The Man in the Bottle

"The Man in the Bottle" is an episode of the American television series The Twilight Zone.

Opening Narration

Mr.and Mrs. Arthur Castle, gentle and infinitely patient people, whose lives have been a hope chest with a rusty lock and a lost set of keys. But in just a moment that hope chest will be opened, and an improbable phantom will try to bedeck the drabness of these two people's failure-laden lives with the gold and precious stones of fulfillment. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, standing on the outskirts and about to enter the Twilight Zone.


A downtrodden pawnbroker and his wife are offered four wishes by a genie. Distrustful, they use their first wish to repair a broken glass cabinet to prove the genie's power. They then wish for one million dollars, but after they give tens of thousands away to their friends, the tax man comes to claim the rest, leaving them with $5.

The genie warns them that every wish has consequences, and that they should consider carefully before making a wish. The husband makes his third wish, to be the leader of a modern, powerful country in which he cannot be "voted out of office" -- and finds himself as Adolf Hitler in the last days of World War II, hiding in a Berlin bunker and contemplating suicide. He uses the fourth and final wish to wish that "none of this ever happened", canceling the third wish and returning him safely home.

The couple ends up with nothing to show for the experience, except for a changed perspective on life and the repaired cabinet which, as fate would have it, the pawnbroker accidentally breaks. However, given their just concluded bizarre experience, they accept the accident with good humor.

Closing Narration

A word to the wise now to the garbage collectors of the world, to the curio seekers, to the antique buffs, to everyone who would try to coax out a miracle from unlikely places: Check that bottle you're taking back for a two-cent deposit. The genie you save might be your own. Case in point, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, fresh from the briefest of trips into the Twilight Zone.

Preview for Next Week's Story

Next week, we take you into this eight-by-eight hotel room and we watch a penny-ante crook make a decision. Better ask the room clerk the number of this room and then come on up. Mr. Joe Mantell is the "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room." That's The Twilight Zone, next week, and we'll be waiting for you. Thank you and good night.


  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090

External links

Twilight Zone links

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