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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Night Gallery (1969)

Three tales of the supernatural all written by Rod Serling: 1) The greedy nephew (Roddy McDowall) of a dying man (George Macready) hastens his death. But he will soon discover that hate is stronger than death. Directed by Boris Sagal. 2) A wealthy blind woman (Joan Crawford) literally buys herself a new pair of eyes. Directed by Steven Spielberg. 3) An escaped Nazi war criminal (Richard Kiley) hides in Argentina and lives in fear of being discovered. Directed by Barry Shear. Back in the day, TV networks made TV movies to see how the public would respond to a possible TV series based on the movie. This movie was greeted enthusiastically and the following year, it became a weekly TV series. As with all anthology films, the quality is uneven. The third one is the weakest as it has a deja vu quality to it and Serling had worked this theme on his TWILIGHT ZONE series. The first is entertaining enough but highly predictable. The second one by a young Spielberg is the strongest. Crawford is remarkably restrained (for her) and gives a solid performance and Spielberg gives it just enough style to make it work. With Barry Sullivan, Ossie Davis, Sam Jaffe, Tom Bosley and Norma Crane.  

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