The Twilight Zone
Season 1, Episode 31
A young man obsessed with winning over an uninterested beauty gets more than he bargained for when he buys a love potion in the hope of winning her heart out of sheer desperation. However, he is at a loss to know what to do when he discovers that it does what it says on the 'tin' and works TOO well...
Directed by Douglas Heyes, 1960
Teleplay written by Robert Presnell Jr.
Based on the short story by John Collier
John McIntire - Prof. A. Daemon
Patricia Barry - Leila
George Grizzard - Roger Shackleforth
"Mr. Roger Shackleforth. Age: youthful twenties. Occupation: being in love. Not just in love, but madly, passionately, illogically, miserably, all-consumingly in love with a young woman named Leila who has a vague recollection of his face and even less than a passing interest. In a moment you will see a switch; because Mr. Shackleforth, a young gentleman so much in love, will take a short but very meaningful journey into the Twilight Zone."
Roger calls a girl named Leila from a phone box. He is madly in love with and yet she tells him "Why don't you take one big jump to the moon?" There is now a queue of people waiting to use the phone. One man enters the phone booth and tells him he needs to use the phone urgently. He also hands him a business card and tells hi to ring the number on it because the man has the answer to his problem. Roger then visits this guy who makes potion which he conceals behind books in his library and which he accesses with the use of ladders.
Roger ends up purchasing a love potion to make Leila fall for him - for one dollar. The gentleman informs him that it's not even worth that. While the 'chaser,' the 'glove cleaner,' having the opposite effect, costs $1000, which amounts to all of his savings (which is usually the case). When he visits his beloved again, she shuts the door in his face but eventually agrees to give him five minutes since he's brought flowers and champagne. He adds the love potion to her drink but it doesn't appear to have any effect at first. "I don't love you," she says. "I don't want you here. I don't even like you!" However, he potion then hits her and she finds herself suddenly falling under his spell, much to her confusion. She quickly falls head over heels for him and is lost, obsessed with him and eager to worship and please him.
It was married bliss for the first six months. However, Leila's love is out of control and so smothering that he ends up feeling desperate to escape from her. He can't stand it any longer. He therefore returns to the man who sold him the potion and tells him he wants everything back the way it was. He's already written out a cheque for $1000. And he is warned that he must not hesitate. For, if he fails to give Leila the potion at the first opportunity, he will be doomed. Armed with the potion and another bottle of champagne, he is seated on the sofa next to Leila pretending to be in love with her. She announces: "I've got news for you, sweet little rabbit." She holds up her knitting needles with a baby's sock hanging from them, meaning that she is pregnant. Then Roger drops the glasses on the floor, breaking them and losing the expensive potion in the process. Now he'll never be free!
"It always happens the same way. First the stimulant...and then the chaser."
"Mr. Rodger Shackleforth, who has discovered at this late date that love can be as sticky as a vat of molasses, as unpalatable as a hunk of spoiled yeast, and as all-consuming as a 6th-alarm fire in a bamboo-and-canvas tent. Case history of a lover boy, who should never have entered... The Twilight Zone."