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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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
Rod Serling - Narrator:
Picture of a woman looking at a picture. Movie great of another time, once-brilliant star in a firmament no longer a part of the sky, eclipsed by the movement of earth and time. Barbara Jean Trenton, whose world is a projection room, whose dreams are made out of celluloid. Barbara Jean Trenton, struck down by hit-and-run years and lying on the unhappy pavement, trying desperately to get the license number of fleeting fame.
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What happens when the roles dry up? Time to fade out?
This is a lesser episode from the first season of The Twilight Zone but, once again, I have to start by saying that a lesser episode of The Twilight Zone is far better than a good episode of many other TV shows that have come and gone over the years.
It's all about an actress (Barbara Trenton, played by Ida Lupino) who doesn't accept that age has wearied her and her start has faded. One man (Martin Balsam) keeps trying to help her get back into movie work but he struggles against her own imagined stardom/youth. When he tries to jolt her back to reality by having her meet up with a co-star from many years before this just results in Barbara running back to her safe place, the titular sixteen millimeter shrine.
There are great performances here by all concerned but neither the direction by Mitchell Leisen nor the writing by Rod Serling do anything notable to distract you from the fact that, for the most part, this is a pale imitation of the great Sunset Boulevard. Of course, it comes complete with an ending steeped in that strange twilight zone and that's what raises this little tale back up to beyond average.
Not an unmissable episode then but still enjoyable enough.
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