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The Coffin with the Golden Nails


Determined to start anew, the secret police chief of a Third World country undergoes cosmetic surgery to alter his visage. When he unwittingly falls for a woman he previously tortured, the peaceful life he built for himself is threatened.



Air Dates

  • First Run - September 18, 1975
  • Repeat - February 18, 1976





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9 Responses to Episode 0346

The head of the secret police in a Central American country is a brutal and ruthless man who places no value on human life - other than his own. One day he is visited by a man who tells him that the government is about to be overthrown. The man tells him that his only hope for survival is to take advantage of an expensive offer whereby he enters a program that his organization has developed. They can change everything about him. Not just his looks but his speech and personality also. He agrees to take part. Meanwhile, those victimized by the former government are looking for their ex-leaders in order to exact revenge. This is a good program.

Vicky B.

A Third World secret police chief and torurer enters a program to remake his face and psyche in order to disguise himself in a new life. Problems arise when he falls in love with one of his former victims.

Ron Gracie

The chief of police for a military dictatorship has abused his power and his people. When his government is about to be overthrown, he is approached by a man claiming that he can be transformed into another person and live out his life in peaceful anonymity. I suspected this was going to be a 'clockwork orange’ story. Similar, but different.


Where does the "picnic" take place in Act Three? A haunted house on the edge of a cliff? Windy location!

Mike in Grand Rapids

I thought the episode should have been titled "Metamorphosis, Inc.," after the organization which transformed Zoria into Stanley Parker. Or "The Caterpillar and the Butterfly," the last line of the drama. In his closing remarks, E.G. Marshall refers to a chrysalis as "the coffin with the golden nails, where the magical changes take place."


That sales guy was good if he swooped in and got several of the government's high people to sign up for his product. You'd think he'd think of a way for a complete change so they could escape detection that way as well (although I know of none for the one way they got caught). Da Silva's statement at the end about the life of a butterfly was a pretty good ending to the story as well for me.


An evil little rodent of a man! JD a scheister! I don't know what DaSilva was up to, but to see bob prance and dance across the lawn was a hoot! The cosmetic surgeon must've known KH quite well I'm sure! What suspense! I couldn't leave my chair by the window! And the port flowed freely and all was well!


I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. Sam Dann is one of best writers of CBSRMT and this Drama-Mystery that he wrote was pretty good, however, I think it could've been greater. It was suspenseful and it had a good storyline where the main villain tries to be good as he falls in love with one of his enemies, but it was predictable that Karma would catch up to him and he'd compare his last minutes on Earth like the last minutes of a butterfly's life. One thing that didn't make sense in this story, is at the 6-minute mark where our main character says "I don't speak English" even though he is speaking the language. The title of this is good, but other titles could work such as "The Man Of Perception," or "The Past Reborn," or even "The Caterpillar's Dream." A lot of good music tunes that build up the drama & suspense. The sound effects, I think, needed more. They had sounds of the prisoner's gate sliding, the whipping, rotary phone, doors, crowd murmuring, carnival/dance music in the background, birds chirping, howling wind, and gun shots. In our Host's Prologue, E.G. Marshall used a different intro: "Weaver of the stuff that nightmares are made of." Good intro for horror stories, but not for this particular episode. In ACT-1, he discusses survival & perception which introduces us to our main villainous character who is "A Man Of Perception." In ACT-2, he wants to know how a minor character knows about the main character's business with Metamorphosis, Inc. In ACT-3, our Host wants to know is there a thing called the "Perfect Cover Up?" In the end, he questions how many lives do WE have when a caterpillar gets to have only 2. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall reminds the fans that this story is about the Coffin with the Golden Nails; a magical place where people can go from Dull to Beautiful. Good narrations, but I think our Host could've done a lot better if he narrated more on caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies because our main character was going through the similar process. Lastly, our cast: Howard Da Silva (as Colonel Ramone Zorilla/Stanley Parker), Marian Seldes (as Anita De Onis), Ralph Bell (as Corporal & Mr. Chrysalis), and Kristoffer Tabori (as Fernando De Onis). Kristoffer Tabori did well and Ralph Bell's so good on playing evil characters. Marian Seldes is one my favorite actresses on CBSRMT, but in ACT-2, she sounded a lot like Evie Juster. Howard Da Silva's good for playing heroic characters, but as villains, he sounded too "stagy." He did a nice job though, but I think John Lithgow should've played this role. But still, it's a decent Drama-Mystery and people who are fans of Marian Seldes and/or Ralph Bell should check this one out. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0]


With his country in revolt, Zorilla, a deposed South American dictator, makes a deal with Metamorphosis, an international insurance firm, to sell his identity and gain, through a perfect disguise, what he thinks will be the life-long protection from his angry former subjects. Transformed into a placid American zoology professor, he meets and falls in love with a woman who has her own professional revenge for Zorilla and who secretly makes plans to blow his presumably flawless cover.


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