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joefilmone

Rod Serling's "Night Gallery"

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This uneven fantasy horror series did not match the sucess of Serling's "Twilight Zone" but it does have some very effective episodes like the two HP Lovecraft adapatations "Cool Air" and "Pikcman's Model"

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When i was a child, i really enjoyed Night Gallery, but upon seeing them again as an adult, most of them didn't age well. Agreed though, some really were excellent. The show wasn't alltogether bad, just inconsistent. Can't pinpoint what it was about Twilight Zone though that was so different to Night Gallery, but some how it never gets old for me. I can still watch the Twilight Zone marathons all day long when they air on tv from time to time.

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"Twilight Zone" had better writing and stronger point of view- it's intesresting how some of their sci-fi theme shows remain timeless but similar episodes in "The Night Gallery" have dated .

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I may have seen an episode or two of *Night Gallery*, but I've forgotten what they were... whereas *The Twilight Zone* is an incredible show. I was about 14 when I saw my first episode (still remembering which one, "The Passersby", oddly enough), and now decades later I have all the DVDs. It's interesting in that recently I saw the film *Dead of Night*, and there were some parts of this that so reminded me of a couple of Twilight Zone episodes that I couldn't help but think that Serling used this movie for some of his material. One of the DON segments shows a man being "taken over" by his dummy, which reminds me of the episode "The Dummy", and in another segment there is a line, "Room for one more!", which reminds me of the episode "Twenty-Two" (I think there were other elements of that particular segment that reminded me of the same episode). Serling was an incredible writer and a creative genius, imo.

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Dead of Night must have been one of the films that inspired Serling- and yes I agree he was a remarkable talented writer

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VX, thanks for that info. You've got me interested to see that silent film you mention, if I can figure out the title. The theme of 'dummy as master' is fascinating if done right, so I'm curious to see it given the silent treatment (...er, I didn't just write that last part, did I?)

 

In *Dead of Night*, the dummy episode is much more sinister and dark than the TZ episode, but even the TZ ep is creepy...

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}It wouldn't surprise me at all, if Serling had seen *Dead of Night*, and taken some inspiration from it. But, the terrifying dummy-come-to-life theme predates *Dead of Night*. I think there's even a silent film with that theme, but can't recall the title.

 

You may be thinking of the early talkie *THE GREAT GABO* which starred Erich von Stroheim. The film is in public domain so there shouldn't be much trouble finding it online.

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Thanks, Mark, I'll look for that. (Reminds me of "The Great Gabbo", the dummy, from The Simpsons ;) .)

 

Sorry to derail from *Night Gallery*. I'm assuming you can get this on Netflix or Classicflix. I will try and look for the eps that Joe recommends in his first post.

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Dont forget, one of the best things about Twilight Zone was Rod Serling's moral commentaries on each episode. In retrospect, i look back and still feel the gravity he could conjure with a gentle word where in real life, i would get the daylights beat out of me to reinforcer the same lesson. I'm sure that a lot of the rest of you know what i'm talking about too! :)

 

 

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> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}It wouldn't surprise me at all, if Serling had seen *Dead of Night*, and taken some inspiration from it. But, the terrifying dummy-come-to-life theme predates *Dead of Night*. I think there's even a silent film with that theme, but can't recall the title.

> You may be thinking of the early talkie *THE GREAT GABO* which starred Erich von Stroheim. The film is in public domain so there shouldn't be much trouble finding it online.

 

That's it, Mark. Thanks. I haven't seen it, but have heard a lot about it. If it shows up on TCM, I'll check it out. I can't watch films on line at home, because I don't have a computer there. I have a computer at work, but don't use ear phones, because I work a circulation desk, waiting to help people.

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Gallery didn't hit me the way Zone did either. In fact the only one I recall, and I'm not sure it even was a Gallery, starred Burgess Meredith as the devil who saves a small town newspaper. At least until the editor figures out who he is. Maybe it was the hour long format or weaker stories. I really don't know. But even though most Zone tales were predictable as to outcome they still play well today.

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You know, the more that i think about it, i said in my original response to this thread that i couldn't pinpoint what i thought worked for Twilight Zone over Night Gallery, but i think i can offer one part of it today. It is the B&W format. For me anyway, the black and white helps me just settle down and appreciate the plot of a story, as if some one were reading to me from a book. I love color format too, but it is a whole different kind of experience, much more sensual than cerebreal. The good writing of the Twilight Zone episodes was, imo, really assisted by that mellow visual format of black and white. Lol, i hope that explanation came out making at least a little bit of sense.

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Chaney, FYI, the Burgess Meredith episode is called "Printer's Devil" and was a TZ episode. It was one of the hour-longs and not that great (imo).

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They had top talent connected to the Twilight Zone show - including writing and direction. From what I read, guest stars would clamor to get a spot on an episode. I don't know enough about Night Gallery to compare, but I imagine that TZ is far ahead of the pack just in terms of people's awareness of TZ, and also the endless re-issuing of the show's DVDs ("special editions", etc.). I know that TZ has its own message board because I used to go there all the time.

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