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 »

Did You Know?


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


The men are fully dressed when they are gassed and fall asleep within their glass cases. However, one hundred years later, when Erbie is discovered dead by the others, his body has become a skeleton but his clothing has vanished. See more »


[closing narration]
Narrator: The last of four Rip Van Winkles, who all died precisely the way they lived, chasing an idol across the sand to wind up bleached dry in the hot sun as to much desert flotsam, worthless as the gold bullion they built a shrine to. Tonight's lesson - in The Twilight Zone.
See more »


Referenced in Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Economics 101 indeed
25 July 2007 | by TipsterSee all my reviews

Another IMDb commenter asks, "Why would anyone risk life and limb in a gold bullion heist when he's got a blueprint for suspended animation that's easily worth millions?", an excellent question. Here's MY question: They steal a million dollars worth of gold and expect to wake up in 2061 and live like kings. LOL!! There are four crooks, that's $250,000 each. If they woke up TODAY, in 2007 (over a half-century early), and they rented a small NYC apartment, paid for food, a car, car insurance, electric, gas, water, phone and health insurance, and generally lived like paupers BEYOND those expenses -- they'd be dead-broke and living in the streets in just a couple years. If they tried to "live like kings," that money wouldn't last a WEEK. Yes, the price of gold would have gone up in the meantime, too, but not enough for them to "live like kings" the rest of their lives, now that inflation has gotten us to the point where a single night out on the town for a big spender runs into the tens of thousands of dollars. (Or hundreds of thousands, if you're a Middle Eastern oil bigwig or someone like that.)

4 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

21 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rip Van Winkle Caper See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed