Night Gallery

Night Gallery

The Complete First Season

DVD
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Twenty terrifying stories plus the original Pilot movie.
Publisher: Universal City, Calif. : Universal Studios, 2004.
ISBN: 9781417018499
1417018496
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (8 hr., 43 min.) :,sound, color ;,12 cm

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m
mswrite
Dec 17, 2016

This series doesn't hold a candle to Rod Serling's masterful "Twilight Zone." I think "uneven" is the word most often used to describe its overall quality, in part because of its strange, rather splintered format; but even Serling's episode introductions aren't as memorable.
That out of the way, there are some excellent entries among the mostly standard fare of "Night Gallery's" 1969-73 run.
These include "Eyes," the 1969 feature length pilot and an early directorial effort from Steven Spielberg, starring Joan Crawford as a wealthy blind woman with an appalling sense of entitlement; "The Cemetery," featuring Roddy MacDowell and Ossie Davis in a cat and mouse game of greed; "Make Me Laugh," a twisted cautionary tale starring the peerless Godfrey Cambridge ("Cotton Comes to Harlem," "Come Back Charleston Blue," "The President's Analyst") as a bitter stand-up comic; and my personal favorite, the touching "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar," written by Serling.
"Tim Riley's Bar" boasts powerful, personal best performances from the great character actor William Windom ("My World and Welcome To It") and actress Diane Baker. Windom is Randy, a proud but defeated middle-aged widower who responds to being pushed out of a ruthlessly competitive sales office by drowning himself in booze. His loneliness keeps drawing him back to Riley's Bar, a favorite neighborhood pub of his and his late wife's, now closed and scheduled for demolition. Baker brings heart, complexity and moral force to the role of Lynn, Randy's secretary.
Lynn is outraged at Randy's shabby treatment from a company built on years of his integrity, professionalism, and excellence. Her decency and fierce loyalty compels her efforts to rescue Randy from the back-stabbing of his colleagues and his own self-destructive behavior. You sense she might be more than a friend to him if only he could pull himself together and see beyond his despair.
All of the "Night Gallery" episodes should have been as good as this and perhaps might have been had Serling had more direct control, as he had had with "Twilight Zone." Certainly his name and reputation attracted a fine collection of performers, including Diane Keaton, Tom Bosley, Vincent Price, Sally Field, Carl Reiner and many others.
Flawed, but worth your patience for the gems.

a
Agnon
Aug 03, 2016

I only saw (on YouTube) one episode from this series--"Silent Snow, Secret Snow," a good one, based on the excellent short story by Conrad Aiken. I gather this series on the whole wasn't as good as The Twilight Zone, probably because Serling didn't have the same creative control as he had over the first series.

t
TheSandoz
May 07, 2015

From the creator of " The Twilight Zone " these stories are a mixed bag- some are good, some are bad- it''s worth going through to find the good' uns. There are some H. P. Lovecraft adaptations as well ( again good and bad ).

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