Night Gallery (1969–1973)
7.6/10
1,433
35 user 9 critic

Pilot 

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

Episode 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 (1969), 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

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Gallery See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Miss Claudia Menlo was born in 1915. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the Joan Crawford segment, we're told that Miss Menlo lives on Fifth Avenue. But the opening shot is on Park Avenue, not Fifth. See more »

Quotes

Rod Serling - Host: [First segment narration] Good evening. And welcome to a private showing of three paintings displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector's item in its own way; not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare. Our initial offering: a small gothic item of blacks and grays. A piece of the past known as the family crypt. This one we call simply "The Cemetery." Offered to you now, six feet of ...
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Connections

Featured in Spielberg on Spielberg (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Deutschlandlied
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben
Performed by Richard Kiley
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User Reviews

Above-Average
8 April 2004 | by laffinsalSee all my reviews

As far as TV pilot films go, this one is stellar. While the "Night Gallery" TV series, which resulted from this, had a number of classic, unforgettable stories, it's often this opening feature that most people remember the best.

Of the three segments, I've always enjoyed the middle one with Joan Crawford, best. She does a great job. Super script too...such irony! The final segment is great as well, with Richard Kiley giving a powerful performance. Another classic ending. Roddy McDowell is also fine in the first segment, although aside from the creepy cemetery painting (I like how it keeps changing), this one was the least interesting to me, of the three stories.

A fine, fine production all-around. Great acting, awesome scripts, and terrific production levels for a TV special of the time. It's too bad the series itself, has not been remembered so well through the years, but this was a superb kick-off for it. Rod Serling is wonderful as usual, giving his characteristic dry, eerie delivery for each of the proceedings. Highly recommended!


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