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>
John Landis's segments were the first to be filmed, and Steven Spielberg considered canceling the entire project after the deadly helicopter crash. Ultimately the remaining segments were completed in this order: It's a Good Life, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, and Kick the Can (Spielberg's segment). See more »
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 »
After the opening prologue with DAN AKYROYD and ALBERT BROOKS, as bored drivers on a lonely country highway who like to play pranks, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE offers four stories, supposedly in the vein of stories that Rod Serling wrote for the famous TV series. Not until the final segment, NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET does it offer the kind of fright stuff worthy of being in this anthology.
And it's a minor gem of its kind with JOHN LITHGOW giving an amazingly deft performance as a man totally afraid of flying who should have taken tranquilizers before he peered out the window. What he saw on the wing of the plane would have frightened anyone out of their wits--and, of course, no one believes him.
It's this final episode that makes the film itself worth watching. None of the other segments have enough punch to keep the viewer awake, let alone entertained. VIC MORROW's unfortunate accident came about during filming of a Vietnam sequence which does not appear in this version of the film--but he does give a convincing portrait of a bigot who gets his comeuppance. Very ironic.
Summing up: All of these stories were told with more style and suspense on the old TV shows. Strictly second-rate.
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