Re: Movies which were prototypes of "The Twilight Zone"

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films,alt.tv.twilight.zone
Date: Tuesday, March 03, 1998 1:05 PM

fynsworth@webtv.net wrote in message
<6dg84u$e7q$1@newsd-164.iap.bryant.webtv.net>…
>Well, Dead of Night is a pretty obvious precursor to The TZ. The
>episode Room 22 with Barbara Nichols, with it's "room for one more,
>honey" line, is taken from one of the episodes in DON. And, of course,
>the famous and still frightening ventriliquist episode is an obvious
>influence.

Your discussion of this anthology film made me realize that specific episodes within other anthology television series ("Dead of Night" isn't a TV series, but it is an anthology) also are prototypes.

I had forgot that I could include corresponding episodes from one television series to the other series, but your example reminded me of one:

The "A Link in the Chain" episode of "The Christophers" (1955, with James Cagney as the guest lead) and the "The Changing of the Guard" episode of "The Twilight Zone" (1962, Third Season, with Donald Pleasence in the lead). Both are about a bachelor schoolmaster on the verge of retirement who comes to think that his many decades of teaching have accomplished nothing. In both, he is shown through the memories of his former students that he instilled in them values that would enable them to brave the outside world. In neither half-hour program is there actual contact with the former students, but rather ghosts or mementos that communicate to the disillusioned teacher. In both programs, the teacher delivers a summation at episode's end in which he discusses his realization that he shares in the accomplishments of the students he shaped.

--
David Hayes

 

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