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Night Gallery (The Premiere Collection) - Three Episodes [VHS]

21 customer reviews

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(Dec 10, 1993)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rod Serling, Larry Watson, Joanna Pettet, Matt Pelto, Geraldine Page
  • Writers: Rod Serling
  • Producers: John Badham, William Sackheim
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MCA Universal Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 10, 1993
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300183203
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,504 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Steven Spielberg's first professional direction and with Joan Crawford!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2001
This pilot film for Rod Serling's final TV endeavor NIGHT GALLERY is a three-part omnibus that is far spookier than most made-for-television projects. Serling's own morality tracts are here bought together in a delicious mix of suspense, terror, and melodrama.
The first story concerns a greedy nephew (Roddy McDowall) who deliberately leaves his uncle exposed (George Macready) open to the cold, so that his death will result in McDowall grabbing onto the family fortune. But there is a painting in his uncle's vast collection that, bit by little bit, proceeds to drive McDowall to utter madness because of what it depicts--Macready coming back from the grave!
Story #2 concerns a blind woman (Joan Crawford, in one of her last roles) who blackmails her doctor (Barry Sullivan) in giving her an occular transplant so that she may see, even if it is only for twelve hours. The operation is in actuality a success, but when her 5th Avenue penthouse is thrown into darkness because of the great 1965 New York blackout, she's led to believe it was a disaster.
Story #3 focuses on a Nazi fugitive (Richard Kiley) eking out an existence in Buenos Aires who becomes entranced by a painting of a fisherman in an art gallery, and who longs for Escape. But his past is about to catch up to him; and the twist ending is not quite what he had in mind.
Superbly scripted by Serling, from his collection of short stories entitled "The Season To Be Wary", NIGHT GALLERY is superior suspense entertainment. Boris Sagal and Barry Shear do effective jobs in the direction of the first and third stories, but it is the Crawford segment that gets the most attention--and for good reason. This marked the maiden directorial effort of a young man from Phoenix, Arizona named Steven Spielberg.
Billy Goldenberg's eerie, Herrmann-influenced score puts the capper on this one-of-a-kind TV movie. With Halloween fast approaching, NIGHT GALLERY is well worth searching for.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on January 29, 2004
Verified Purchase
Those opening words by writer, host and all round creative genius Rod Serling paved the way for viewers to enjoy many intriguing stories of mystery, mayhem and the supernatural during the three year run of the classic series "Night Gallery". A brain child of Serling who had earlier been responsible for the creation of one of televisions most innovative and best remembered series in the classic "The Twilight Zone","Night Gallery was a regular anthology series on NBC that told stories of macabre happenings with surreal characters in often out of this world situations. This particular TV movie was the original pilot for the series and aired in 1969. It contains three individual stories and was adapted by Rod Serling from his own short story collection titled "The Season to be Wary". While varying in quality with the third story by far the weakest, all are rich in suspense and detail with stories one and two boasting top flight guest stars in engrossing teleplays.
All three episodes are linked by the presence in each story of a painting that literally guides the course of events, hence the title "Night Gallery". Rod Serling introduces each of the segments by the unveiling of each painting in turn and the viewer is then drawn into the story it has to tell.
Episode One which is the real gem of the trio is titled "The Cemetary", and stars a superb Roddy McDowall as a devilish young man called Jeremy Evans who has latched on to his previously unknown wealthy uncle. To hasten the time when he will recieve the old man's inheritance Jeremy deliberatly exposes him to cold winds upon which the old man dies of pheumonia.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Clarissa Bolding on October 2, 2001
They just don't make 'em like this anymore!
To this day The Twilight Zone is one of my all-time favorite shows. It wasn't until recently that I re-discovered Night Gallery and learned that Rod Serling was behind this colorful, modernized series as well. Like TZ, Night Gallery's stories veer off the path of reality and venture into worlds of wild imagination never known before. Rod Serling was a master of mystery, macabre and leaving the viewer with incredible imprints from his mind.
The story I like best from this particular tape is the first one. Roddy McDowell and Ossie Davis give chilling performances and the storyline is truly eerie. I remember seeing this as a child and it really scared me. Watching it again bought back the same experience. "Eyes" with Joan Crawford also has an unforgettable twist for its conclusion.
Track this one down and add it to your collection and for those who want to see all the NG episodes, Columbia House has the series included in its extensive library, as well as The Twilight Zone. There are also Night Gallery and T.Z. Companions available here on Amazon that chronicle every episode of both series. Both are excellent resources for true Serling fans.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adam Bernstein on February 8, 2003
Here's some classic 1960s TV; the movie debut of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery". Though the series lapsed quickly into B-TV oblivion, this film stands out as fresh, original, and even profound on some level. Serling introduces his 3 original stories as 3 art gallery paintings and we start off with Roddy McDowell, all Modded up and with a Southern accent. He kills his uncle for the inheritance, but the painting by the stairs is scaring the daylights out of him. Ozzie Davis does a convincing (Mr.) Portifoy who's after some inheritance of his own.

Next we are on New York's 5th Ave. where Joan Crawford is blind and rich. She blackmails a doctor to do an operation allowing her 12 hours of sight...the catch is Tom Bosley has to donate his eyes for her. The moment she takes off her bandage for her 1st glimpse of sight a citywide blackout occurs. This is classic Serling (Beware of consequences) and even more profound and trippy than many Twilight Zone episodes. Not to mention this was Steven Spielberg's directorial debut. The final scene with Crawford getting a first and last glimpse of the sun has some profundity to it. Really the second the blackout hits we enter a surreal dimension, and we hear her thoughts "I want the sun", the window breaks, and we come back to Serling's gallery.

These first 2 stories I remember vividly from seeing them on early '70s TV as a kid. So it's really got the nostalgia factor going on. The 3rd story is a bit of a throwaway about a Nazi war criminal in South America.

Get this for the 1st 2.
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