The Twilight Zone (1985–1989)
6 user 3 critic

Profile in Silver/Button, Button 

"Profile in Silver": After preventing the assassination of President Kennedy, a historian from the future faces the consequences of his act. "Button, Button": A couple receives a box with a button -- and an unusual offer.


John D. Hancock (as John Hancock), Peter Medak


Rod Serling (created by), J. Neil Schulman | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Lane Smith ... Prof. Joseph Fitzgerald (segment "Profile in Silver")
Andrew Robinson ... President John F. Kennedy (segment "Profile in Silver")
Louis Giambalvo ... Raymond Livingston (segment "Profile in Silver")
Barbara Baxley ... Dr. Kate Wange (segment "Profile in Silver")
Jerry Hardin ... Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson (segment "Profile in Silver")
Mark L. Taylor ... Inspector (segment "Profile in Silver") (as Mark Taylor)
Charles Lanyer Charles Lanyer ... TV Anchorman (segment "Profile in Silver")
David Sage David Sage ... Professor (segment "Profile in Silver")
Ken Hill Ken Hill ... Presidential Aide (segment "Profile in Silver")
Huck Liggett Huck Liggett ... Texan (segment "Profile in Silver")
Gerard Bocaccio Gerard Bocaccio ... Student (segment "Profile in Silver")
Mare Winningham ... Norma Lewis (segment "Button, Button")
Brad Davis ... Arthur Lewis (segment "Button, Button")
Basil Hoffman ... Mr. Steward (segment "Button, Button")


"Profile in Silver": After preventing the assassination of President Kennedy, a historian from the future faces the consequences of his act. "Button, Button": A couple receives a box with a button -- and an unusual offer.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

7 March 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original short story "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson differs somewhat from the TV script, especially the climactic ending, which did not have the usual supernatural ending commonly found in The Twilight Zone (1985). Matheson did not care for the changes in his story, which is why he he had his name replaced with the pseudonym Logan Swanson. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


President Kennedy: [after his life is saved by a time traveler, JFK gives a speech to a Harvard class - in 2172] Let the record show that in any age - good or bad - there are men of high ideals. Men of courage! Men who do more than that for which they are called upon! You will not always know their names. But let their deeds stand as monuments, so that when the human race is called to judgment, we may say, "This too was humanity!"
See more »


Version of Black Button (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Profile in Silver: A can-opener
27 March 2012 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

An interesting episode this one – the second part (which I didn't watch) also exists as a recent film called The Box and, like Profile in Silver, has an interesting concept behind it. It was Profile that I came to watch though because I have an interest in the work of J Neil Schulman – an interest it is worth me declaring. I know him from a low-budget film of his that I thought was terrible and since then I have read one of his books and now also watched this Twilight Zone story which he wrote. Schulman for those that don't know has been a writer for decades and in certain circles is well respected for his sci-fi writing and his libertarian writings. Personally i don't see it myself but part of me checking him out is me looking for the things that others seem to see. Unfortunately I ended this episode still unable to see them but happy to say that he did a "solid" job here.

The plot is a time-travelling historian is sent back on a mission to study his specialist time in history (North America, early 1960's) but, on the day of the assassination, finds that he is unable to prevent himself shouting out an emotional warning and inadvertently saving the President. It is not long before the ramifications of this are all too clear to him. The set-up is a good one but unfortunately it is far too practically written and lacks anything in the way of bite and impact. I recently read Alongside Night and i found the same thing in the writing there – dialogue was often too practical and explanatory and it didn't flow with a natural air. This is how it felt here too – and it gets to that stage very quickly in the opening discussion between the professor and his time-colleague. The dialogue there just dumps everything onto the viewer and it is rather unsatisfactory and unnatural. The rest of the story plays out like this – with ideas just delivered but not refined in a way that makes them work well.

Functional. It is a word I thought before and it is a word that applied here – everything about this story was functional and it didn't engage me and it never let my mind run with it because it just seemed to be matter-of-fact with not much to offer beyond the initial idea. It is a shame because the idea deserves much more but it isn't given the words or the direction to do so in a script that is entirely functional and lacking in flow. Functional – it is a good when discussing a can opener, not so much when it comes to story-telling.

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