The elderly Elva Keen is not too happy when she begins receiving phone calls in the middle of the night. At first the calls are little more than static and her complaints to the local telephone operator, Miss Finch, seem to go unheeded. Over time however, she begins to hear a man's voice but out of fear, tells whoever it is to go away. When Miss Finch reports they've found the problem Elva visits the site only to realize the identity of the caller and that regardless of anything she's said, desperately wants the calls to continue.Written by
Originally scheduled to air on November 22, 1963, it was preempted by John F. Kennedy's assassination. In the alternate timeline featured in The Twilight Zone: Profile in Silver/Button, Button (1986) in which JFK's assassination was prevented, a CBS television announcement is heard: "We will now return to our regular programming" and the theme of The Twilight Zone (1959) is played, a reference to the intended broadcast date of this episode. See more »
When Elva is sitting in her car at the cemetery, there's a man's face visible to the left of her head, reflected in one of the car windows, and then it's replaced by a hand twisting something. It is unclear what is being twisted, since the camera isn't moving at the time. See more »
Miss Elva Keene lives alone on the outskirts of London Flats, a tiny rural community in Maine. Up until now, the pattern of Miss Keene's existence has been that of lying in her bed or sitting in her wheelchair, reading books, listening to a radio, eating, napping, taking medication and - waiting for something different to happen. Miss Keene doesn't know it yet, but her period of waiting has just ended. For something different is about to happen to her, has, in fact already ...
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Once upon a time, before cells and mobile phones there was something called a party line, which was a cost effective way for low income people to maintain telephone service without having to pay a lot. The solution was simple: share the expenses (and the monthly charge) with someone else. The only problem would be that one could not make or receive calls if the other person was on the line.
In this Twilight Zone episode, Night Call, the elderly, invalid Elva Keene, who lives alone, cared for only by a nurse, starts to receive phone calls from someone who sounds far away. It's a man's voice but she can't quite hear what he's saying. He tends to call her late at night, when she's alone, and these calls frighten her. As we learn a thing or two about Miss Keene's past we begin to understand her, as we come to realize that she has a bad conscience, and for good reason. These unsettling phone calls are bringing back memories, as she recalls experiences from her youth; and hers is not a party line.
This is one of the few entries in the Twilight Zones series that plays like a pure horror from start to finish. Not a violent or gruesome horror; more like a ghost story. Written and directed by masters, Richard Matheson and Jacques Tourneur, splendidly acted by Gladys Cooper in the lead role, it ends on a note of sheer terror. No axes come crashing through doors, there are no vampires, werewolves or monsters, just an image and no more. Those who keep their phones next to their beds might want to think twice about leaving them on after watching Night Call.
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