A businessman sitting in his office inexplicably finds that he is on a production set and in a world where he is a movie star. Uninterested in the newfound fame, he fights to get back to his home and family.
The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
Arthur Curtis is sitting his office chatting with secretary about plans for his daughter's birthday party and that he and his wife will be flying off for a couple of days of rest and relaxation. Suddenly he hears someone yell "cut" and he realizes he on a movie sound stage. He can't understand what has happened to him. Everyone refers to him as Gerry Reagan, but he insists that he is Arthur Curtis. He runs off but can't find any of the familiar landmarks he knows such as his house or his place of work. He is desperate to return to the world of Arthur Curtis but that window of opportunity may be closing on him. Written by
When Arthur/Gerry is trying to make the first phone call, right before he dials the third number, the shadow of the fake wall can be seen sliding. See more »
You're looking at a tableau of reality, things of substance, of physical material: a desk, a window, a light. These things exist and have dimension. Now this is Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six, who also is real. He has flesh and blood, muscle and mind. But in just a moment we will see how thin a line separates that which we assume to be real with that manufactured inside of a mind.
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Howard Duff plays successful businessman Arthur Curtis, who is one day in the office talking to his wife, when he discovers to his astonished bewilderment to find himself on a film set, and that his "real" name is Gerry Reagen, and that Arthur Curtis was a character he was playing in a film! Defiant and scared, Curtis leaves only to discover his loving wife there is a grasping, greedy harridan here, who wants to divorce him and take his money. How can Arthur convince people of his true identity, and get back home? Highly effective episode is quite provocative in its premise, and pushes age-old fears of identity and sneaking modern paranoia that perhaps we're all actors without knowing it too...
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