The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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The Old Man in the Cave 

In a post-apocalyptic settlement in 1974, the inhabitants' survival is dependent on the advice of an unseen man living in a nearby cave. This dependence is tested when a band of soldiers descends on their town.

Director:

Alan Crosland Jr.

Writers:

Rod Serling (teleplay by), Henry Slesar (based on a short story "The Old Man" by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
James Coburn ... Major French
John Anderson ... Goldsmith
Josie Lloyd ... Evie
John Craven ... Man
John Marley ... Jason
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Storyline

Ten years after an atomic apocalypse, a small group of survivors manage to eke out a very difficult existence. They've managed to survive in large part due to the advice they receive from an old man who lives in a cave outside of the town. Goldsmith acts as the intermediary and the old man's advice on things like crops or the safety of a batch of old canned goods are usually correct. When four soldiers led by Major French arrive in the town, the social order is upended with the townsfolk attacking the old man's cave but not really prepared for what they find inside. Written by garykmcd

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Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1963 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode takes place in 1974. See more »

Goofs

Goldsmith says, "The rest of the world have all died of radioactivity, strontium 90, plague." Strontium 90 is a radioactive isotope of strontium, making it redundant in this case. Strontium 90 is dangerous to humans because the human body treats it like calcium, and it's taken directly into bones. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Opening Narration] What you're looking at is a legacy that man left to himself. A decade previous, he pushed his buttons and, a nightmarish moment later, woke up to find that he had set the clock back a thousand years. His engines, his medicines, his science were buried in a mass tomb, covered over by the biggest gravedigger of them all: a Bomb. And this is the Earth ten years later, a fragment of what was once a whole, a remnant of what was once a race. The year is 1974, and this is the ...
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Connections

Featured in Limitless: Fundamentals of Naked Portraiture (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Serling's update on Old Testament Elijah vs. Ahab
19 November 2011 | by cynthia_keeganSee all my reviews

I'm not religious, but it's pretty clear that this great apocalyptic episode is pretty much taken straight from the Old Testament Biblical parable of Elijah leading a village of Israelites in the wilderness. In the parable, God, through his prophet Elijah, withholds food from Elijah's people. The non-believer Ahab comes to the village and confronts Elijah, asking how a true God could deny His people food. Ahab also says a true God would not speak just through one person- Elijah-and demands to be shown proof that this God exists. In the episode Goldsmith is Elijah and James Coburn's army commander is Ahab. The Old Man In the Cave is you-know-who. This episode asks: what would happen if the people followed the non-believer instead of the true prophet? The arch-eyebrowed Rod Serling pretty much sums it up at the conclusion when he states that those who do not have "faith" must pay. Pretty heavy handed but nice.


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