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>
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!
Known for his meticulous preparation, John Lithgow had worked out certain scenes in his airplane seat in conjunction with the manufactured lightning outside the window. However, during filming, the crew member in charge of the lightning flashes would activate it too soon or too late, throwing off Lithgow's timing. Although initially annoyed, he later came to value the experience after viewing the film, seeing that it added to his anxious, fearful character as he looked genuinely startled by the lightning. See more »
In Segment #3 "It's A Good Life", shadows of the crew can be seen moving on the ground next to the large tree as the camera pans following Helen Foley's car as it arrives at Anthony's house. See more »
[Opening Narration for Segment 3]
Portrait of a woman in transit. Helen Foley, age 27. Occupation: schoolteacher. Up until now, the pattern of her life has been one of unrelenting sameness, waiting for something different to happen. Helen Foley doesn't know it yet, but her waiting has just ended.
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"Twilight Zone: The Movie" is a mostly entertaining anthology film based on Rod Serling's classic TV series of the 1960s. Four bizarre tales are told through the minds of four different filmmakers: John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller (Landis and Spielberg also produced). "Twilight Zone: The Movie" starts with a brief prologue starring Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks. Then comes segment #1, directed by Landis. This is the part of the movie that made headlines around the world when a freak accident killed actor Vic Morrow and two children while shooting a helicopter scene (which is not seen in the film). This story is about an angry man (played by Morrow) who is not happy with America because of all the different races that are living in the country. Then something strange happens. When the man steps outside of a bar, he finds himself on a street in Nazi Germany; a few minutes later he's confronted by the Klu Klux Klan; then he discovers he's in the middle of the Vietnam War; and so on. As for how this segment goes, it's only so-so. However segment #2, directed by Spielberg, is the weakest story of the bunch. Scatman Crothers stars as an elderly man who comes to live at a retirement home. After making friends with some of the elderly people living there, he talks them into playing a spirited game of kick the can. This is no ordinary game. Let's just say that its a game with a fountain of youth twist to it. I found this segment real boring. Up to this point, "Twilight Zone: The Movie" is disappointing. But then the film picks up with the strong last two segments. Segment #3, directed by Dante, stars Kathleen Quinlan as a woman who meets a little boy after accidentally knocking him off of his bike with her car. She decides to give the boy a ride home. But this is no ordinary home. It's a house where every TV set has a cartoon on, and the boy's family act like a bunch of crazy people (like their cartoons themselves). Quinlan begins to realize that this kid is not normal. This segment works because it's creepy (the look of the house on the inside is fascinating) and funny (every member of the kid's family is a complete nut). Ah, but the best segment comes last. Segment #4, directed by Miller, is a truly scary tale starring John Lithgow (from TV's "3rd Rock From the Sun") as a terrified passenger of an airplane flying through a severe thunderstorm. Things get worse when Lithgow see's something on the wing of the plane. What is it? A man? Or is it a monster? This segment literally had me on the edge of my seat. It's an excellent finale to "Twilight Zone: The Movie". So my advice is skip the first two segments, but watch the last two.
Here's my separate ratings for each segment (out of four stars):