Monday, September 6, 2021

TALES OF TOMORROW / "The Great Silence" - 1953

Here's a fun little episode near the end of the run of Tales From Tomorrow. It's kind of a comedy with creepy moments for balance. The main stars are Burgess Meredith and Lilia Skala, Burgess was one busy actor (for good reason, he's an animated guy!)  with 182 acting credits. Lilia has 72 credits, her first movie was in 1931 and worked until 1990, she was born in 1896 and passed on in 1994 at the grand old age of 98!

In this story, a strange phenomenon is taking place in the Pacific northwest, and it is spreading from there across the US. People are losing their ability to speak as it effects the vocal cords. The government goes on the radio and TV to say that they believe the problem is the result of an experimental H-Bomb test, and the radiation is causing the loss of speech. And they say it is only temporary, don't worry, things will be back to normal soon...

An illiterate couple, Paul and Mathilde, are messing with each other since they can't speak. Mathilde is hungry (portrayed in pantomime) and threatens to shoot Paul unless he goes out and brings back a rabbit to eat! NOW!! 

So, Paul goes out in the woods but sees something lying on the ground, and it freaks him out! What in the HELL!

He walks back and picks the thing up... It's a small weird looking glove with only two fingers on it! Now come on, that's creepy.

Then he sees a spaceship hidden by some brush, and at top is a smoke machine, that's actually the reason for the loss of speech, and it's spreading across the country from this ship!

Paul crawls up to the window and looks inside. What he sees sends chills down his spine and he heads back to the cabin.

The little monster dude inside has fairly creepy makeup for this episode. The 'visitor' is played by Glenn Styres, he has one acting credit, for Tales Of Tomorrow, this one and he played the Martian in "Plague From Space" which I've already reviewed.

Back at the ranch, Paul shows up without a wabbit and Mathilde is angry! But, Paul tries to explain what he saw in the woods. She's not getting it until Paul turns a cup upside down on a saucer. After he lays the cup on the table, he picks the cup up and points inside. She's starting to believe him and even picks the cup up and looks inside it!

Paul listens to the radio, the announcer says that the radiation is ready to hit D.C. and a second later he stops talking, since he's in D.C. and all.

The only thing Paul can think of doing is go to the county commissioner....

The Commissioner is played by the always entertaining Paul Ford. Paul (in the story) is illiterate and so acts out the story. There's only so much to work with in the office so Paul points to a star on the flag indicating their state, he walks around using his fingers as devil horns, grabs the Commissioner's cigar and blows the smoke in his face, indicating the smoke coming from the ship...

The Commissioner goes along with the whole thing until he pushes a button and Paul is escorted out of the building.

He goes back to the cabin and gets an idea!! There it is, a pack of TNT...

Paul lights the long fuse but steps on a bear trap and cannot get away!

The explosion goes off and the spaceship is blown to pieces, including the visitor!

Suddenly, Mathilde shows up and thinks Paul has been killed, but he's alive and they can speak again, Paul covers his ears as she screams his name!

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