Night Gallery (1969–1973)
13 user 1 critic

Cool Air/Camera Obscura/Quoth the Raven 

A Gothic love story about a woman and a man who lives in a refrigerated apartment. / Miserly banker Sharsted finds himself trapped after viewing his client's strange optical device. / Edgar Allan Poe can't get the first line down on paper.


(as John M. Badham), | 1 more credit »


(short story "Camera Obscura"), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Mr. Gingold (segment "Camera Obscura")
Agatha Howard (segment "Cool Air")
William Sharsted (segment "Camera Obscura") (as René Auberjonois)
Beatrice Kay ...
Mrs. Gibbons (segment "Cool Air")
Abel Joyce (segment "Camera Obscura")
Charles Crowley (segment "Cool Air") (as Larry Blake)
Old Lamplighter (segment "Camera Obscura")
Brendan Dillon ...
Amos Drucker (segment "Camera Obscura")
Karl Lukas ...
Iceman (segment "Cool Air")
Philip Kenneally ...
Sanderson - Driver (segment "Camera Obscura") (as Phillip Kenneally)
William Sharsted Sr. (segment "Camera Obscura")


A woman falls in love with a man who has a rare disease that makes it so that he can't be exposed to warm temperatures. A greedy moneylender gets his just desserts with the help of a mysterious telescopic device that belongs to his latest client. Edgar Allan Poe ends up in a moment of writer's block.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

8 December 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Quoth the Raven" takes place in 1845. See more »


When Edgar Allan Poe (Marty Allen) writes his name, we see that he misspells his middle name "Allen." See more »


Version of Cool Air (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

liked first half more; say no to Poe
7 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Overall, I did enjoy Camera Obscura and the stars Ross Martin and Rene Auberjonois, who play a struggling businessman and money lender, respectively. During the first half of this episode, we get to see the odd layout of the house/business, and the dark stairs plus the weird shadows remind me a bit of the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from many moons ago. Ross Martin portrayed the elder Ginggold with perfection, and was rather creepy when he got angry with Mr. Sharsted for refusing to help an old acquaintance of his, and therefore set Sharsted to his private hell. I wasn't totally enamored with the odd green hue which followed shortly, but the ghouls which tormented Sharsted made up for the odd green background.

Regarding the disappointing short vignette entitled Quoth the Raven, it begins with a silly painting of producer Jack Laird, and I'm not sure why the artist even bothered. Marty Allen portrays the writer, who appears to be suffering writer's block, as he can't think of a word to go with "weak and...", and we have an annoying and loud crow chirping during the barely 2 minute episode. Unless you're a Poe aficionado, and I'm clearly not, then maybe you'll understand the ending, in which the crow yells "weary, dummy; the word is weary" to finish the quote that Poe could not and soon after, Poe throws his wine glass at the bird, unfortunately missing. The only aspect I liked was the interior of the room, but otherwise, this is a turkey.

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