Twilight Zone

Volume 4

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Details At A Glance

Category Sci-Fi / Television Theatrical Trailer(s) No
Rating Other Trailer(s) No
Year Released 1960-1961 Commentary Tracks No
Running Time 100:06 minutes Other Extras Biography - Rod Serling 
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper None
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Directors John Brahm
Don Medford
Image Entertainment 
Warner Vision
Starring Burgess Meredith
Don Rickles
Elizabeth Montgomery
Charles Bronson
Jack Klugman
John Anderson
Harry Townes
Philip Pine
Ross Martin
Don Gordon
RPI $34.95 Music Van Cleave
Lyn Murray
Jerry Goldsmith

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
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles Dutch 
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

   You can read my feelings of the whole Twilight Zone phenomenon in my review of Volume 1, and I won't repeat myself other than to say that this is a great series, and well worth the transfer to DVD. Just look at the list of actors, and it is clear that just about everyone wanted to be a part of this series. Whilst this is not the pick of the current volumes available, it does have its moments that are truly out there, along with some engaging performances.

    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.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, being full-frame naturally since this series was produced for television.

    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.


    There are two soundtracks on offer, English or French, both Dolby Digital 1.0 mono at 96 Kilobits per second. Thankfully, this is 1.0 mono as opposed to 2.0 mono which I don't approve of.

    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!



    A well-done menu as per the norm in this series, with  an option called "Feature Presentation" if you want to jump right in from the start, or one called "Episodes" if you are a bit picky. The episode selection menu has an old black and white telly, and when an episode is selected, a still appears on the screen. When the "main menu" is selected, the screen is blank, and looks like it is reflecting your lounge-room in it. Nice touch.

Biography - Rod Serling

    This is the suave gentleman responsible for this whole genre. He started it in style, and went on to produce no less than 5 seasons, and a total of 138 half-hour episodes and 18 one-hour episodes from 1959 to 1964. What I didn't know was that he died in 1975 from open-heart surgery gone wrong. Well, he now knows for sure what is out there.

Production Notes - History Of The Twilight Zone / Season By Season

    Very interesting notes on the entire series, and well worth a read. Also contains a well researched review of each episode.

R4 vs R1

    Our version is identical to the R1 version, although with PAL we are getting somewhat of a better picture.


    A somewhat mediocre collection of stories simply due to the usual very high standard which The Twilight Zone enjoys.

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Cordingley
8th August, 2000 (read my bio)

Review Equipment
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