|Granny Hart (Jeanette Nolan) provides Jess-Belle (Anne Francis) a attention bargain|
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“Nextweek we’ll delve right into the kingdom of American folklore and through the offices ofa fine writer named Earl Hamner, Jr. Us peruse a small witchcraft to lug youa story dubbed ‘Jess-Belle.’ This practice in terror and talisman stars AnneFrancis and also James Best.”
“The Twilight Zone has actually existed in plenty of lands, in plenty of times. It has its root in history,in miscellaneous that occurred long, long earlier and acquired told about and handed downfrom one generation of people to the other. In the telling, the story gets addedto and also embroidered on, so the what might have happened during theDruids is told as if it took ar yesterday in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Suchstories are ideal told by an elderly grand on a cold winter’s night through thefireside – in the southern hills the The Twilight Zone.”
|Billy-Ben (James Best) & Jess-Belle (Anne Francis)|
Duringa square dance in a landscape community, Billy-Ben Turner proposes marriage toEllwyn Glover, the beautiful daughter the the town’s many prosperous farmer.Elly accepts and also the dance turns right into a celebration event of their engagement. Onemember of the town not celebrating is Jess-Belle Stone, a darkly alluring youngwoman who makes a demonstrative leave from the dance. At Elly’s request,Billy-Ben viewpoints Jess-Belle come ask her to stay. That is revealed thatBilly-Ben and Jess-Belle have actually a history together, a background of intimacy andsecret meetings at night. Naturally, Jess-Belle feel scorned through Billy-Ben’sproposal come Ellwyn and also vows to have Billy-Ben at everything cost.
Thecost to Jess-Belle takes shape once she decides come consult the town witch, GrannyHart, an amoral woman who gladly takes Jess-Belle’s spirit in exchange forBilly-Ben’s love. The next time Billy-Ben sets eyes on Jess-Belle he isstricken with the witch’s magic and also falls head-over-heels in love, breakingaway indigenous Elly in the middle of a dance to monitor Jess-Belle out right into thenight.
Soon,Jess-Belle realizes come her fear that she has come to be a witch herself, victim of a terrible change into a huge wildcat ~ the midnight hour.Jess-Belle hides this native Billy-Ben and also continues to put off their weddingday. She return to Granny Hart come beg relief from her affliction only tobe told that she will certainly never change back and also the remainder of she life will certainly bespent in a witch"s body.
Newsof the wildcat will the males of the town who gather in the night to slay theanimal preying on your livestock. They discover the wildcat in a loft that Elly’sfather’s barn. Billy-Ben fires the shooting which death the beast. It disappears and Jess-Belle is checked out no more. Billy-Benrekindles his relationship with Elly and their lives progress happily towardmarriage. Their marital relationship night i do not care a night that horrors, however, as thespirit that Jess-Belle wreaks destruction upon their home.
Billy-Benleaves Elly and also rushes come Granny Hart’s cabin. Over there he needs the witch to tell him how to rid himself of Jess-Belle once and also for all. After ~ a payment that silver, Granny Hart tellsBilly-Ben he have to make one effigy that Jess-Belle, dress it in her clothing, andpierce it with the heart through silver. Billy-Ben receives Jess-Belle’s wedding dress anda silver stickpin indigenous Jess-Belle’s mother. The puts the dress on a dressmaker’sdummy and sticks the pin through the heart. Billy-Ben look at a spectral vision ofJess-Belle, shock and also relief mirroring upon her confront as she is exit fromthe witch’s curse.
Elly,who had actually momentarily been bodily own by Jess-Belle, is revitalized byBilly-Ben. They look come the sky and also see a falling star. Elly says: “My mamasays once you check out a fallout’s star that way a witch has actually just died.” Billy-Benagrees and the dark shadow of Jess-Belle is lifted from their lives.
