IMDb > Dying Room Only (1973) (TV)

Dying Room Only (1973) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Richard Matheson (teleplay)
Richard Matheson (short story)
View company contact information for Dying Room Only on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 September 1973 (USA) See more »
She's Alone. No One Believes Her. And There's No Way Out.
A married couple are traveling on a deserted desert road at night. They stop at a diner and the husband goes to the men's room... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Matheson and Leachman rock it old school in this way-above-average TV classic See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cloris Leachman ... Jean Mitchell

Ross Martin ... Jim Cutler

Ned Beatty ... Tom King

Dana Elcar ... Sheriff
Louise Latham ... Vi

Dabney Coleman ... Bob Mitchell
Ron Feinberg ... Lou McDermott

Directed by
Philip Leacock 
Writing credits
Richard Matheson (teleplay)

Richard Matheson (short story)

Produced by
Allen S. Epstein .... producer
Neil T. Maffeo .... associate producer
Lee Rich .... executive producer
Original Music by
Charles Fox 
Cinematography by
John M. Stephens (director of photography) (as John W. Stephens)
Film Editing by
Bill Mosher 
Production Design by
Ed Graves 
Set Decoration by
Anthony C. Montenaro  (as Tony Montenaro)
Makeup Department
Mel Berns Jr. .... makeup artist
Bruce Jossen .... hair stylist (as Jossen)
Production Management
Neil T. Maffeo .... executive production manager
Kurt Neumann .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kurt Neumann .... first assistant director
Lorin Bennett Salob .... second assistant director (as Lorin Salob)
Art Department
Horst Grandt .... property master
Sound Department
Vic Carpenter .... production sound mixer
Victor Guarnier .... sound effects editor
Jack Wheeler .... sound effects editor (as John Wheeler)
Bill Wistrom .... sound effects editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Larry Gilhooly .... electrical gaffer
George Rader .... key grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Thomas S. Dawson .... costumer (as Tom Dawson)
Editorial Department
Gene Fowler Jr. .... editorial supervisor
Music Department
Edna Bullock .... music editor
Other crew
Julie Waxman .... production coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
74 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Tomorrow's Bacon (2001)See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Matheson and Leachman rock it old school in this way-above-average TV classic, 23 May 2011
Author: bob_meg from United States

Is Richard Matheson awesome or what? Who else could conceive of something so simple and sinister as a woman's husband disappearing in a men's room at a broken down café in the desert? The same guy who conceived of a monster truck stalking a beleaguered motorist to great effect in "Duel," and that's only a slight sample of the other legendary tales he's penned. His skill at deriving something so evil out of the ordinary is very comparable to Stephen King at his '70s peak with "Night Shift" and "Dying Room Only" is indicative of that prowess --- it still makes an impact on people I show it to today.

The great news is that this film is now widely available as part of the Warner Archives collection, remastered in widescreen, and though there's nothing but the film on the disc, it's a bargain at about $10.

The locals, played by Ross Martin and Ned Beatty are creepy and cruel, the motel night clerk is surly and obtuse. It's really all on Ms. Leachman to figure it out, and Chloris does a really fine job here: she transmits her urgency and controlled panic without making herself into a blithering, hysterical wreck. She's a strong heroine. Dabney Coleman is almost unrecognizable as her husband, here, he's so very young looking.

I've heard many comparisons to "Breakdown" but this film is really only similar in plot structure. Breakdown was an adrenaline fueled roller coaster ride that was definitely one of the better road thrillers ever produced. DRO is more a psychological head-game and a mystery, more suited to rainy evenings at home than crowded nights at the multiplex. Pick it up, before they remake and ruin it.

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