A World of Difference
|"A World of Difference"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Scene from A World of Difference
|Directed by||Ted Post|
|Written by||Richard Matheson|
|Featured music||Van Cleave|
|Original air date||March 11, 1960|
|“||You're looking at a tableau of reality, things of substance, of physical material: a desk, a window, a light. These things exist and have dimension. Now this is Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six, who also is real. He has flesh and blood, muscle and mind. But in just a moment we will see how thin a line separates that which we assume to be real with that manufactured inside of a mind.||”|
Arthur Curtis is a businessman planning a vacation to San Francisco with his wife Marian. After arriving at his office and talking with his secretary Sally, he discovers his office to be a set on a sound stage after finding that his telephone is not functional, and hearing someone yell "cut". He is told that Arthur Curtis is merely a role he is playing, and that his real identity is Gerald Reagan, a movie star who is caught in the middle of a brutal divorce from a hostile wife Nora, his own alcoholism, and a declining career. He leaves the studio with Nora, as she wants money.
He tries in vain to locate Arthur Curtis's house, and mistakes a little girl for his daughter, scaring her. Nora drives him to their actual home. Inside, he meets his (Reagan's) agent, who tells him that if he doesn't continue work that day, he will drop him as a client. Curtis still protests that he is not Reagan, and tries to call his workplace, but the operator can't find any listing of it. His agent believes that he is having a nervous breakdown, and shows him the shooting script of a movie called The Private World of Arthur Curtis. He then tells him that the movie is being cancelled due to his outburst in the studio.
Reagan/Curtis rushes back to the set, which is being dismantled, and pleads not to be left in the uncaring world of Gerald Reagan. Curtis reappears in his office as it was before, just as Marian arrives. Sally gives Arthur his plane tickets. As Arthur hears echoes of the studio sounds, he tells Marian that he doesn't want to lose her and that they should leave for their vacation immediately. Meanwhile, in the "non-exsistent” world, Reagan's agent shows up on the set to find that Reagan has vanished. As the set is being dismantled, a teaser shows the "Arthur Curtis" script left on a table, waiting to be thrown in the rubbish bin. In the last scene, Curtis and Marian board a plane, which takes flight and fades away into the sky.
|“||The modus operandi for the departure from life is usually a pine box of such and such dimensions, and this is the ultimate in reality. But there are other ways for a man to exit from life. Take the case of Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six. His departure was along a highway with an exit sign that reads, 'This Way To Escape.' Arthur Curtis, en route to the Twilight Zone.||”|