Friday, October 23, 2009

TZ Promo: "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine" (10/23/1959)

"Picture of a woman looking at a picture..."

Tonight marks the 50th anniversary of the 4th Twilight Zone episode ever broadcast: "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine," starring Ida Lupino and Martin Balsam. Written by Rod Serling and directed by Mitchell Leisen, the episode evokes the William Holden/Gloria Swanson classic Sunset Boulevard in its themes and sentiments (coincidentally or not, Franz Waxman composed the music for both). The episode examines the dangers of over-romanticizing the past at the expense of the present, a theme that Serling would return to repeatedly in future Zone scripts (most notable "Walking Distance," which is coming up next week).

Interesting historical notes regarding Ms. Lupino: She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (one for TV, one for film). And, aside from her impressive acting career (which included several key noir films in the 40's and 50's), she was also an accomplished director. In fact, she directed a fifth season TZ episode entitled "The Masks," which we won't get to until... March 2014!

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