Friday, April 28, 2017

The Twilight Zone - Five Characters in Search of an Exit



A clown, a hobo, a ballet dancer, a bagpipe player and an army major are trapped together in an enormous cylinder. They don't know who they are or how they got there.



Just a barrel, a dark depository where are kept the counterfeit, make-believe pieces of plaster and cloth, wrought in a distorted image of human life.



A clown, a tramp, a bagpipe player, a ballet dancer, and a Major. Tonight's cast of players on the odd stage—known as—The Twilight Zone.



Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness. No logic, no reason, no explanation; just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness, and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.

“We’re in hell. God help us. We are in hell.”


When I was a kid welcoming Twilight Zone into my life for the first time, Five Characters in Search of an Exit was one of the very first episodes I ever watched. The show, as magnificent as it was in presenting such unusual tales with extraordinary events that built compellingly over twenty two or so minutes, to me benefited substantially from the incredible talent pool working in the 60s. Television certainly was the beneficiary of such a limitless supply of skilled, multi-faceted actors/actresses, and there were quite a number of such fascinating faces for the camera to close in on. In Five Characters… all five actors are a treasure of faces with the great William Windom (God, this actor is just a marvel, really) as an impassioned “major” who will stop at nothing to find his way out of some metal cylinder concealing him and four other peculiar characters. These people are practically caricatures almost specifically designed for the place they currently inhabit. The other four—a docile but pretty ballerina (Susan Harrison, almost portraying her character as a mannequin), a saddened hobo with a droopy disposition (Kelton Garwood), an excitable and chatty clown resigned to his fate with little faith in ever leaving (Murray Matheson, stealing the show, with no filter, just saying whatever comes to mind), and bagpiper complete with musical instrument and kilt (Clark Allen)—have practically given up on finding a way out. But Windom, however, doesn’t have it in him. He’ll go until there are simply no other options available to him. Finally, after scanning the cylinder for any method of escape or flaw in its construction, the option of standing on each other’s shoulders as building blocks so the top character can try and go over the side becomes a possibility. But what lies outside of the cylinder?

Windom is a force of sheer determination. His desperation and will to escape from his prison has an admirable drive that the others not only observe but respect. And he gets them to believe eventually…until they all realize the truth of their situation. I certainly didn’t see it coming as a kid watching it, that twist. It is a fun twist. They don’t really know anything about who they are or where they came from. They don’t know their purpose. Then we get that “woah” twist that turns everything we watched on its head. That’s pure Twilight Zone. This kind of twist is used again somewhat in an episode I’m a big fan of called Stopover in a Quiet Town. I think what makes Five Characters… so worthwhile is its mysterious setting imprisoning these most unique characters. They each represent a particular character among society but do in fact look a part so their true “identity” at the end does make sense. Except maybe the hobo…a nice touch, just the same.





Garwood’s sad eyes, Matheson’s hippity-hoppity shenanigans, Allen’s clueless response to the situation with no answers, and Harrison’s haunting beauty absent much in the way of personality provide interesting characters emerging after spending some time in the cylinder to discuss with Windom how kicking up such a fuss is futile because all the options he went to were already tried by them. It does send off the question of how did they get there and is there really any means of escape? When this bell goes off, rattling their entire area like this tremor/aftershock, it adds to the enigmatic nature of the situation. I think Five Characters… has endured as a classic because of the direction, actors, and mystery behind the setting. The twist, aided by Serling’s closing narration explaining just how they can “find a way out of their loneliness, welcomed eventually into a new place by the right company”, certainly leaves this “A-ha” quality that has kept the show such a landmark of television. What a great show.

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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

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Ahs

Edc

Edc
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--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
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hal1

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Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

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sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

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Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

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mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
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Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

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No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

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clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
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f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

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Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
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exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
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linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

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Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

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Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
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Bmate

Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

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