InThe Twilight Zone script of Earl Hamner (ed.Tony Albarella, 2003), the writer states: “I was elevated on folk songs and folkstories and I suppose it was inescapable that this type of product would workits way into my writing . . . Looking earlier I realize that if i made any uniquecontribution come the series, it was to introduce an American folklore facet toit.” return Hamner did no actually present American folklore come the series(this quality was guess by Montgomery Pittman’s “The Grave” and "The last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank," and also by stick Serling’s adaptation the Manly walking Wellman’s “Still Valley”) he is awriter closely connected with story of the countryside South. His stories of the peoplethere and also the events which befall them continue to be some of the many compelling momentsfrom the series, and also it was this high quality in his creating upon which Hamner developed a effective career. Hamner’s comes to and, come a lesser degree, writing format felt virtually wholly fresh yet histalent to be such the he had the ability to make his scripts feel prefer a naturalextension of the job-related of the various other writers ~ above the series, an especially that ofseries creator pole Serling.
Hamner’sprofessional development largely mirrored that of Serling’s. Both cameup in local radio drama before making inroads in live televisionanthologies in the early days the the medium. Both men at some point went on to produce some that the many enduring television in history. Hamner’s talent andprofessionalism were highly polished when he arrived at The Twilight Zone,making a smooth shift to pole Serling’sworld that ordinary world faced with extraordinary situations, and also to theshow’s high literary standards.
Hamner to be a writer that acharacteristic duality. The was plainly interested in individual tales of therural South, tales which illuminate the daily magic the a pastoral existence. Hamner was likewise interested in the lives of the rich andcultured upper-middle class. Hamner neatly combined these two facets in hisdivisive final episode because that the series, “The Bewitchin’ Pool,” in i m sorry childrenescape the shadow of their rich parents’ divorce by learning a ruralNeverland. This duality is additionally seen in Hamner’s two significant creativeendeavors after ~ The Twilight Zone, thelong-running autobiographical series, TheWaltons, and also the prime-time soap opera FalconCrest, around infighting between members of a affluent California family.
“Jess-Belle”came come life together an emergency instead of script. Collection producer HerbertHirschman witnessed a propose script fall through and needed an additional in placeso the tight production schedule would not be affected. Hirschman referred to as Hamner andasked the writer if that had any kind of scripts lying about which can be sent into production. Hamner hadn’t any but assuredHirschman the he might write one hour-long beat in a week’s time. Hamner wrotethe opened act and an overview for the remainder of the play and sent that toHirschman. After two days, Hirschman came earlier with the go-ahead tofinish the manuscript by the finish of the week. Hamner wrote an act aday and also turned in the completed script on time.
Hirschman asked for a manuscript with the folksy feeling of Hamner"s debut episode, “TheHunt,” a sentimental episode which to be a rewrite of an earlier Hamner manuscript andwhich remains renowned with viewers. Hamner looked to the folklore of witchcraft, the address the devil, and the story of humantransformation to handmade a decidedly darker and more facility tale liberated bythe hour-long format. Hamner operated well v each producer he encounteredduring the last three seasons of the series. He later hired Herbert Hirschmanto straight several illustration of TheWaltons. Common for the series, Hamner’s script was filmedvirtually as written. Only a solitary notable change was required due to thedemands the the production. Can not to discover an amiable cougar (the wildcat calledfor in Hamner"s script) the production resolved on a docile leopard, v Hamner"s approval.*
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Talesof human change date come earliest classical times but Hamner workedclosely through the type of story he heard as a boy growing up in the hills ofVirginia (the setup for “Jess-Belle,” like much of Hamner’s work, is the BlueRidge Mountains), tales of world cursed through a no hope decision and doomed topay for that decision body and soul. In these story witches, wonder cats, andtransformations are common enough motifs to recur generally in both the oraland written heritage of the region. One volume which collects such tales, The silver Bullet and also Other American WitchStories (ed. Hubert J. Davis, 1975) recounts the story of the “Cat Wife,” a woman that transforms right into a cat ~ nightfall and whose curse fallsto her children. Hamner to be likely acquainted with such tales and also paid homage bycomposing a classic ballad i m sorry runs choose a hymn v the episode: