Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 4

The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine (23 Oct. 1959)
"The Twilight Zone" The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 995 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

Barbara Jean Trenton is a faded film star who lives in the past by constantly re-watching her old movies instead of moving on with her life, so her associates try to lure her out of her self-imposed isolation.

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Title: The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine (23 Oct 1959)

The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine (23 Oct 1959) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Narrator (voice)
...
Barbara Trenton
...
Danny Weiss
Jerome Cowan ...
Jerry Hearndan
...
Marty Sall
Alice Frost ...
Sally
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Storyline

The washed up actress Barbara Trenton is a woman stranded in her past, worshiping and watching her movies of twenty-five years ago in her glorious days. Her housemaid Sally is worried with her behavior and she tells to Barbara's friend and agent Danny Weiss that unsuccessfully tries to make Barbara move on with her life, giving a new role in the cinema industry. But Barbara lives in the past and does not accept that she is older now. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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23 October 1959 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ida Lupino, who starred in this episode, would later direct Twilight Zone: The Masks (1964). She thus became not just the only woman to direct an episode of the Twilight Zone (1959), but also the only person both to star in an episode and to direct one. See more »

Quotes

Danny Weiss: Barbie, it's no good, honey. None of this is any good.
Barbara Trenton: Look, if you won't fix yourself a drink, sit down and be quiet - will you? You know something, Daniel, you have a habit of looking poised, ready to spring.
Danny Weiss: What was the picture?
See more »

Connections

References Sunset Blvd. (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Here's to the wishes that come true
1 February 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this episode, which was a great surprise given the bad reputation it seems to have acquired. From a pure writing perspective, 'The 16mm shrine' is an absolute treat, with fantastic dialogue and character analysis, typical of Sterling. In particular I really enjoyed the philosophical indulgences of the episode, tackling themes of existence and reality, whilst balancing it with more psychological topics such as denial, pride, and desire. 'The sixteen-millimeter shrine' is an episode about how these ideas based around an unwillingness to accept change can seemingly alienate a person from the rest of the ever-changing world. It is also a fantastic example of cerebral Twilight Zone; one that explores the mind rather than the world outside it. These elements all come together very nicely to create a thought provoking and incredibly interesting 25 minutes.

The episode is not without its faults however, which mainly lay in Lupino and Leisen shoes. Ironically, I felt Lupino was unconvincing throughout, with only a few scenes that could count as memorable. This of course being an absolute shame considering how well Sterling had written her character. Furthermore Leisen didn't seem to know what to do with most of his characters, sometimes having them stand around on set doing next to nothing -which probably explains why accepted the poor performances from Lupino half the time-. Thankfully Balsam does a good job of covering up a lot of weak spots, helping redeem the show from an acting perspective at least.

As I said previously however, if you're a fan of classic film and cerebral science fiction, this shouldn't be as bad as it's sometimes made out to be. In addition to the writing that I mentioned above, the episode also features some fantastic photography (it still amazes me that the show looks this good nearly fifty years later!) and decent enough set-design. Overall 'The sixteen-millimeter shrine" is a great episode and above all is certainly one to make you think.


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