FILMFAX Magazine – ‘Way Out Episode Guide

This article is courtesy of the excellent Keith Folk. Thanks Keith!


“William and Mary” (3/31/61)
“The Down Car” (4/7/61)
“The Sisters” (4/14/61)
“Button, Button” (4/28/61)
“I Heard You Calling Me” (5/5/61)
“The Croaker” (5/12/61)
“False Face” (5/26/61)
“Dissolve to Black” (6/2/61)
“Death Wish” (6/9/61)
“Overnight Case” (6/16/61)
“Hush, Hush” (6/23/61)
“Side Show” (6/30/61)
“Soft Focus” (7/7/61)
“20/20” (7/14/61)

“William and Mary” (3/31/61)

"William and Mary"Writer: Roald Dahl; Director: Marc Daniels

William Pearl, a professor of philosophy, has been told that he has only one or two months to live. When his dowdy wife, Mary, comes to visit him in the hospital, he browbeats her, demanding she get rid of such “extravagances” as newspapers and telephones. After she leaves, Dr. Martin Landy, senior neurosurgeon at the hospital, visits. Dr. Landy tells the professor there is no need for his brain to stop functioning just because his body is dying and suggests that Pearl let him put his brain in a tank. He would be able to think in peace, see through one eye, and communicate through a “highly sensitive, oscillating electroencephalogram.”

When the doctor lights a cigarette, Prof. Pearl orders him to stop smoking, saying that he has never permitted it in his presence. He then agrees to let Dr. Landy have his brain after he dies. The reason: “To irritate my wife. My wife is longing for me to die.”

A month later, Prof. Pearl passes away, and Dr. Landy successfully performs the operation. Mrs. Pearl, who is busy at home dancing to a new hi-fi, wearing make-up and flashy clothes, and smoking, is notified by phone of the success of the operation. When she comes to the hospital, she is shown the brain in the basin, the eye, and the encephalogram that registers her husband’s feelings. Mrs. Pearl asks when she can have him home. Dr. Landy is shocked, but Mrs. Pearl insists that she wants him back. When the encephalogram shows how upset the professor is at Mary’s smoking, she tells the brain, “From now on, my pet, you’re going to do just exactly what Mary tells you, you understand?” As she leaves, she blows cigarette smoke into the eye, saying, “I just can’t wait to get him home!”

“The Down Car” (4/7/61)

Writer: Phil Reisman, Jr.; Director: Marc Daniels

It is Saturday, the day of John Ventry’s funeral. He has shot himself with a .45 in his office. Ellie, his secretary, has come back to the office after the services to work with Mr. Bayle, Mr. Ventry’s partner and his executive officer when they were in the Navy. While in the office, Ellie and Mr. Bayle discover a checkbook in Mr. Bayle’s desk which should be at the coroner’s office. Then, while signing a letter, Bayle keeps uncontrollably signing Ventry’s name. After Ellie leaves, there is a flashback.

John Ventry, we discover, preferred betting the horses to taking part in the business of Ventry and Bayle. Bayle tells him that there is $10,000 missing from their reserve account, and that he has called in an outside auditor to find the loss. Ventry, of course, resents this. The next day, Bayle tells Ventry the auditor has found several checks signed by Ventry made out to a fake corporation. The shortage is in excess of $200,000. Making sure that they are alone in the office with the phone cut off, Bayle reveals to Ventry that he forged Ventry’s name on the checks in order to gain control of the company. He also has forged Ventry’s name to a confession and suicide note. Handing Ventry his own .45, Bayle forces Ventry’s hand to his head and kills him.

Back in the present, Bayle, alone in the office, hears noises and voices from the day of Ventry’s death. He finds the .45 on the floor, then Ventry’s door opens. In Ventry’s office, he feels a presence that almost forces him to shoot himself. He runs into the elevator, whch begins to fall, stops at the basement, then plunges again. The doors open and Bayle sees a man’s back. Relieved, Bayle tells the man that he thought the elevator was going to crash. The figure turns. It is John Ventry, who tells him that the elevator has crashed. “Welcome aboard, Navy buddy,” he concludes to Bayle.

