PREPARE TO LAUGH
Margaret Jaggard | Wisconsin | 11/08/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The operating table footage is hilarious. Not sure who came up with that idea, but anyone who felt the death of Rod Serling on an operating table was a great way to open a documentary needs to go back to school. And to think I saw this on PBS over a decade ago!
The man who narrates in Rod Serling style voice did a good job. You won't learn much from watching this documentary, sadly. It's just a summary of the teleplays Serling wrote for the networks and brief bits of dialogue from video interviews that can be found in other books.
Looking for a documentary about The Twilight Zone that does better than this documentary?
THE TWILIGHT ZONE: UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO A TELEVISION CLASSIC by Martin Grams is 800 plus pages and includes "everything" about the classic series. The details about Serling's writing career on radio, early television and Twilight Zone is well researched and highly detailed. Exclusive interviews with cast and crew and behind-the-scenes trivia will floor you. Available from Amazon.com
As a fan of Twilight Zone and owner of two dozen books on the subject, this is the first and only book I can say is the comprehensive standard so I know what I am talking about. Forget the DVD. Buy the book.
John Watts | NYC, USA | 03/20/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I AGREE WITH ONE PAST REVIEWER REGARDING THE OPENING SCENE THAT RECOUNTED ROD'S DEATH IN A HOSPITAL IN 1975. MY HOPE IS THAT THE PRODUCER OF THE DVD WILL GO BACK INTO THE EDITING ROOM AND CUT THAT SCENE OUT AND REMAKE THE OPENING ALL OVER AGAIN, THIS TIME WITH MORE TASTE AND TACT.
IMAGINE ROD SERLING'S FAMILY WATCHING A VIDEO DOCUMENTARY ABOUT ROD, ONLY TO SEE AN OPENING SCENE IN A HOSPITAL OPERATING ROOM WITH ACTORS PLAYING DOCTORS WITH BLOODY SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS AND BLOOD STAINED PANS AT THEIR SIDE AND WEARING BLOOD SOAKED RUBBER GLOVES, WHILE ANOTHER ACTOR PORTRAYS A LIFELESS ROD SERLING ON THE OPERATING ROOM TABLE, WHILE A NARRATOR DOES A VOICE-OVER DESCRIBING THE FACT THAT ROD DIED ON THAT FATEFUL DAY, MOSTLY DUE TO SMOKING 'A MILLION CIGARETTES'.
THE REST OF THE DVD IS NARRATED MORE OR LESS BY A ROD SERLING SOUND-ALIKE, WHICH IS OKAY BECAUSE THE PRODUCERS OF THIS SHOW TRIED TO RECOUNT ROD'S CAREER FROM HIS OWN PERSPECTIVE. THERE ARE SOME VERY GOOD POINTS ABOUT THE DVD AS THEY RECOUNT THE BIRTH OF TV PRODUCTION AND THE EARLY DAYS OF TV IN NEW YORK CITY. I LIKED THE INTERVIEW SEGMENTS WITH PEOPLE WHO WORKED WITH ROD; ACTORS,DIRECTORS,WRITERS, AS WELL AS FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF ROD.
SOMEWHERE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, WHETHER IT BE IN ROD'S HOMETOWN OF BINGHAMTON, N.Y. OR PERHAPS EVEN IN FRONT OF THE BLACK ROCK, THE CBS BUILDING IN NEW YORK CITY, A STATUE OF ROD SERLING SHOULD BE DEDICATED IN HIS HONOR AND TO HIS WONDERFUL, CREATIVE MEMORY. ROD'S STORIES NOT ONLY ENTERTAINED AND INFORMED US, BUT THEY ALSO ENLIGHTENED US AND EDUCATED US.
ROD SERLING'S LEGACY WILL NEVER DIE. HIS STORIES WERE SO DEEP, SO SOUL SEARCHING. THEY HAD SUCH DEPTH. THEY HELD UP A MIRROR TO OUR SOULS AND ASKED US TO EXAMINE OUR PERSPECTIVES AND BELIEFS AND RECONSIDER OUR OPINIONS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF MANKIND. ROD WROTE IRONIC STORIES WITH HUMILITY, WITH TWISTS OF FATE, WITH HUMOR AND WITH GREAT INTELLECT AND INTELLIGENCE AND WITH WARMTH AND SINCERITY AND A UNIQUE SENSE OF JUSTICE. HIS WAS THE VOICE OF REASON.
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THAT ROD MUST HAVE LIKED THE FILMS OF THE GREAT DIRECTOR, FRANK CAPRA, BECAUSE THE STORIES IN THOSE GREAT FILMS MADE US RETHINK OUR VALUES AND REASSESS AND REEVALUTE OUR MORALS, OUR LONG HELD BELIEFS AND ASKED US TO QUESTION THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD TRAMPLE UPON THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. THANK GOD FOR WRITERS LIKE ROD SERLING, EARL HAMNER, GEORGE JOHNSON, CHARLES BEAUMONT AND RICHARD MATHESON. THEIR STORIES FROM THE GLORY DAYS OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE ALWAYS HAD A GREAT SENSIBILITY TO THEM. THEY KINDLED OUR IMAGINATIONS TO NO END.
ROD, THE WORLD MISSES YOU."