This volume includes: "The Big Tall Wish" (Episode 27, April 8, 1960) - An over-the-hill prizefighter (Ivan Dixon) gets a boost from a little boy who's a big fan with a very rare gift in a disillusioned world--an unswervin... more »g belief in magic. "Showdown with Rance McGrew" (Episode 85, February 2, 1962) - TV cowboy star Rance McGrew (Larry Blyden) finds himself in a real Old West saloon where Jesse James (Arch Johnson) challenges him to a showdown over television's negative depiction of outlaws. "A Piano in the House" (Episode 87, February 16, 1962) - Fitzgerald Fortune, a cynical critic (Barry Morse), uses a magical player piano to disclose his party guests' hidden selves. He delights in the game, but when the tables are turned, a painful truth is revealed. "Night Call" (Episode 139, February 7, 1964) - Lonely, confined to a wheelchair, Elva Keene (Gladys Cooper) starts to get numerous mysterious phone calls. Terrified, she screams the words that will doom her.« less
Paul J. Moade | Jacksonville, FL United States | 06/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I write this under one particular DVD in the series, these comments apply to each and every one of the DVD releases.Twilight Zone? On DVD? In Black and White? What were they thinking of?They were thinking of me and others just like me who loved this classic old science fiction program and longed to have the entire collection in a compact, guaranteed to last collection.Although the entire set is not yet released (they are up to volume 31 at the moment), I'm sure it will be -- not many more episodes are left to do and the sales appear to be good.This show is the 1950's anthology that started it all. Began as an experiment in the late 50's by Rod Serling, it has become a classic and is still enjoyable 40 years later.The DVD collection is crisp and clear both for audio and video, and thankfully still in the original black and white. Each DVD features three or four of the original uncut television programs plus a history of the Twilight Zone and a short bio on Rod. Treasures and More Treasures of the TZ also include an interview by Mike Wallace (quality of this is only so-so due to technology of the time) and the orgininal marketing trailer made by Rod to sell his brain child to potential sponsers.The series itself is being released in what seems to be no particular order (talking about the episodes here), with each DVD containing either four 1/2-hour shows or 2 1/2-hour episodes and one of the fourth season hour-long programs. This collection also includes the installments which were not syndicated and are almost impossible to find on broadcast television.This is a 'must have' for anyone who enjoyed the program while growing up -- or for anyone of any age who appreciates a good SF show. Naturally some episodes are better than others, but most will agree that the overall quality of the series clearly stands out.Take one for a test drive -- then order them all. You'll be glad you did.~P~"
The best of the Twilight Zone dvds.
Brian Reaves | Anniston, AL USA | 03/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have most of the TZ dvds and plan on getting them all. This one marks the 30th I've bought and I have to say it's the best so far. All four episodes are strong and good, and there's something for everyone. For the fun-lovers, there's "Rance McGrew" - a light-hearted TZ episode that's really funny in certain parts. For the child in all of us, there's "The Big Tall Wish", which tells us to never stop believing in the magic. For the more serious-minded traditional TZ lovers, there's two excellent episodes in "Piano in the House" and "Night Call" - both excellent in every way! While most TZ dvds suffer from a slow episode or two thrown in with a few strong ones, this dvd has nothing but goodies on here. A great one to start your collection with!"
"Night Call" Makes it All Worthwhile!
talkytina | New England | 09/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Night Call" is one of the top 2 or 3 creepiest Twilight Zone episodes ever!! Superbly written script with excellent plot development (it gets more than the allowable number of "stars")! A great acting performance, and gradually mounting tension throughout! The other episodes are much less effective although "Piano in the House" is actually a very good script-- Unfortunately, superficial character development diminishes some admirable acting performances--It gets "2 1/2 stars" but the remaining two episodes are below average (by Twilight Zone standards). By today's standards, they are above average!"
Twilight Zone Rules!
Tom Brody | 06/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This tape was excellent, especially "A Piano in the House." The whole tape was spooky and creepy, but it makes you think, too. These are certainly some of Rod Serling's Best. Volume 25 was super as well. Everybody should own the Twilight Zone!"
All of these stories are excellent. The stories and the act
Tom Brody | Berkeley, CA | 04/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"VOLUME 26 contains four episodes. Each of these is a winner. Two of the episodes are psychological thrillers, A PIANO IN THE HOUSE and NIGHT CALL. One of the episodes is a time-travel comedy, SHOWDOWN WITH RANCE McGREW.
THE BIG TALL WISH centers around a young boy, who lives in a downstairs apartment with his mother, and a boxer, who lives upstairs. Most of the story takes place in a training room in a boxing ring, in the ring itself, and the foyer in the apartment building.
The story opens with a view of a poster advertising a boxing match between Bolie Jackson and Consiglio. The boy visits the boxer in the neighboring suite in their apartment building. The boy admires the boxer, but the boxer explains that he is washed up. "A fighter don't need a scrapbook. If you want to know what he has done, where he's fought, you read it in his face. He's got the whole story cut into his flesh." Referring to his hopeless, fading career, Bolie explains to the boy, "There I go, running down the street trying to catch that bus to glory."
The downstairs neighbor, looking exactly like Halle Berry, talks black English and wishes Bolie well, "You take care of yourself. Don't get hurt none." As Bolie leaves, several neighbors wish him well in the fight. Once in the arena, at the training room, the film provides us with some local color. A sleazy manager teases Bolie, "You're long gone, Bolie, you've had it." Bolie calmly responds, "I thought the smell came with the cigar. You stink all over." But the trainer, an excellent character actor, is supportive. Bolie takes a beating and is knocked out. But the boy watches his T.V. at home, and wishes that Bolie would win. The wish comes true, and the film then shows Consiglio on the floor, knocked out. Bolie spends the next ten minutes wondering how it could be that he remembers being knocked out, but that his trainer, neighbors, Halle Berry lookalike, and boy, are all congratulating him. THE BIG TALL WISH has a surprise ending. FIVE STARS.