“The Sisters” (4/14/61)

Writer: Irving Gaynor Nelman; Director: Tom Donovan

Harriet and Louise live together in a house overlooking the shore in Maine. In charge of raising her younger sister, Louise, Harriet forbids Louise to go dancing at the nearby casino or to see a neighbor, Paul Marchand, whom Harriet calls “unsuitable.” Harriet, who is excessively neat, also constantly warns Louise about the dangers of fresh air, wine, and love – except of course, the love of sisters. “And we’ll always have that, won’t we?” she says. “For as long as we live.”

Later, after reproving Louise for talking to Paul, Harriet tells Louise, “I’ll always be with you, as long as you need me.” At the moment, the edge of the cliff gives way. But instead of helping Harriet, Louise turns away and lets Harriet fall to her death. After the funeral, Louise goes happily to bed in her comfortably messy bedroom with the window wide open. When she wakes in the morning, the room is neat, her clothes are in the closet, the window is closed.

Louise sees more of Paul and considers going to Europe with him. However, the house continues to be kept according to Harriet’s strictures, without Louise doing it. At night, she sees a woman’s figure, limping like Harriet, closing windows and straightening the house. In the light, we see that it is Louise. But when Paul speaks to her over the front door intercom, she answers as Harriet, telling him that, “Louise is not home to you.” Louise continues to clean the house and shut out the night air.

“Button, Button” (4/28/61)

Writer: Elliot Bakers; Director: Tom Donovan

Captain Stone is awakened from a dream by Sergeant Burke. Stone gets out of bed to take his shift in the underground command center at a U.S. missile base. When Sergeant Gee, carrying a portable radio, comes in as a replacement for one of the men, he speaks lightly of “pushing the button,” too lightly for Captain Stone. Though Gee has the proper papers and knows the proper routines, no one has seen him on the base before. Suddenly, Gee tells them that the lights signaling an alert are on. Stone verifies it, and they move to a full alert.

While waiting for the alert to end, Gee rambles on about how many people the missiles would kill, as if anxious to push the buttons that would launch them. When the all-clear signal does not come, they find that Gee’s radio no longer works. Gee tells them that he thinks no one is alive on the surface and that the enemy missiles have hit their targets, harping on images of mass death. He convinces all the others, except Stone, that they should push the buttons and retaliate.

While the others hold Stone, Gee takes Stone’s key, opens up the panel, and launches all eight missiles. Suddenly, the portable radio begins to work again, and the base answers their call, saying that a waste-basket fire in the control room had caused the temporary communication breakdown. Gee happily announces that the missiles are blasting the enemy as Stone, murmuring “No, no,” is awakened by Sgt. Burke. Stone enters the bunker – the same one as in his dream, complete with the same men. Just as he is about to tell the others about his dream, Sgt. Gee walks in, acting exactly as he did in the dream. Gee winks at Stone, telling him he is there to carry out his mission. Stone, who looks at Gee in great terror, holds the key to the panel tightly and protectively.

“I Heard You Calling Me” (5/5/61)

"I Heard You Calling Me"Writer: Sumner Elliot; Director: Daniel Petrie

Freda Mansfield, an American in her mid-thirties, is getting ready to check out of her London hotel. She telephones George Frobisher. They are planning to fly to New York together. After she hangs up, the phone rings. A young, well-bred Englishwoman tells Freda, “I know what you’ve planned, but it won’t happen,” insisting that she won’t be allowed to destroy George Frobisher’s marriage. “You are not going to America with him tonight because you are coming with me.”

Freda immediately phones George, who tells her neither his wife nor any other woman knows that he is planning to run away with her. The woman calls again, saying that Freda is going with her, and that Mr. Sandys at George’s office has made the arrangements. She will be there at seven o’clock. Freda asks the hotel operator where the calls came from and is told that no calls at all came in. When Freda tells George about Mr. Sandys, he tells her that Sandys died 15 years ago.

