Thriller – The Hungry Glass (01/03/61)

thungryglass07In a flashback, we see hottie Laura Bellman (Donna Douglass) checking herself out in dozens of mirrors arrayed through her home.  A doctor and and man with a hook knock on her door; when she answers, we see her directly for the first time, and she is an old crone.  She asks just to be left alone with her mirrors.

Gil (William Shatner) & Marcia Thrasher have just bought the old Bellman place.  They are meeting the realtor at what appears to be Sam Drucker’s General Store from Petticoat Junction. They are warned of “visitors” at the house and one of the checkers-playing locals asks if it wasn’t strange that there was “nary a looking glass in the whole of it.”  Considering they will soon be eating dinner on the floor due to a lack of tables and chairs, mirrors might not have been my priority.

Realtor Russell Johnson (The Professor from Gilligan’s Island) arrives and takes the Thrashers to the house, introducing his wife Liz on the way.  Why they met at the store is a bit of a mystery.

thungryglass02At the house, Liz screams as she sees someone reaching for Marcia through the window — a man with a hook for a hand — but there is no one there.  Nerves are shocked, a champagne bottle is broken, and carpet is ruined.

Adam says he has to warn them “when my wife is having a real good time, she’s apt to scream a little.” Understandably, they are not offered a bedroom for the night, but are invited tomorrow for dinner.

Adam and Liz leave, but Gil sees an apparition of the two-handed variety.  He tries to hide it from his wife, but she sees it herself the next morning in a mirror.

While photographer Gil develops pictures in the basement, Marcia explores the attic which is packed with more crap than post-Kane Xanadu.  Marcia amazingly finds a padlocked door hidden behind a dressing screen.  The lock was merely screwed on from the outside, so Marcia goes at it with a Phillip’s head butter-knife. Inside she finds all the mirrors.

Gil comes up through the attic hatch and Marcia excited tells him, “I found the mirrors!  Big mirrors!  Little mirrors!  Fat mirrors!  Thin mirrors!” and presumably mirrors that climb on rocks, and even mirrors with chicken pox.  After Marcia leaves, Gil sees a ghost and faints.  He blames it on “troubles I had before.  Doctors told me there would be recurrences.  You never really get the stuff out of your system.”  Turns out he is talking about being shell-shocked from Korea.  Next thing you know he’ll be seeing a man on the wing of the plane.

thungryglass06That night at dinner, served on the floor by candlelight, Adam toasts, “Here’s champagne to our real friends and real pain to our sham friends.”  The episode is filled with clever dialog like this from Shatner and Johnson.  Robert Bloch only gets a story credit, but a lot the words really sound like him.

The gals go tour the house leaving the guys to chat.  Adam says that Gil has been reflective tonight — funny considering the role mirrors play in the story.  Adam tells him why it hasn’t been occupied for the last 20 years.  Jonah Bellman built the house for his beautiful wife Laura.  She was only really in love with her own reflection.  After Jonah died of a broken heart, it was only Laura and the mirrors.

As she became ancient, she still saw her young beautiful self in the mirrors.  When she was locked away in her bedroom, away from the mirrors.  She was still able to use the window to see her young reflection.  Then she went right through one and died.

thungryglass08aGil’s emotional problems resurface and things do not go well.

Another good episode. Thriller is 3 for 4.  Shatner in Thriller is 2 for 2.


  • All of the local’s have that trademark Stephen King New England accent, but luckily not the trademark Stephen King insipid dialog).  William Shatner and Russell Johnson are just visitors to the area, thus sparing us the pain of hearing The Shat attempt an accent.
  • I realized I have no idea what those old dressing screens are called — the ones women draped their clothes over in old movies.  At first I tried dressing triptych, but this one had more than 3 folds.  I’m still not sure what they’re called.
  • Shatner tells his wife she’ll go blind looking in the mirror so much.  She asks if she can do it until she needs glasses.  C’mon, Bloch snuck that one in.

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