The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
30 user 8 critic

Perchance to Dream 

A fatigued man fights to stay awake as he explains to a psychiatrist that if he falls asleep it will trigger a nightmare, which will cause his heart to fail.


Robert Florey




Episode complete credited cast:
Richard Conte ... Edward Hall
John Larch ... Dr. Eliot Rathmann
Suzanne Lloyd ... Maya / Miss Thomas


Edward Hall visits a psychiatrist - Dr Rathmann, who was recommended by his doctor. Mr Hall tells the doctor he's very tired - since he's purposefully not slept for almost a week. Edward thinks if he sleeps, he'll die. He's been dreaming in "chapters", with 2 characters; himself, and a woman named Maya, the Cat Woman, and she's told him she'll kill him in his next nightmare. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

27 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Perchance to Dream See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The opening upward pan of a skyscraper appears to be from the MGM silent film The Crowd (1928). See more »


At the beginning of the show (00:58), when Rod Serling is giving his monologue we see people come and go through a revolving door, there is one lady exiting the building who slows the revolving door by putting her hand through where the glass panel should be. See more »


Edward Hall: [stares at picture on the wall] Did you ever look at this picture, I mean really look at it?
Dr. Rathmann: I think so, why?
Edward Hall: Has it ever moved?
Dr. Rathmann: No, not to my knowledge, anyway.
Edward Hall: I can make it move.
Dr. Rathmann: Can you?
Edward Hall: Yes. But not really. When I was a kid, we had a picture like this in our house. Not the same thing, exactly, but pretty close. A boat. My mother used to tell me to look at it. She said if I looked at it long enough, it would move. All I had to do was keep looking at it. I didn't believe her, but the idea ...
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Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Twilight Zone #9 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Wow....that guy has issues!
3 October 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Richard Conte plays an odd man indeed! He has a heart condition and is convinced that a sexy siren is trying to kill him. The only problem is, she isn't real--she's only in his dreams. He's recently seen this exotic lady in dreams and when he awakens from these frightening fun-house-like dreams, he's on the verge of a heart attack. So, in desperation, he visits a psychiatrist and begins pouring his heart out to him. Apparently he hasn't slept in a very long time because he's so afraid of dying. Eventually, when Conte is leaving the office, he becomes spooked and falls over dead...or is this REALLY what happened?!

Overall, it's a pretty average but very watchable episode. It's fun seeing Conte's goofy dreams and the ending really is exceptional. Worth a look.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I just saw an episode of an earlier anthology series ("Lights Out") and it ALSO had an episode entitled "Perchance to Dream"! And, although the shows are very similar, the earlier show was written by Robert Kalvar--NOT Charles Beaumont like this episode of "The Twilight Zone". They are so similar that I am shocked that Kalvar didn't receive some sort of credit for this show.

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