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Night Gallery (1969)

A seemingly haunted painting drives a greedy man insane. A rich blind woman gets a new pair of eyes that allow her to see for only one brief ironic moment. An idyllic painting gives a Nazi war criminal in hiding some fleeting comfort.

Writer:

Rod Serling
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Crawford ... Miss Claudia Menlo
Ossie Davis ... Osmund Portifoy
Richard Kiley ... SS-Gruppenführer Helmut Arndt / Josef Strobe
Roddy McDowall ... Jeremy Evans
Barry Sullivan ... Dr. Frank Heatherton
Tom Bosley ... Sidney Resnick
George Macready ... William Hendricks
Sam Jaffe ... Bleum
Norma Crane ... Gretchen
Barry Atwater ... Carson
George Murdock ... 1st Agent
Tom Basham Tom Basham ... Gibbons
Byron Morrow ... George J. Packer
Garry Goodrow Garry Goodrow ... Louis
Shannon Farnon ... 1st Nurse
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Storyline

In the pilot of the television series Night Gallery (1970), Rod Serling introduces three separate paintings, each with its own story of uncanny vengeance against evil to tell. The first, "The Cemetery", involves a black sheep nephew (Roddy McDowall) who murders his rich uncle to inherit his fortune - both much to the detriment of the uncle's butler (Ossie Davis) - only to find that vengeance extends beyond the grave. In the second story, "Eyes", a rich, heartless woman (Joan Crawford) who has been blind from birth blackmails an aspiring surgeon and a man who desperately needs money to give her a pair of eyes which will allow her to see for the first time - even though for only half a day's time - only to have the plan backfire on her in ways she never imagined. In the third story, "The Escape Route", a Nazi war criminal (Richard Kiley) is hiding from the authorities in South America, where he is confronted with his past demons and a curious Holocaust survivor (Sam Jaffe) and finds ... Written by Curly Q. Link

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'envers du tableau See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the first segment, in the scene in which Roddy McDowall shouts, "What in God's name is happening?" the sound track was faulty. During editing, McDowell was no longer available, so director John Badham himself looped the line. See more »

Goofs

Sidney Resnick's eyes are transplanted into Claudia Menlo. In spite of the fact that Resnick's eyes are brown, Miss Menlo's eyes are still blue after the operation. See more »

Quotes

Rod Serling - Host: [Second segment narration] Objet d'art number two, a portrait. Its subject, Miss Claudia Menlo, a blind queen who reigns in a carpeted penthouse on Fifth Avenue. An imperious, predatory dowager who will soon find a darkness blacker than blindness. This is her story.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Siskel & Ebert Interviews (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
Performed by Richard Kiley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the better made-for-TV movies
15 October 2000 | by Casey-52See all my reviews

Any film fan knows that this is where Steven Spielberg got his start, directing the second vignette "Eyes". But NIGHT GALLERY deserves more respect and attention because of its overall creepiness than for the debut of a young "genius".

Rod Serling, creator of "The Twilight Zone", hosts this anthology TV movie that later spawned the TV series of the same name. Both the film and the series feature a multitude of guest stars that keep things interesting. Part 1: An obnoxious southern man (superbly played by Roddy McDowall) kills his uncle (George Macready) for his fortune and is later haunted by a painting of the family cemetery. Part 2: A blind woman (Joan Crawford) arranges to use a gambler's eyes (Tom Bosley) so she can see for a few hours, but things don't turn out the way she planned. Part 3: A Nazi war criminal living in South America is enchanted by a beautiful painting that reminds me of his happier past.

Of the three stories, Part 3 is easily the weakest. Part 1 and Part 2 are both amazing pieces of cinema and leave lingering memories to haunt you. But the plot and execution of Part 3 is rather boring and never really provides the viewer with memorable images or even a few chills here and there. Joan Crawford and Roddy McDowall easily take the cake as the best actors in the movie. Having always been a fan of both, I may be a bit biased, but most fans will agree with me that the two play wonderful villains, yet evoke a certain pity when they get theirs. The music in the movie is brilliant, by the way.

NIGHT GALLERY is an above-average TV movie that should be out on DVD already. The VHS is out of print, I believe, but try looking for it. My advice: watch the first two, then stop, rewind, and eject. Avoid the third installment as it will positively ruin the viewing experience.


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