The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
33 user 7 critic

One for the Angels 

A pitchman is visited by Death and is forced to get his priorities in order.


Robert Parrish


Rod Serling




Episode complete credited cast:
Rod Serling ... Narrator (voice)
Ed Wynn ... Lou Bookman
Murray Hamilton ... Mr. Death
Dana Dillaway Dana Dillaway ... Maggie Polanski
Jay Overholts Jay Overholts ... Doctor
Merritt Bohn ... Truck Driver


Lou Bookman is a street vendor; a pitchman, making a living selling what he can from his valise - radios, toys, ties and the like. After a long day, he returns to his shabby apartment to find someone waiting for him, someone he saw near where he had been selling that day. That person turns out to be Mr. Death who is there to tell Lou that his time on Earth has come to an end and that his "departure" will be at midnight. Lou tries to forestall his death by asking for a delay until he's able to make a big sales pitch. It's all a ruse however and Mr. Death shows him that his actions have consequences. As a result, Lou makes the pitch of his life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Lewis J. Bookman was born in September 1890. See more »


Lou Bookman: FYI. That means "For Your Information".
See more »

User Reviews

A charming, but fairly creepy, installment made special with fine performances
18 November 2010 | by Shattered_WakeSee all my reviews

Street scene: summer. The present. Man on a sidewalk named Lew Bookman (Ed Wynn, "Mary Poppins"), age sixtyish. Occupation: pitchman. Lew Bookman, a fixture of the summer, a rather minor component to a hot July, a nondescript, commonplace little man whose life is a treadmill built out of sidewalks. In just a moment, Lew Bookman will have to concern himself with survival, because as of three o'clock this hot July afternoon he'll be stalked by. . . Mr. Death (Murray Hamilton, "Jaws").

Though 'The Twilight Zone' is often thought to be focused mainly on science fiction and crazy twists, there are also plenty of tales that focus on paranormal elements that would not be seen in any typical sci-fi yarn. In 'One for the Angels,' Rod Serling brings us, early on in the series, a heartwarming and funny story. Lew, the sweet old man with the heart of gold, is a wonderful character to watch, especially as he hilariously tries to outwit the phenomenally portrayed Mr. Death. As the plot thickens throughout the episode, the depth allows for the spookier elements to rise to the surface, allowing more enjoyment for fans of the darker side of the series (like myself) as well.

Even with the interesting story that satisfies the many levels of the show's audience, the shining achievement of this film comes from Ed Wynn's & Murray Hamilton's performances. They live their roles well, taking their respective characters on the full ride of personality changes that they each go through.

Overall, like most of the series, 'One for the Angels' has a charming story with fantastic performances and enough depth to satisfy the various fans of the 'The Twilight Zone.'


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Release Date:

9 October 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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