Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Dvd/150: NIGHT GALLERY: THE FIRST SEASON (various directors, 1969-70, tv)

Rod Serling's portmanteau horror tv series ran for four years, each episode involving several stories.  They range in quality: the better ones are models of spooky brevity, the jokey ones outstay their welcome.

The first season includes some memorable tales: Roddy McDowall kills his artist uncle but notices a graveyard painting changing; imperious and blind Joan Crawford - directed by a young Spielberg - blackmails a doctor to operate on her eyes so she can see; fugitive Nazi Richard Kiley seeks a strange escape when finally tracked down; vagrant ex-doctor Burgess Meredith discovers a medical bag from the future; John Colicos is rescued from a lifeboat to bring doom to his rescuers and William Windom's washed-up executive is haunted by a coming-home party from years ago.

Robert Serling was a memorable host and other tales included Larry Hagman, Joseph Wiseman, Diane Keaton, Agnes Moorhead, Rachel Roberts and Raymond Massey.

Shelf or charity shop?  The best stories deserve a place on the shelf

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