Though obviously an episode designed to absorb the costs of the more expensive Twilight Zone installments, this was one of the better efforts of the series' second season, with a tour de force performance by Joe Mantell as penny-ante gangster Jackie Rhoades. Ordered to bump off a rival gangster, the timorous Rhoades tries to summon up the courage for the foul deed, only to be thwarted at every turn by his own conscience -- who as it turns out has more "guts" than Jackie ever dreamed of. Though essentially a solo endeavor, the episode also features a good performance from future producer-director William D. Gordon as Jackie's nasty boss, while another future director, Brian G. Hutton, serves as Joe Mantell's back-to-camera stand-in when the actor "confronts" himself. Written by Rod Serling and scored by Jerry Goldsmith, "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room" was the first episode produced for Twilight Zone's second season, even though it was telecast as the third episode, on October 14, 1960.
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