Starring Edward Andrews, Patricia Barry, Ed Nelson.
Written by Robert Bloch, based on his short story.
Directed by John Brahm.
Frank Logan (Andrews) has a big problem with his adulterous wife Louise (Barry). But maybe it's not a big problem after all because Frank has a good imagination. That imagination enables him to find new ways to off her paramours.
PE: And the first to go is special Thriller guest star Robert Goulet.
JS: Thanks. I had to go and double check the credits to confirm you were joking. I did see Glenn Strange listed, and after scanning back through the entire episode looking for him, I gave up and read on the IMDB that his scenes were supposedly deleted. Hopefully our illustrious peanut gallery can fill in the exact details... (They may be too busy preparing the "Ten Karloff Heads or Die" rally in Griffith Park -PE)
PE: "A Good Imagination" creates laughs where it's supposed to and amidst those laughs are a couple creepy scenes, chief among them when Louise finds out what Frank has up his sleeve at the climax. The film, fairly bright through the episode, turns dark and grainy, almost noirish (of course, I'm hoping that's the way it's supposed to look and that I didn't stumble on yet another flaw in the set!). It's a great scene. The Frank Logan character could be played broadly and hammy (did I say the word Shatner? No.) since this is essentially a "dark comedy," but Edward Andrews does a superb job of making the character believable. Andrews has one of those immediately identifiable faces and he's done tons of TV work in all the usual suspects: Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and The Wild Wild West.
JS: Andrews starred in one of my all-time favorite Twilight Zone episodes, "You Drive." That's the one where he runs over a kid and leaves the scene, but his car doesn't let him get away with it quite so easily. It freaked me out as a kid. There's something about the way he delivers his lines, like when he tells George (Nelson), "You're wrong there George—there are rats everywhere..." Speaking of which, good to see Ed Nelson back for more. Is it just me, or was handyman George the twin brother of handyman Charlie in "The Cheaters"?
PE: Though I liked the episode, I couldn't help thinking this was not a Thriller. With its' bleak sense of humor, it would have been better served up on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I'd have preferred Bloch to work on something that would fit in well with the gothic sensibilities of "Parasite Mansion" and "Well of Doom." In some alternate Thriller universe, Bloch wrote produced scripts for "Lizzie Borden Took an Axe...," "Shambler from the Stars," and "The Opener of the Way."
JS: I thought Morton Stevens score fit the tone of the episode perfectly, with lots of percussion and a Vic Mizzy-like playfulness.
PE: "A Good Imagination" first appeared in the January 1956 issue of Suspect Detective Tales. Suspect was one of the short-lived crime digests that populated the newsstand in the 1950s. It lasted only 5 issues and then became Infinity Science Fiction (a magazine that Bloch also sold to). Though it didn't last long, it did manage to snag some of the day's big writers (Bloch, Harlan Ellison, Richard Prather). "A Good Imagination" was subsequently reprinted in Bloch's Terror in the Night and Other Stories, an Ace paperback "double" (the other side being Bloch's novel, Shooting Star, and then again in 1977 in the Mysterious Press collection, The King of Terrors.