The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
27 user 1 critic

The Rip Van Winkle Caper 

After successfully stealing a gold shipment, a group of criminals and their scientist accomplice put themselves in suspended animation in a remote desert cave. When they awaken decades later, complications ensue when their truck is destroyed.


Justus Addiss


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Simon Oakland ... De Cruz
Oscar Beregi Jr. ... Farwell (as Oscar Beregi)
Lew Gallo ... Brooks
John Mitchum ... Erbie
Wallace Rooney ... George
Shirley O'Hara ... George's Wife


Four thieves steal $1 million in gold bullion in a train robbery and hide the money in a mountainside cave. The four plan to go into suspended animation for approximately 100 years when they hope to awaken as extremely rich men with their heist long forgotten. When they awaken, they're not quite sure what year it is. One of them, De Cruz, has his eye on getting as much of the gold for himself as he possibly can. The world they have awakened in isn't exactly what they had hoped for. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rip Van Winkle Caper See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 1961 and 2061. See more »


There's no reason for the sleep chambers to be made out of glass panels except for the plot to prove their initial skepticism wrong. Good engineering would have foreseen the unnecessary risk from using brittle materials and opted for metal and perhaps even additional shielding to protect from 100 years worth of geological events. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: Introducing, four experts in the questionable art of crime: Mr. Farwell, expert on noxious gases, former professor, with a doctorate in both chemistry and physics; Mr. Erbie, expert in mechanical engineering; Mr. Brooks, expert in the use of firearms and other weaponry; and Mr. De Cruz, expert in demolition and various forms of destruction. The time is now, and the place is a mountain cave in Death Valley, U.S.A. In just a moment, these four men will utilize the services of a...
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References Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

A solid and good representative episode
13 December 2018 | by thatsweetbirdSee all my reviews

I was just doing a review of the show in general And listed in it my dozen favorite episodes. I did not include this one, But it was close. This to me is an episode that like some others falls just just outside that elite group. It's a very fine episode. The plot is good, intriguing, suspenseful, a good science fiction idea. The characters-Really just two-Are interesting ones. I want to know what happens to them, and Their interaction is very watchable. The cast as usual is taken from the best that was available, quality "character" actors when not outright stars. Key to the show is the ending twist, And this one does not disappoint. I'd have no problem including this one in my second dozen best episodes of the series :)

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