24 April 2014

Night Gallery (1969)
98 min.
Directed by Boris Sagal, Steven Spielberg, and Barry Shear.
With Joan Crawford, Roddy McDowall, Richard Kiley, Ossie Davis, Barry Sullivan, Sam Jaffe, Tom Bosley, George Macready, Norma Crane, Barry Atwater.
The televison pilot for the acclaimed series, this adept thriller contains three stories, all written and hosted by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame.

This anthology movie is notable for featuring the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg.

His story is in fact the best one.

Eyes stars Joan Crawford as a blind, self-centered rich woman who buys a desperate man's eyeballs in order to see for a day. After the procedure, she gets her sight back for a second - only to see darkness again due to the Northeast blackout of 1965! Bummer.

The Roddy McDowall segment is also very good. In Cemetery, he plays a man who murders his uncle for his inheritance, only to suffer the same fate when an oil painting seems to indicate the uncle is still alive.

And in Escape Route, a Nazi war criminal is on the lam in South America. When he encounters a holocaust survivor, he's forced to relive the atrocities of the war - and yearns only for escape from his own inner demons.

Exceptionally well done all round, this is definitely worth a watch.

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