A Piano in the House

A Piano in the House

Infobox Television episode
Title = A Piano in the House
Series = The Twilight Zone

Caption = Joan Hackett as Esther Fortune
Season = 3
Episode = 87
Airdate =February 16, 1962
Production =4825
Writer = Earl Hamner, Jr.
Director = David Greene
Guests = Barry Morse : Fitzgerald Fortune
Joan Hackett : Esther Fortune
Muriel Landers : Marge Moore
Cyril Delevanti : Marvin (the Butler)
Don Durant : Gregory Walker
Phil Coolidge : Throckmorton
Music = Stock
Episode list = List of Twilight Zone episodes
Prev = Kick the Can
Next = The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank

"A Piano In the House" is an episode of the American television anthology series "The Twilight Zone".

Opening Narration


Drama critic Fitzgerald Fortune goes to Throckmorton's curio shop to buy his young wife Esther a player piano as a birthday present. At the shop, as the hard-bitten and hard-shelled owner plays the piano, he reveals his soft, sentimental side. Fortune notes the piano's magical properties, which reveal mens' true natures, and purchases it.

Later at home, the solemn butler, Marvin, bursts out laughing under the influence of the piano and reveals his true feelings about working for Fortune. When Fortune puts on a roll for his wife, she reveals that she detests him for his cruelty to her and the people around him.

He then tries it out on one of his wife's party guests, a jaded playwright, Gregory Walker, who admits to being in love with Fitzgerald's wife and that they had a tryst while she was on vacation away from Fitzgerald. At the party, a heavy-set woman, Marge Moore, volunteers to demonstrate the piano's effects. Marge admits to really wanting to be as light, graceful and ephemeral as a snowflake as she moves with surprising delicacy whilst in the trance.

Fitzgerald then announces he's going to reveal the devil himself and inserts a new roll into the piano, but Esther swaps it for a different one. When the music (a lullaby) plays, everyone looks to see who will be affected. Fitzgerald reveals himself to be no more than a frightened and sadistic child who is jealous of others around him. The guests depart; Gregory and Esther together.

Closing Narration

Preview for Next Week's Story


* Zicree, Marc Scott. "The Twilight Zone Companion", Bantam Books, 1982. ISBN 0-553-01416-1
*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

*imdb title|id=0734547|title=A Piano in the House

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