Freda orders a cab and frantically packs so that she can leave before seven. The woman calls again, telling Freda that she will be there before seven, that she is at the Wintergarten Hotel, and that they will having adjoining suites on the A deck of a ship leaving from Southampton.

She tells Freda that her name is Mrs. Rose Thorn. When Freda tells the desk clerk about the Wintergarten hotel, she’s told it was torn down years ago.

The phone rings again. Mrs. Thorn says that she’s in the lobby. Freda runs to the elevator and sees the silhouette of a young woman dressed in the height of fashion for 1912. Fleeing into the room, Freda screams, and falls across the bed as the clock strikes seven. Later, George comes in to find a doctor examining Freda’s dead body. The doctor tells George that Freda shows the signs of either virulent pneumonia – or drowning. When George learns that Freda feared the calls from a Mrs. Rose Thorn, he reveals that Rose Thorn was his mother who died on the Titanic 49 years ago.

“The Croaker” (5/12/61)

Writer: Phil Reisman, Jr.; Director: Paul Bogart

Jeremy Keeler, a nine-year-old boy deservedly disliked by everyone in his neighborhood, invades his new neighbor’s house. Jeremy is looking for the Tench’s dog, Spot, which he set loose in order to return it and claim a reward. Despite the barking in the next room, Mr. Rana, the neighbor, tells Jeremy that he has not seen the dog and gives Jeremy $.25 to forget anything he has seen or heard. In addition, Mr. Rana, who raises frogs, tells Jeremy he will pay him to collect flies for them. When Jeremy leaves, Rana pours some drops from a vial into a bowl and goes off to give the dog its “last dinner.” In the meantime, Jeremy hurries off to the constantly bickering Tenchs to tell them, for a price of course, that their dog is at Mr. Rana’s. When Fred Tench goes to Rana’s house, Rana gives him some drops from the vial in a drink, and Mr. Tench begins to burp like a frog.

The next day when Jeremy again invades Mr. Rana’s house uninvited, he discovers that Rana’s bedroom is a pond filled with frogs. Mr. Rana, catching Jeremy in the room, tells him that frogs are the high point of evolution, and that one day they will take over the world. After Jeremy leaves, Rana proceeds to feed Spot and Fred. Meanwhile at the Tench house, Cora Tench is speaking to Sgt. McGoogan about her missing husband. Jeremy again enters uninvited and unwanted and tells them that Mr. Rana has turned Mr. Tench into a frog. But the sergeant chases him out. Cora is shocked to discover a huge, racalcitrant frog sitting in her husband’s chair. She goes to Rana’s house to complain, followed by the frog, and is offered a drink by the courteous and sympathetic Rana. As she drinks, Cora begins to burp like a frog too.

Later in his bedroom, Rana feeds flies to his frogs Spot, Freddie, and Cora – even to himself. Just then Jeremy breaks in, explaining to Mr. Rana that he has developed his own formula – to change people not into frogs, but into snakes. He takes Sgt. McGoogan, now a garter snake, out of his pocket, and tells him and Rana that he’ll have plenty to eat.

“False Face” (5/26/61)

Writer: Larry Cohen; Director: Paul Bogart

Michael Drake, a Broadway actor, is getting ready to star as Quasimodo in “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.” He enters a Bowery flophouse to find a bum he has seen with the “ugliest face in the world.” He pays the bum $50 to return with him to his dressing room so he can copy the man’s face for his Quasimodo makeup. Drake is so dedicated to the play that he has been ignoring his girlfriend, co-star Rita Singer, and spends the whole day readying his “face” to give a better performance. While Drake is copying his face, the bum reveals that he drinks because of his hatred of people who make him feel like a monster. At last Drake is finished. He looks exactly like the bum, whom he curtly dismisses.

That night, the play is a great success, but after the performance, Drake can’t remove the makeup. He tells Rita that the putty has grown on him, has become part of his face. As Rita laughs, Drake runs out of the theater, returning to the Bowery in search of the bum. Everyone he meets thinks Drake is the bum, who was terribly drunk when they last saw him. At the flophouse where he first discovered him, Drake finds the bum passed out on a cot. When he turns him over, Drake sees that the man now has his, Michael Drake’s, face. But when he demands his face back, the manager tells him that the bum is dead.

