|Category||Sci-Fi / Television||Theatrical Trailer(s)||No|
|Year Released||1960-1961||Commentary Tracks||No|
|Running Time||100:06 minutes||Other Extras||Biography - Rod Serling
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||1.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Volume 4 has the following 4 episodes:
Mr Dingle, The Strong (Mar 3 1961, 24:55 minutes) - What happens to a feeble, weak-willed vacuum cleaner salesman when aliens from Mars give him super strength? He turns into a circus performer, utterly disappointing his unseen alien overseers who had more nobler intentions for our race. Then, aliens from Venus, again unseen, empower him with super intelligence. Utterly ridiculous, and with hilarious-looking aliens, this is one of the sillier episodes written by Rod Serling. Burgess Meredith is back in action, being somewhat of a regular in the Zone, and Don Rickles is up to his antics as a loudmouthed smart-ass, which he was always good at. Directed by John Brahm.
Two (Sep 15 1961, 24:59 minutes) - Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery (best known from the TV series "Bewitched") are two enemy survivors from another nuclear holocaust, though this one not necessarily on Earth. From opposing armies, they come to the realization that when all around them is rubble the concept of which "side" you are on goes by the wayside, and life must be rebuilt. This episode must have about 20 words spoken throughout, and it is essentially a silent presentation, and only barely gripping enough to hold the viewers attention for the 25 minutes given to it. Written by Montgomery Pittman, and with music by Van Cleave.
A Passage For Trumpet (May 20 1960, 25:06 minutes) - Jack Klugman is a man at the end of his rope so to speak. The only thing he can do is play his trumpet, and play it well - but since he is a drunk, nobody wants to hire him anymore. Pining for the glory days of his youth, when everyone loved his music, he nearly gives it all away when a visit from Gabriel (John Anderson) convinces him to treasure his gift and relish life's pleasures. This is one of those which makes you pause for thought. Both of these actors have appeared in earlier volumes. Written by Rod Serling, directed by Don Medford, and with music by Lyn Murray.
The Four Of Us Are Dying (May 20 1960, 25:06 minutes) - This is the most inventive story in this collection, and very much in line with what should be expected from a Twilight Zone episode. Can you imagine what things you could get up to if you could rearrange your features, and change your face. Unfortunately, whilst it seems smooth sailing rorting everyone around him, it all catches up with him in the end, and the four people he chooses to oscillate between meet a grisly death. Directed by John Brahm, and with music by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith.
The episodes in this volume, as with all volumes, are pulled from different seasons anywhere from 1959 to 1964, and the quality of each episode is variable. However, all are a pleasure to watch being well detailed and clear. There is minor edge-enhancement, and little grain. The only noteworthy aspect of this volume is Episode number 3 ("A Passage For Trumpet") which is noticeably softer than all other episodes I have seen thus far.
These episodes are the genuine black and white ones, and I wouldn't have them any other way. I just love the strange feeling this gives the stories, and they just wouldn't be the same or as effective in colour.
There were no MPEG artefacts in this volume. Film artefacts were quite regular, but given the age one can again forgive these as simply part and parcel of 40 year old film stock, and I am not about to complain.
The dialogue for all episodes was clear and easy to understand.
Limited by recording techniques of the day, this is not high fidelity audio, but rather it is functional and gets the job done.
Since this is Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, there is nothin' but the good old centre speaker for company here. Also left out is the subwoofer. Run this one through your television speaker if you want, it doesn't matter! I don't say that often, believe me!
The video is perfectly acceptable and as good as can be expected, though Episode 3 is quite a soft transfer.
No complaints for the audio.
There are enough extras to keep the wolves at bay, making this a nicely rounded disc.
© Paul Cordingley
8th August, 2000 (read my bio)
|DVD||Panasonic A360 (S-Video output)|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Rear-Projection Widescreen (16x9)|
|Audio Decoder||Panasonic A360 DVD Player internal decoders - DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Amplification||Sony STRDE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ|
|Speakers||Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100-watt, Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders, Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive|