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Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

 -  Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  24 June 1983 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 21,651 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 115 user | 67 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

Four horror/sci-fi segments directed by four famous directors which are their own versions of classic stories from Rod Serling's landmark television series.

Writers:

(television series The Twilight Zone), (prologue), 9 more credits »
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Title: Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Car Driver (Prologue)
...
...
Larry (Segment #1)
Charles Hallahan ...
Ray (Segment #1)
Rainer Peets ...
German Officer (Segment #1) (as Remus Peets)
Kai Wulff ...
Sue Dugan ...
...
Waitress No. 2 (Segment #1)
...
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

Plot Keywords:

remake | 1960s | 1940s | bar | kick the can | See more »

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!

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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$29,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Williams, who contributed the song "Anesthesia" for the film, is the son of legendary composer John Williams, who is Steven Spielberg's personal friend and collaborator for the last four decades. Also Jerry Williams, who is John's brother, was the percussionist on the score. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

German Officer: [in German to Bill Connor] Are you English? What are you doing here?
German Officer: You are an American? Why are you here?
German Officer: What are you doing here? What are you doing here!
See more »


Soundtracks

THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Written by Leadbelly and Alan Lomax
See more »

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.


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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