"Night Gallery" Finnegan's Flight (TV Episode 1972) Poster

(TV Series)

(1972)

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7 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
5/10
Pure Torture
Hitchcoc20 June 2014
What was the point of this? Other than the fact that the one man had the power of suggestion that he could use to manipulate another man, where is this going. Burgess Meredith, one of the all time great character actors, plays a lifer in prison. He longs to be able to leave but knows he never will. A man who has the ability to hypnotize people finds that Meredith is the perfect subject. This would be interesting if there was some way that it would be used to bring about a change or comfort for the man. Instead, he continues to torture him, making him pound his fists into a wall and convincing him that cold water is boiling (asking him to submerge his hands and ultimately producing blisters). The prison psychiatrist gets into the act and Meredith becomes a Guinea pig. What's missing is some sort of strategy, some end to their efforts. This is not a good episode.
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Don't ride this jet
stones786 March 2013
I'm disappointed to say that I feel this episode is a dud, considering the decent performance of Burgess Meredith as Charlie Finnegan, although it wasn't enough to recommend to fans of this odd series. Cameron Mitchell guest stars as Pete Tuttle, as both he and Charlie are imprisoned for their own reasons, while Tuttle acts as Charlie's hypnotist(what?)as an escape for the poor man. I'll admit this is an odd storyline, but still fairly original for this genre, but it was poorly executed with little to no surprises. Tuttle makes Finnegan believe he's a pilot, and we get to hear him make these childish sounds of a jet engine, which was very embarrassing to watch, plus we get to see this disgusting white foam emerge from his mouth as his face is turning very red; this whole scene is silly and borders on the sublime. There are another few scenes which didn't work for me either, and they have Charlie punching a brick wall inside the prison walls until he breaks all his fingers, while he's in a trance. So what happens? He does the same exact scene a few minutes later, and punches the same brick wall. I'll give Meredith credit for giving his all with weak material, but he couldn't save this episode from itself.
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1/10
Rod Serling at his very worst.
grizzledgeezer23 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Rod Serling's -- uh -- sterling reputation rests primarily on plays he wrote during television's Golden Age. * (Though I have two of them on LV, I've never watched them. Maybe I should.)

He created "Twilight Zone" to tell stories that might otherwise not pass approval by the advertisers and management. His record is dismal, revealing a heavy-handed and crudely moralizing storyteller. He isn't remotely close to (for example) Sturgeon or Ellison. There are perhaps a mere half-dozen really good TZ episodes, and I don't think Serling wrote any of them.

This truly pathetic episode deals with the nature of reality. Is what we experience real, or does it exist only in belief? Does a sufficiently strong belief create a "reality" that people other than the believer experience?

When convict Burgess Meredith is hypnotized and told to believe he's flying an airplane, he develops altitude sickness and foams at the mouth -- not much of a problem for the ever-hammy Mr Meredith. ** When he "loses control" of the imaginary airplane, it crashes into the prison, causing //real// death 'n destruction.

This is about as stupid as any bad Star Trek episode.

Why not have him recover control (so the audience has at least a moment of faux excitement), then have Cameron Mitchell hypnotize him again, telling him he can walk through the prison walls? And he does. The episode would then be titled "Stone Walls..."

Yes, that's obvious and dumb, too. But at least it takes advantage of the situation's potential.

* This luster seems to be based primarily on live drama, usually sponsored by Big Businesses. The quality of this programming varied widely, perhaps only a small percentage of which would hold up to the best TV being done today. It did, however, make it possible for stage actors and directors to get the visibility needed to advance to motion-picture making.

** In his youth, BM was a fine actor. But like Vincet Price, he threw it away.
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1/10
Horrible!
me-99-65172410 March 2015
Painful to watch. What a waste of talent. Was Rod on crack? Maybe just OD'd on nicotine. Call me Ishmael. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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7/10
I dream about being out there.
classicsoncall12 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Burgess Meredith made his mark in four episodes of Rod Serling's 'Twilight Zone', the most well known one probably being where he portrayed the frustrated reader Henry Bemis in 'Time Enough at Last'. This story takes place in a prison setting, with Meredith's character a long time convict with an aching desire to be free once more, so much so that he bloodies his fists attempting to knock down prison walls with them. He gets his wish in a manner of speaking, just as Henry Bemis did, but without a twist that would insure a happy ending. Alas, the Night Gallery was not a friendly place for actor Meredith, who fared in a similar fashion in a segment titled 'The Little Black Bag' from the series' first season. It was paired with 'Room With a View" and 'The Nature of the Enemy'.
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5/10
Look Ma I'm a air plane!
kapelusznik1811 November 2016
***SPOILERS*** A lot like the story "The Jacket" about mind over matter by Jack London where with the help of fellow convict Pete Tuttle,Cameron Mitchell, that lifer Charlie Finnigan, Burgess Meredith,is able to escape to freedom through the power of suggestion that Tuttle provided him with. It's Tuttle who worked as a hypnotist in a circus who's able to convince Charlie he can be anything he wants to be even a passenger jet if only he puts his mind to it. This has the prison doctor Simsich, Barry Sullivan, let Tuttle go the full nine yards in experimenting with Charlie's mind in if nothing else it would benefit the advancement of hypnotic projection.

With the prison warden Kenneth Toby who against his better judgment goes on letting Tuttle do his thing with Charlie he gets him to think that he's actually a passenger jet flying at 30,000 feet and about to make a crash landing. Tied down in his prison bed Charlie soon loses conciseness and starts to heat up turning all colors of the rainbow-Finnigan's Raindow-and crashes to earth incinerating himself and almost his entire cell-block!

A totally confused and flabbergasted Pete Tuttle as well as Dr. Simsich and prison warden soon realize that they went too far in their experiment with Charlie in causing his death! But as for Charlie, like the convict in the Jack London novel "The Jacket", he was now free as a bird if not in body but definitely in spirit able to fly as high and fast as he wants without being confined to a jail cell that he was condemned to spend the rest of his natural life in. A life that Charlie Finnigan made for himself that now with the help of a startled Pete Tuttle who was shocked-down to his socks-by his own ability to get Charlie air borne that Charlie was able to free himself from.
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6/10
Freedom Flight
AaronCapenBanner13 November 2014
Burgess Meredith plays Charlie Finnegan, an inmate in a federal penitentiary serving a life sentence who longs to escape, and especially yearns to fly an airplane. Cameron Mitchell plays Pete Tuttle, a fellow inmate and hypnotist who is allowed to hypnotize Charlie, putting him in a trance to believe he is flying in order to alleviate his stress, but this seems to backfire, until a climatic session where Charlie really does take flight of his mind and body... Good cast makes this interesting, with intriguing turns of the plot, though it is ultimately quite far-fetched as well, with an ending that takes it all to the extreme.
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