Tuesday, February 9, 2016

THE TWILIGHT ZONE: The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine

Hosted by Rod Serling
Guest Stars:  Ida Lupino, Martin Balsam, Jerome Cowan, Ted de Corsia, Alice Frost
Directed by Mitchell Leisen
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A former movie star stays secluded in her home, shutting out the outside world, and reliving the past by watching her old movies over and over again.

The story is obviously inspired by Gloria Swanson's role in Sunset Boulevard, with Lupino playing the faded actress here in the same type of casting, as she was playing young ingenue roles decades ago just like her character.  After reading Lupino's biography on Wikipedia, which reveals she was suspended by her studio for turning down parts she didn't think appropriate, one would have to assume this role certainly paralleled her own life, including a sequence where she argues with a representative of the studio about being pigeonholed into a "mother" role.  However, the episode is about more than her career or that of her character, but about living in the past in a changing world, a battle all of us have probably fought before at at least one time in our lives, and Serling's excellent script and Lupino's fine performance capture this extraordinarily well.

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