“Dissolve to Black” (6/2/61)

"Dissolve to Black"Writer: Irving Gaynor Neiman; Director: Bill Corrigan

Bonnie Draco arrives one night at TV Studio 5 for her first acting job in television. It’s a short role with no speaking part; Bonnie must stumble upon a murder in progress, flee from the killer, and die by his hand. After she rehearses briefly with Harry, the stage manager, and the killer with his rubber knife, Bonnie is asked to remain a few minutes for another run through.

The cast and crew depart. Bonnie sits on the empty stage awaiting instructions from George, the director. Silence and darkness envelop her. Finally, the lights go up. George shouts instructions, but the camera reveals an empty control booth! A new cast, the “night” crew, appears on stage, and a new victim is stabbed. In horror, Bonnie picks up the bloodied knife – a real one. Climbing through a window to her freedom, Bonnie spots a nearby bar where the killer is finishing a drink. He starts to move toward her. Bonnie hides in the alley, the same alley where her killing was rehearsed. With the killer in pursuit, she runs for her life. As she screams, George, still shouting instructions, calls for a dissolve. Bonnie fades to a blur.

The next morning, the original cast arrives for rehearsal. Enraged by Bonnie’s absence, George calls for a replacement – a dedicated actress who will be prepared to rehearse after hours.

“Death Wish” (6/9/61)

Writer: Irving Gaynor Neiman; Director: Boris Sagal

Poor George Atterbury! He’s married to a television addict. Even the solemnity of a funeral can’t distract Hazel from babbling about her favorite shows. Throughout a real ceremony, she relates an episode about a girl who goes to her Tuscaloosa cousin’s funeral, and instead of her cousin, finds a stranger in the coffin. Hazel thinks this show was a “howl,” but George is not amused. As if reading his thoughts, Petard, a charmingly perceptive undertaker, gives George a sympathetic nod.

At home, sitting mesmerized by the screen, Hazel asks George to name his favorite show. Storming out, he mutters it’s the one about the man who murders his wife “simply because he can’t stand listening to her anymore.” Pacing the streets, George makes his decision. But how can he get away with it? A sign in the funeral home window, thoughtfully placed by Petard, catches his eye: “Let us dispose of the body.”

His curiosity aroused, George enters and is shown the latest in caskets and Petard’s “do-it-yourself” kit, complete with rope and shovel. George is delighted. The papers are signed and the bargain is sealed with a toast. Charon, Petard’s ghastly assistant, starts to measure George, as the undertake relates the story of poor Mrs. Harrison. A woman disappointed in marriage, she, like George, had come to Petard with murder on her mind. After the customary constract-signing and toast, Petard explained to her his “death wish” theory – an unhappy person doesn’t really wish to murder, he wants to die himself. Now, it’s George’s turn.

“Overnight Case” (6/16/61)

Writer: Nicholas Pryor; Director: Paul Bogart

In the pre-dawn grayness, a woman awakens in a shabby, unfamiliar apartment lysing beside a stranger who swears he’s her husband, Bill Clayton. Calling her Norma, he insists her dreams are starting to overwhelm her; he will call her psychiatrist, Dr. Sandham, that very morning. Frantic, she screams her name is not Norma, and her nightmare is not over. Vainly attempting to end this madness, she starts to pack a small overnight case, for always, in the dreams, she awakens before the suitcase is full. This time it doesn’t work. Pleading for her freedom, she runs to the door. It’s locked.

As she lies sedated on the psychiatrist’s couch, Bill goes over the story with Dr. Sandham. The only way Bill could lure her to the doctor’s office was by promising to reunite her with her “real” husband. As the sedative wears off, she awakens to Dr. Sandham’s smile. Playing along with the delusion, he listens partiently while she closes her eyes and recounts the terrible dream about Bill. Happy it’s all over, she opens her eyes to see Bill in the doctor’s chair. Hysterical, she runs into the waiting room pleading for help from Dr. Sandham’s nurse. Opening the office door to prove it’s empty, the nurse assures her the doctor hasn’t even arrived yet. She must have been dreaming while waiting for him.

