Night Gallery (1969–1973)
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Night Gallery 

In the pilot of the television series Night Gallery (1969), Rod Serling introduces three separate paintings, each with its own story of uncanny vengeance against evil to tell. The first, "... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Miss Claudia Menlo
Osmund Portifoy
SS-Gruppenführer Helmut Arndt / Josef Strobe
Jeremy Evans
Dr. Frank Heatherton
Sidney Resnick
William Hendricks
Barry Atwater ...
1st Agent
Tom Basham ...
George J. Packer
Garry Goodrow ...
1st Nurse


In the pilot of the television series Night Gallery (1969), Rod Serling introduces three separate paintings, each with its own story of uncanny vengeance against evil to tell. The first, "The Cemetery", involves a black sheep nephew (Roddy McDowall) who murders his rich uncle to inherit his fortune - both much to the detriment of the uncle's butler (Ossie Davis) - only to find that vengeance extends beyond the grave. In the second story, "Eyes", a rich, heartless woman (Joan Crawford) who has been blind from birth blackmails an aspiring surgeon and a man who desperately needs money to give her a pair of eyes which will allow her to see for the first time - even though for only half a day's time - only to have the plan backfire on her in ways she never imagined. In the third story, "The Escape Route", a Nazi war criminal (Richard Kiley) is hiding from the authorities in South America, where he is confronted with his past demons and a curious Holocaust survivor (Sam Jaffe) and finds ... Written by Curly Q. Link

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8 November 1969 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Helmut Arndt left Venezuela in April 1961. See more »


In "Escape Route" the rate at which Richard Kiley's faucet drips varies between shots. See more »


Featured in Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Take a stroll through the NIGHT GALLERY
20 June 2002 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

First shown on NBC-TV in November 1969, NIGHT GALLERY, the pilot to the 1970-73 TV anthology show of the same name, was the last major work of Rod Serling, creator of what may still rank as the best TV series ever, "The Twilight Zone." Although, when the series started, Serling wasn't given the kind of creative control he felt he needed to make the series work (and not surprisingly, it was mercilessly compared to "The Twilight Zone"), on this pilot film, he was firmly in control. Adapting three stories from his 1967 collection "The Season To Be Wary", Serling came up with a thoroughly engaging anthology film that combined morality, melodrama, suspense, and the supernatural into a stunning brew not seen on television before.

Segment 1, "The Cemetery", directed by Boris Sagal, features Roddy McDowall as an unscrupulous nephew who causes the death of his uncle by exposing him to a cold wind in order to grab his hands on the old man's fortune. But as he soon learns, one of the paintings his uncle created in his last days--that of the family cemetery--keeps changing on him every time he looks at it. And soon, it seems to show his uncle coming back from the grave.

Segment 2, "Eyes", stars Joan Crawford as a ruthless, imperious blind woman who blackmails a prominent surgeon (Barry Sullivan) into giving her an ocular transplant so that she may enjoy roughly twelve hours of sight before going blind again. The operation, done with the help of an eye donation from a petty gambler, turns out to be a success--until a blackout causes Crawford to think otherwise. This episode is noted as the professional maiden directing effort for Steven Spielberg.

Segment 3, "Escape", directed by Barry Shear, stars Richard Kiley as a Nazi fugitive hiding out in Buenos Aires who becomes captivated by a painting of a fisherman in the local art museum. He dreams of becoming that fisherman and escaping from hiding, but a chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor (Sam Jaffe) will deny him that in a chilling conclusion.

Although Serling's moralizing sometimes gets a bit on the heavy-handed side, NIGHT GALLERY is still superbly conceived, with the case giving excellent and often chilling performances. The first segment is appropriately spooky; the second ingenious and unconventional (for TV); and the third, even though it is the weakest, a worthy capper on this film. Spielberg, of course, got the glory for his segment, but Sagal's and Shear's segments are nothing to sneeze at either. All in all, NIGHT GALLERY comes highly recommended.

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