For Twilight Zone viewers who want to see more boxing stories, I suggest the Twilight Zone episode called "Steel," which features Lee Marvin, and Requiem for a Heavyweight (written by Mr.Serlint), starring Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason. To repeat, FIVE STARS.
A PIANO IN THE HOUSE is a psychology thriller, starring Barry Morse as an arrogant and wealthy drama critic. It co-stars Cyril Delevanti, as an aged, sullen butler, and Muriel Landers as a cheerful, self-effacing fat lady.
The story begins when the drama critic enters an antique shop in search for a birthday gift for his young wife. I picks a player piano, and notices that the grouchy shopkeeper momentarily turned whimsical and happy, when demonstrating one of the piano rolls. The drama critic presents the piano to his wife. He puts in a piano roll, but the wife shows a change of heart, and begins scolding the drama critic for his years of meanness. Eventually, the guests arrive for the birthday party, and another piano roll is started. The fat lady ("Marge Moore") reveals her true self, which turns out to be a sad and lonely self. Marge does a dainty little dance, evoking uncomfortable laughter from the guests, and Marge confesses, "Sometimes I pretend I'm a snowflake, light and tiny, and never lonely. I see a man with his hands stretched out, I'm enclosed with his warmth and I meet with his love." The drama critic's wife secretly switches piano rolls. Then, there is a surprise ending.
PIANO IN THE HOUSE has an actor, Philip Coolidge, who plays the first victim of the piano scroll. Philip Coolidge, who usually wears a repulsive scowl, owns a curio shop and sells the player piano to the drama critic.
Fans of the T.V. series, Gunsmoke, will recognize the same actor (Philip Coolidge) wearing the same scowl in the episode ONE KILLER ON ICE. Mr.Coolidge plays a small part as the father of lovely young Elena. ONE KILLER ON ICE also features Dennis Hopper, playing the part of Billy Kimbo, brother of an outlaw. It is amazing how actors from old black and white shows such as Twilight Zone and Gunsmoke end up as international movie stars some fifty years later. Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper both were featured in Twilight Zone episodes. Duvall is in a T.Z. episode about a man who loves a doll house, and Hopper is the featured actor of a man who plays a Nazi wannabe. FIVE STARS for PIANO IN THE HOUSE.
Barry Morse the drama critic in PIANO IN THE HOUSE starred in various TV shows, including Naked City, Untouchables, Wagon Train, the Defenders, and he has performed extensively on stage. Cyril Delevanti, also found in the Twilight Zone's A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS story, acted in Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock, and various movies including Mary Poppins. Muriel Lands the fat lady appeared in TV shows, such as Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Beverly Hillbillies, Dick Powell Show, Peter Gunn, Jack Benny, Hogan's Heros, and others.
SHOWDOWN WITH RANCE McGREW is a comedy that includes time travel. This story takes place on the saloon set for a western TV show. The main actor, who plays a marshal, believes himself to be a good actor, but proves to be ignorant in basic cowboy techniques. He cannot shoot. His gun gets stuck in the holster. He is incapable of performing his own stunts. He frequently interrupts scenes by calling, "Stunt man!" He is incapable of opening a whiskey bottle without breaking the glass neck of the bottle. His script calls for him to win over all the bad guys, e.g., Jesse James. In short, the script calls for the bad guys to be bumbling fools. Other members of the TV show crew show a patient eye-rolling disgust for the actor.
But suddenly, the actor finds himself 100 years in the past, in a real western saloon. He is confronted by the real Jesse James, who knows that the man is an actor from the future. The real Jesse James invites the actor outside for a showdown. The actor calls, "Cut! Cut! For Pete's sake, somebody, let's cut." The real Jesse James proceeds to scold the actor for his inaccurate portrayal of bad guys. There are two surprise endings. FOUR STARS.
NIGHT CALL is another psychology thriller. It features a cranky elderly lady and her caretaker, a middle aged woman. The cranky old lady is bossy and fussy. The story begins with the crack of lightning, and a raging thunderstorm. The old lady is in her bed, and the phone rings. When she lifts the receiver, all she hears is static. This causes the old lady to get upset, but also curious. The next day, the phone rings again, and this time, there are moaning sounds. Another day passes, and the phone keeps ringing. Eventually, the voice on the other line says, "Hello, hello." The lady gets more frightened and angry, but also more curious. She gets more curious, because she is lonely. Her social life is largely limited to visits from her caretaker, the middle aged lady. The old lady calls the phone company, and insists that the problem be fixed. As it turns out, the problem gets traced to a fallen telephone line. NIGHT CALL concludes with one of the greatest surprise ending in the Twilight Zone series, on par with that in TO SERVE MAN. Actually, there are two surprise endings. FIVE STARS.
In my opinion, these are the best volumes: I recommend volume 2 (Time Enough at Last; Nightmare at 20,000 Feet), volume 3 (Kick the Can; Steel; A Game of Pool), volume 8 (To Serve Man), volume 9 (Nick of Time), volume 11 (The Fever; Living Doll), volume 26 (reviewed above), volume 32 (Printer's Devil), volume 29 (Penny for Your Thoughts), and volume 39 (Mister Bevis; The Silence).