6.5/10
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Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Four horror/sci-fi segments directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series The Twilight Zone (1959).

Writers:

(television series The Twilight Zone), (prologue) | 8 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,073 ( 1,508)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Car Driver (Prologue)
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Larry (Segment #1)
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Ray (Segment #1)
Rainer Peets ...
German Officer (Segment #1) (as Remus Peets)
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Sue Dugan ...
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Waitress No. 2 (Segment #1)
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Bar Patron (Segment #1)
Annette Claudier ...
Joseph Hieu ...
...
Stephen Bishop ...
Thomas Byrd ...
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Storyline

Four directors collaborated to remake four episodes of the popular television series 'The Twilight Zone' for this movie. The episodes are updated slightly and in color (the television show was in black-and-white), but very true to the originals, where eerie and disturbing situations gradually spin out of control. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You're travelling through another dimension. A dimension, not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone! See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

24 June 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Good Life  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$29,500,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first collaboration between composer Jerry Goldsmith and co-director Joe Dante which would last for another seven films - one of the longest director/composer relationships on record. These collaborations would also include several productions by Steven Spielberg's companies Amblin Entertainment and Dreamworks Pictures. See more »

Goofs

An exterior shot of the airplane in Segment #4 shows the landing gear to be in the down position. The pilot later comments that the plane would be landing in twenty minutes, far too long for gear to be down prior to touchdown. See more »

Quotes

Co-Pilot: [John screamed when he saw the strange creature outside his window. He is now in his seat talking with the Co-Pilot, who doesn't know about the creature] Mr. Valentine, what do you think's wrong with this aircraft?
John Valentine: [tries to think of something else, since no one will believe him about the creature] There's an engine out.
Co-Pilot: Which one?
John Valentine: The one on the outside. Outboard No. 1. It's out, isn't it?
Co-Pilot: What makes you think that?
John Valentine: Never mind about that. It's true, isn't it?
Co-Pilot: Nine minutes ago, Outboard No. 1 was...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Slash (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

National Geographic Fanfare
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Performed by Albert Brooks with alternate lyrics
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A good film tainted by a senseless onscreen tragedy
20 June 2002 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

It is very hard to think of another film anywhere that had such a great potential as TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE had, only to have a senseless and totally preventable tragedy--the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two illegally hired Asian child actors--mar the impact. Aside from that, and some heavy-handed moralizing that even the original show's creator Rod Serling would have had problems with, this is a fairly good tribute to what was perhaps the best TV series in history.

The prologue (with Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks) and Segment 1 are both originals, written and directed by John Landis. The segment deals with a very embittered white man (Morrow) who, after being dealt the denial of a promotion at work in favor of a Jew, unleashes his bigotry at a bar. But when he steps outside, he soon gets a dose of his own bitter medicine: persecution by the Nazis in Vichy France circa 1943; stalked by the KKK in Alabama in 1956; attacked by US soldiers in Vietnam circa 1969. Landis' penchant for hamfisted dialogue and erratic direction dilute what could have been an effective piece; and the tragedy that occurred on his watch taints not only this segment but much of the rest of the movie.

Segment 2, a remake of the 1961 episode "Kick The Can", directed by Steven Spielberg, stars Scatman Crothers as an elderly magician who brings a sense of youth to the residents of a senior citizens home, though over the objections of a veritable old fuddy-duddy (Bill Quinn). Spielberg has often been attacked, mostly unnecessarily, for his tendency toward sloppy sentimentality, but here a lot of the attacks may be justified, despite the best of intentions. He is still my favorite director, but this is one of his weakest.

Segment 3 remakes "It's A Good Life." Under the inventive hands of director Joe Dante (THE HOWLING), this film stars Jeremy Licht as a boy with the power to enslave and terrorize his family when he comes to feel that they hate him. Kathleen Quinlan stars as the teacher who unintentionally gets caught up in the melee, only to wind up volunteering to teach Licht how to better use his powers before they become too big for him to control (a la CARRIE). Dante's use of inventive special effects (courtesy of Rob Bottin) and black comedy enliven this segment, despite some weird overacting from the rest of the segment's cast (including William Schallert and Kevin McCarthy).

Segment 4 is a reworking of the famous episode "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet." With George Miller (MAD MAX) at the director's helm, the segment stars John Lithgow as an incredibly anxious passenger with a morbid fear of flight who constantly sees a monstrous gremlin tearing apart at the wings of his plane during a severe storm. His anxiety explodes into terror and madness, and the other passengers think he is certifiable. But when the plane lands, and the damage is inspected...

The final score on this is that Landis and Spielberg, who also produced, come up with the weaker segments, and Dante and, especially, Miller come up with the best ones. Miller's segment is a truly kinetic piece of suspense and terror, though I did find the little girl (Christina Nigra) an extremely obnoxious and unnecessary presence. Lithgow, who takes over for William Shatner (who had the role in the TV episode), gives a bravura performance, arguably paving the way for his role in "2010" as an astronaut deftly afraid of heights.

Jerry Goldsmith's usual efficient score and some good special effects work help to make TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE not only an above-average tribute to a great TV show, but also a good anthology film that combines fantasy, suspense, and mystery. It is a shame that the film is tainted by a pointless tragedy. But if one can ignore that, there are rewards to be had by seeing this.


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