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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Female on the Beach (1955) & Night Gallery (1969) Joan Crawford

Night Gallery (1969) Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford in the film which began the series, November 8, 1969 (pilot).
Genre: Anthology
Created by Rod Serling and presented by Rod Serling

Serling appeared in an art gallery setting and introduced the macabre tales that made up each episode by unveiling paintings (by artist Tom Wright) that depicted the stories. Night Gallery regularly presented adaptations of classic fantasy tales by authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, as well as original works, many of which were by Serling himself.

The series was introduced with a pilot TV movie that aired on November 8, 1969, and featured the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg, as well as one of the last acting performances by Joan Crawford. Allegedly, Bette Davis was set to star in the segment, but she felt her work was not important to a young director. However there is nothing in the files at Universal to suggest anyone other than Crawford was slated for the role.

Unlike the series, in which the paintings merely accompanied an introduction to the upcoming story, the paintings themselves actually appeared in the three segments, serving major or minor plot functions.

Night Gallery was initially part of a rotating anthology or wheel series called Four in One. This 1970–1971 television series rotated four separate shows, including McCloud, SFX (San Francisco International Airport) and The Psychiatrist. Two of these, Night Gallery and McCloud were renewed for the 1971–1972 season with McCloud becoming the most popular and longest running of the four.

NIGHT GALLERY (Air date: November 8, 1969)

Rod Serling wrote and introduces three supernatural tales with his distinctive stamp: eerie plots and chilling denouements. In the first, a despicable young man (Roddy McDowall) kills his uncle, then suffers a strange haunting from a mysteriously changing family painting. Next, a wealthy blind woman (Joan Crawford) buys herself 12 hours of sight, intending to make every second count if the operation works. And in the last, a fugitive Nazi (Richard Kiley), seeking escape from his past, begins a new phase of torment.

Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Boris Sagal
Roddy McDowall as Jeremy Evans
Ossie Davis as Osmond Portifoy
George Macready as William Hendricks
Barry Atwater as Mr. Carson
Tom Basham as Gibbons
Richard Hale as the Doctor

Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Joan Crawford as Claudia Menlo
Barry Sullivan as Dr. Frank Heatherton
Tom Bosley as Sidney Resnick
Byron Morrow as George Packer (Menlo’s Lawyer)
Garry Goodrow as Lou
Shannon Farnon as the First Nurse [scenes deleted]
Bruce Kirby as the Portrait Artist

Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Barry Shear
Richard Kiley as Joseph Strobe
Sam Jaffe as Bleum
Norma Crane as Gretchen
George Murdock as the First Israeli Agent

Miss Crawford on the set of Night Gallery, 1969

Female on the Beach (1955) Joan Crawford & Jeff Chandler

Joan Crawford & Jeff Chandler in a story about a widow and her beach bum lover. The screenplay by Robert Hill and Richard Alan Simmons was based on the play The Besieged Heart by Robert Hill. The film was directed by Joseph Pevney and produced by Albert Zugsmith. Co-starring Jan Serling, Cecil Kellaway and Natalie Schafer.

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