Finally, Dr. Sandham appears, and, as before, the woman is relieved to see her real husband. But the psychiatrist shows no recognition of her. She’s a new patient sent over by her husband with some problem having to do with bad dreams. Trying to pacify her, Dr. Sandham walks her into the office. Glancing at his briefcase, she once again confronts the unpacked overnight case and runs out screaming.

At last, the morning comes and she awakens safely in her own bed. Smiling at a picture of her tall, young husband, the woman calls to Fred over the sound of the shower. Through the bathroom, they both laugh over the details of the dream. Ready for breakfast, a tall, greying man enters the kitchen and the woman stands shocked. Running to the photograph of Fred, she sees a different man, the same one who stands before her. Holding her overnight case, she sobs, “It’s still going on! I’m not awake, I’m not awake!”

“Hush, Hush” (6/23/61)

Writer: Bob Van Scoyk; Director: Mel Ferber

Dr. Ernest Lydecker’s personal life is anything but tranquil. Constantly nagged by his social-climbing wife, Bernice, the absent-minded, unkempt professor prefers the solitude of his laboratory to her cocktail parties and boring friends. A specialist in experimental psychology, Lydecker makes a startling discovery. With concentrated sound waves focused through a cone, he can lull a spry, little mouse into a peaceful, sonic trance. Late one evening, as he successfully trys [sic] the experiment on a chimp, Bernice storms into the lab. This is absolutely the last time she will be embarrassed by his absence at one of her dinner parties. As Bernice sobs, Lydecker gets a flash. He focuses the sound waves on her for the ultimate experiment – a human subject. She is a changed woman. As docile as the mouse and chimp, Bernice smiles and declares a permanent truce.

At home, life is calm, but not for Bernice. The experiment has worked too well. The phone, the refrigerator, the chiming clock, and the barking dog all distract her from her serene world. So she eliminates them.

One day Lydecker comes home to find that Bernice has pushed a loud-mouthed friend out the apartment window. The police think it’s a suicide, but the professor, spotting the smashed clock and the cut phone wire, discerns the truth.

Attempting to reverse the experiment, Lydecker urges Bernice to return to the lab for another sound treatment; however, she has no desire to change. He pleads in a louder and louder voice till she can bear it no longer. Her world must be absolutely quiet. His fate is sealed.

“Side Show” (6/30/61)

Writer: Elliott Baker; Director: Seymour Robbie

Saddled with a meaningless job and a fault-finding wife, Harold Potter, an introverted little bookkeeper, stares wide-eyed at the tattered entrance to a sideshow tent. The barker’s spiel draws him in. First stop, a magical fish that changes color – every three months. Next, the execution. With the yank of a cord, a blade neatly slices off a woman’s head. Lifting it from the basket, the barker proudly displays the ghastly sight to the crowd.

Finally, the main attraction, the headless Cassandra sits strapped in her electric throne. “Ten thousands volts keep her alive.” Above her shoulders, a small light glows. Harold tags along, as a disappointed crowd heads for the exit. Taking one last look, he is stopped cold. A sweet supplicating voice coming from Cassandra’s light calls to him, begging him to stay. Hearing the barker complaining, he heads for the exit again. As he goes, Cassandra pleads for him to return the next night.

Cowering before his wife, Edna, Harold makes excuses for his lateness. With her usual needling, she gets the truth from him. Hearing his account of the carnival, she heaps further ridicule on him.

The next even, paying $.50 for a private showing, Harold walks unescorted to a grateful Cassandra. She senses his unhappiness, similar to hers. She years to be free of the carnival and the sadistic barker. Promising to return the next night to help her escape, Harold, for once in his life, feels needed. The barker, overhearing the whispers, forces Harold out. In the distance, he hears Cassandra scream, punished by jolts of electricity.

