Night Gallery (1969–1973)
12 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 Allen Poe can't even get the first line down on paper.


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


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

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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")
Larry J. Blake ...
Charles Crowley (segment "Cool Air") (as Larry Blake)
Milton Parsons ...
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)
John Barclay ...
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

Plot Keywords:

horror host | h.p. lovecraft | See All (2) »





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?


Per the title, the camera obscura or dark chamber is an optical device used, for example, in drawing or for entertainment. It is one of the inventions leading to photography. See more »


At 2:46 in 'Cool Air', over the shoulder of the actress, there is a decidedly modern step van. See more »


Version of Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Two of the Very Best Episodes of the Series!
11 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Another Lovecraft episode finds Henry Darrow putting off death by maintaining a level of cold in his apartments. Unfortunately, he is at the mercy of an aging refrigeration device that runs non-stop. The poor man has lost his wife and begins a relationship with a beautiful young woman who is willing to come to his rooms and dine with him He tells her of his experiments and the necessity for him to remain in this frigid environment. Sadly, one day the thing stops working and the temperature begins to rise. He calls the young woman and she desperately tries to find someone to fix it. This is a terrifying tale and the acting is excellent.

Also outstanding, is the second story, "Camera Obscura." Ross Martin, playing a kindly old man, is visited by a loan shark, played by Rene Auberjunois. The guy is only interested in assuring Martin that he will be ready to pay off his usurious loan the following Monday. We find out this man and his father before him are incredibly heartless, not caring what happens to those they destroy financially. Martin who is quite rich, with masterpieces of art on his walls, goes to bat for a friend of his who is about to be done in by Auberjunois. He is unyielding, though Martin makes it clear he has an opportunity to be compassionate. During the visit, Martin shows the shark a camera that can look back in time. After all this, he excuses himself and tells Martin that he had better have the money. As he retreats, he goes out a back doorway, and finds himself years in the past. Now he must confront the evil he and his father have done.

"Quoth the Raven" has Marty Allen, a comedian I never found funny, playing Edgar Allen Poe with writer's block. Nothing much here.

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