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Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

PG | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 24 June 1983 (USA)
Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series.

Writers:

John Landis, George Clayton Johnson (screenplay by) | 7 more credits »
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Popularity
4,323 ( 156)

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1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... Passenger / Ambulance Driver (prologue / segment "Time Out")
Albert Brooks ... Car Driver (prologue)
Vic Morrow ... Bill Connor (segment "Time Out")
Doug McGrath ... Larry (segment "Time Out")
Charles Hallahan ... Ray (segment "Time Out")
Rainer Peets Rainer Peets ... German Officer (segment "Time Out") (as Remus Peets)
Kai Wulff ... German Officer (segment "Time Out")
Sue Dugan Sue Dugan ... Waitress No. 1 (segment "Time Out")
Debby Porter ... Waitress No. 2 (segment "Time Out")
Steven Williams ... Bar Patron (segment "Time Out")
Annette Claudier Annette Claudier ... French Monther (segment "Time Out")
Joseph Hieu Joseph Hieu ... Vietnamese (segment "Time Out")
Al Leong ... Vietnamese (segment "Time Out")
Stephen Bishop Stephen Bishop ... Charming G.I. (segment "Time Out")
Thomas Byrd Thomas Byrd ... G.I. (segment "Time Out")
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Storyline

Four directors collaborated to remake four episodes of the popular television series 'The Twilight Zone' for this movie. The episodes are updated slightly and in color (the television show was in black-and-white), but very true to the originals, where eerie and disturbing situations gradually spin out of control. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On June 24th, four acclaimed directors, George Miller, John Landis, Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg take you to another dimension. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Vietnamese

Release Date:

24 June 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kick the Can See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,614,000, 26 June 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$29,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Spielberg briefly considered Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (1960), about neighborhood paranoia that's set off by a force of invading aliens from The Twilight Zone (1959), as a potential segment, which he cancelled, because it involved nighttime filming with children and special effects. This was mainly due to the tragedy that occurred on the "Time Out" segment. He finally chose "Kick the Can" from the original series. See more »

Goofs

In the prologue, a technician's hand can be seen out the passenger window of the car. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Weinstein: Remember this one, Mrs. Dempsey? Not last night but the night before, 24 robbers came knocking at my door, as I ran out, they ran in and this is what they said to me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 8 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Twilight Zone (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

NIGHTS ARE FOREVER
Performed by Jennifer Warnes
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by John Bettis
Produced by Bruce Botnick with James Newton Howard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A good film tainted by a senseless onscreen tragedy
20 June 2002 | by virek213See all my reviews

It is very hard to think of another film anywhere that had such a great potential as TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE had, only to have a senseless and totally preventable tragedy--the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two illegally hired Asian child actors--mar the impact. Aside from that, and some heavy-handed moralizing that even the original show's creator Rod Serling would have had problems with, this is a fairly good tribute to what was perhaps the best TV series in history.

The prologue (with Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks) and Segment 1 are both originals, written and directed by John Landis. The segment deals with a very embittered white man (Morrow) who, after being dealt the denial of a promotion at work in favor of a Jew, unleashes his bigotry at a bar. But when he steps outside, he soon gets a dose of his own bitter medicine: persecution by the Nazis in Vichy France circa 1943; stalked by the KKK in Alabama in 1956; attacked by US soldiers in Vietnam circa 1969. Landis' penchant for hamfisted dialogue and erratic direction dilute what could have been an effective piece; and the tragedy that occurred on his watch taints not only this segment but much of the rest of the movie.

Segment 2, a remake of the 1961 episode "Kick The Can", directed by Steven Spielberg, stars Scatman Crothers as an elderly magician who brings a sense of youth to the residents of a senior citizens home, though over the objections of a veritable old fuddy-duddy (Bill Quinn). Spielberg has often been attacked, mostly unnecessarily, for his tendency toward sloppy sentimentality, but here a lot of the attacks may be justified, despite the best of intentions. He is still my favorite director, but this is one of his weakest.

Segment 3 remakes "It's A Good Life." Under the inventive hands of director Joe Dante (THE HOWLING), this film stars Jeremy Licht as a boy with the power to enslave and terrorize his family when he comes to feel that they hate him. Kathleen Quinlan stars as the teacher who unintentionally gets caught up in the melee, only to wind up volunteering to teach Licht how to better use his powers before they become too big for him to control (a la CARRIE). Dante's use of inventive special effects (courtesy of Rob Bottin) and black comedy enliven this segment, despite some weird overacting from the rest of the segment's cast (including William Schallert and Kevin McCarthy).

Segment 4 is a reworking of the famous episode "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet." With George Miller (MAD MAX) at the director's helm, the segment stars John Lithgow as an incredibly anxious passenger with a morbid fear of flight who constantly sees a monstrous gremlin tearing apart at the wings of his plane during a severe storm. His anxiety explodes into terror and madness, and the other passengers think he is certifiable. But when the plane lands, and the damage is inspected...

The final score on this is that Landis and Spielberg, who also produced, come up with the weaker segments, and Dante and, especially, Miller come up with the best ones. Miller's segment is a truly kinetic piece of suspense and terror, though I did find the little girl (Christina Nigra) an extremely obnoxious and unnecessary presence. Lithgow, who takes over for William Shatner (who had the role in the TV episode), gives a bravura performance, arguably paving the way for his role in "2010" as an astronaut deftly afraid of heights.

Jerry Goldsmith's usual efficient score and some good special effects work help to make TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE not only an above-average tribute to a great TV show, but also a good anthology film that combines fantasy, suspense, and mystery. It is a shame that the film is tainted by a pointless tragedy. But if one can ignore that, there are rewards to be had by seeing this.


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