IMDb > "Night Gallery" Night Gallery (1969)

"Night Gallery" Night Gallery (1969)

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Rod Serling (written by)
View company contact information for Night Gallery on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
8 November 1969 (Season 1, Episode 0)
In the pilot of the television series _"Night Gallery" (1970)_, Rod Serling introduces three separate paintings... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Exhibiting unwholesome behavior... See more (30 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Crawford ... Miss Claudia Menlo

Ossie Davis ... Osmund Portifoy

Richard Kiley ... SS-Gruppenführer Helmut Arndt / Josef Strobe

Roddy McDowall ... Jeremy Evans

Barry Sullivan ... Dr. Frank Heatherton

Tom Bosley ... Sidney Resnick

George Macready ... William Hendricks

Sam Jaffe ... Bleum

Norma Crane ... Gretchen
Barry Atwater ... Carson

George Murdock ... 1st Agent
Tom Basham ... Gibbons
Byron Morrow ... George J. Packer
Garry Goodrow ... Louis

Shannon Farnon ... 1st Nurse

Richard Hale ... Doctor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Rod Serling ... Himself - Host

Bruce Kirby ... Artist (uncredited)
Robie Lester ... Singer in Fishing Painting (voice) (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Boris Sagal (segment "The Cemetery")
Barry Shear (segment "Escape Route")
Steven Spielberg (segment "Eyes")
Writing credits
Rod Serling (written by)

Produced by
John Badham .... associate producer
William Sackheim .... producer
Original Music by
Billy Goldenberg  (as William Goldenberg)
Cinematography by
Richard Batcheller (director of photography)
William Margulies (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Edward M. Abroms 
Art Direction by
Howard E. Johnson 
Set Decoration by
John McCarthy Jr.  (as John McCarthy)
Perry Murdock 
Joseph J. Stone  (as Joseph Stone)
Costume Design by
Burton Miller 
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Ben Bishop .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ralph Ferrin .... assistant director
Marty Hornstein .... assistant director
Art Department
Jaroslav Gebr .... painter: paintings
Sound Department
Elbert W. Franklin .... sound
James T. Porter .... sound
Julie Ann Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Robert Brower .... color coordinator
Music Department
Stanley Wilson .... music supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

98 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Helmut Arndt left Venezuela in April 1961.See more »
Factual errors: During the "Escape Route" segment, Israeli agents hold a photo of wanted war criminal SS-Gruppenfuhrer (Major General) Helmuth Arndt. However, the photograph shows Kiley wearing the one-of-a-kind uniform worn by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Making of '1941' (1996) (V)See more »


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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Exhibiting unwholesome behavior..., 5 January 2005
Author: Merwyn Grote ( from St. Louis, Missouri

This remarkable trio of spooky stories served as a pilot to the not-quite-so remarkable TV series of the same name, though now it is just as likely remembered as the point where two screen legends passed at opposite trajectories of their careers. Steven Spielberg's first professional directing job was segment two of this anthology, which also proved to be one of Joan Crawford's last acting efforts, certainly her last worth noting.

Conceived by another legend, the brilliant Rod Serling, the concept of the film and subsequent series was meant to be a variation on his classic "Twilight Zone" series, varying tales of supernatural horror, each tied to a grotesque painting and each introduced by Serling, acting as the gallery's curator. It was an excellent start, though the resulting series proved to be a pale imitation of "The Twilight Zone," a peculiar hodgepodge of styles and concepts, some classics and some just plain silly.

The TV movie itself stands alone, though the trio of tales unfold in descending order. The first and best is "The Cemetery," a variation on the classic ghost story. In this southern Gothic creeper, Roddy McDowall murders his wealthy uncle, but finds that enjoying his newfound inheritance is a bit difficult since a painting on the wall seems to suggest that Uncle is buried, but not dead. The story is slight, even silly, but boy, oh boy, does Roddy know how to chew the scenery. I can think of no other actor who so obviously loved to act more than McDowall and here he plays evil to the hilt. Roddy was undoubtedly one of the most intrinsically likable stars there ever was, so much so that he could play the most despicably evil characters and still make the character a delight. "The Cemetery" is nicely written by Serling and tightly directed by Boris Segal, but it is Roddy's one-man show.

But if Roddy McDowall could make loathsome characters inexplicably likable, than Joan Crawford had the knack for negating any trace of sympathy that her characters might possess. In Spielberg's "Eyes," Joan plays a ruthless millionairess who happens to be blind, but has the chance to briefly see again by buying the eyes of a living person who is in desperate need of money. It is a nice performance; hard and demanding, Crawford never asks for pity, but nevertheless earns it with the story's nifty twist ending. More a clever idea than a solid story, the tale is not particularly suspenseful; bit it does displays a cool sense of cynical irony. And never is it apparent that it is Spielberg's first crack at professional film-making, so sure is his use of the camera and setting of mood.

The third tale of the trilogy, "Escape Route," is probably the most like the classic "Twilight Zone," dark and brooding; yet least successful as a thriller. Richard Kiley is a war criminal who thinks he can escape his past by literally throwing himself into art. Rod Serling has other ideas. As the trilogy's closing act, I guess it was suppose to be the one with the most impact, the one to show off Serling's penchant for moralizing. It doesn't quite come off. I think part of the problem is that Kiley, a good actor, lacks a powerful screen presence. The best episodes of "Night Gallery," and for that matter "The Twilight Zone," featured actors with strong personalities who were not only talented, but adept at pushing their performances to the edge, flirting with going over the top, just as McDowall and Crawford do. Any short form fiction, be it on the page or on the screen, needs that heightened sense of drama, that admission that reality has been left behind.

Though it had some strong episodes at first, the "Night Gallery" TV series fell out of Serling's control and eventually became sort of a ghost story version of "Love, American Style," a crude mix of cheap jokes and heavy-handed suspense. It's a pity that it didn't stay true to this pilot; it could have been another "Twilight Zone."

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