Harold bolts his dinner and leaves home with a pair of pliers. Edna only laughs at him. While the barker is busy out front luring “suckers,” Harold sneaks through the exit flap. Cassandra is overjoyed; Harold is her “Casanova.” Lifting the metal straps with the pliers, he stiffens as the sparks fly.

Later that evening, Edna forces her way past the barker in search of her husband. An old crone watches over the man seated in the chair. Cackling, she smoothes the stitches on her neck; her head matches that of the guillotined lady. Above the headless Casanova, the light glows.

“Soft Focus” (7/7/61)

Writer: Phillip Reisman, Jr.; Director: Ron Winston

Peter Pell, a successful portrait photographer, has discovered an extraordinary chemical. By retouching photos with this strange mixture, he is able to alter the pictures and change the actual faces. Secretly, he touches up the scarred portrait of a once beautiful actress, removes the birthmark from the cheek of a boy, and fixes the squint in a customer’s eyes. Pell’s clients attribute their improved appearances to miraculous cures; for example, the actress had been seeing a faith healer. With the technique perfected, Pell turns his style of plastic surgery to another subject.

Long suspecting his young attractive wife, Louise, of committing adultery with his assistant, Bill Fontaine, Pell overhears them plotting to run off together. When they leave, he sets to work on her photo. Weeks pass as Pell slowly adds years to Louise’s face. Finally, one day when Pell is in the darkroom, Bill and Louise empty the safe and arrange to meet that evening. Arriving just in time to find Bill running out on her, Louise is forced to gaze in the mirror. A withered, wrinkled image stares back; Bill has no place in his life for an old lady.

Back at the studio, Louise surprises her husband, who has been at work on his own photo. His new, youthful face reveals the truth. In a rage, she pours the fluid on his portrait. A pool of it covers half the picture. Pell looks up – with half his face gone!

“20/20” (7/14/61)

Writer: Jerome Ross; Director: Paul Bosner

Straining to make out an address through his new horn–rims, Hervey Cartright, a timid little man with a briefcase full of books, knocks on the door of a taxidermy shop. The Jellifers, a friendly old couple, greet Hervey warmly. However, the encyclopedia salesman learns he is at the wrong place; the Jellifers did not inquire about a free trial offer. Hervey shyly suggests that he must have copied the number wrong. He’s been having trouble with his new glasses.

Mrs. Jellifer explains Hervey’s plight to one of her specimens, Mahatma, a stuffed viper. The snake writhes in response as Hervey watches, horrified. The Jellifers “keep one or two around as special pets.” Hervey leaves hurriedly, cautioning the Jellifers about the loose snakes. They assure him that there is no danger; they have no customers. Avowed misanthropes, they prefer the company of animals – even stuffed ones.

At home, Hervey is badgered by his wife, Stephanie. She takes every opportunity to criticize him for not measuring up to Stanley, her first husband. At the office, Hervey is also treated like a doormat. This time, his boss berates him for copying the inventory list wrong. Putting on the new glasses to examine his mistake, Hervey is astonished to find himself back with the Hellifers and their “pets.” They are all pleased to see each other again. Removing the glasses brings Hervey back to the office where his boss continues to ride him.

Later, in the middle of an argument with Stephanie, Hervey puts on the glasses in time to see the Jellifers readying Mahatma for a “mission.” As the leaders of “The Society for the Eradication of People,” they tell Hervey their real business. As “agents” for the animals, they kill people. Removing the glasses, Hervey finds Stephanie still pining for Stanley. An arrangement with the Jellifers, he thinks, can surely put an end to that. All too delighted to help remedy the overpopulation, the Jellifers plan to have Mahatma strike at 3:00 a.m. Hervey sets his clock to ring at 3:15 a.m.

The alarm sounds, and Hervey awakens to find Stephanie peering at him through his glasses. Reunited with her old friends, the Jellifers, she doubles Hervey’s contribution to their Society and hires Mahatma herself. The Jellifers are happy to oblige. One of their greatest successes was the elimination of Stanley. The job done, Stephanie removes her wedding ring and the horn-rims, and neatly places them in a small box – beside several other wedding rings and glasses.