgerald's sadistic sense of humour (How sad it is that this brilliant actress died so young at 49). The butler, Marvin (Cyril Delevanti-also impressive in 'A Penny For Your Thoughts', series two) is a good though very small part.

Psychologically packed twenty-five minutes, if light on story.

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