Friday, October 9, 2015


Rudy Vallee may have left us almost 30 years ago, but he certainly left behind a legacy that exists through recorded sound. Valle himself paid for radio transcriptions of his Sunday evening broadcasts, and his hour-long variety program was not just among the top-rated programs on NBC, but on a whole, one of the highest-rated programs of the 1930s. During his prime, The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, The Sunshine Hour and The Royal Gelatin Hour (so aptly named after the sponsor's product and mislabeled as The Rudy Vallee Show in numerous reference guides), stars of both stage and screen appeared on the program. Comedians performing at nightclubs found themselves with weekly radio contracts soon after their radio debut; Vallee and his producers often providing the spotlight for up-and-coming talent such as Edgar Bergen, Milton Berle and Bob Hope.

Sad statistic: Only about half of his radio broadcasts exist in recorded form. The program may not be as popular today such as The Shadow, The Mysterious Traveler and The Lone Ranger, where the scarcity of an un-circulated transcription disc means astronomical prices, but Rudy Vallee's programs are still in demand and sought after by collectors. Among the lost radio broadcasts is the evening of October 12, 1933, when Bela Lugosi, having established a reputation for his portrayal of Dracula on both stage and screen, made a guest appearance on The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour. A recording may not exist but the script does. Reprinted below are the very page featuring Bela Lugosi's dramatic appearance before the radio microphone. 

By the way, it appears the "lost" show may have been found recently. I made arrangements for it to arrive by mail on CD but until I listen to it to verify, it is safe to say the recording is still "lost." (Cross your fingers.) I rarely read or post comments under my blog posts but if the recording does exist, I will add a comment notifying everyone of the news. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Twilight Zone: Eye of the Beholder

The Twilight Zone: "The Eye of the Beholder"
There can be no doubt about it. The "Eye of the Beholder" episode of The Twilight Zone remains one of the ten best episodes of the series. Being one of the most popular episodes of the series, this episode has been referenced and spoofed on numerous television programs from The Simpsons to The Family Guy. On the evening of April 19, 1997, Saturday Night Live featured a parody of this episode, which featured the doctors and nurses unraveling the bandages from Janet Tyler’s face. When her face is revealed, Pamela Anderson was the beautiful woman and the doctors all agreed that she really was beautiful. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, Molly Sims was cast in the role of Janet Tyler in a remake of the same episode for the revival Twilight Zone series, initially telecast on April 30, 2003.

Fans of The Twilight Zone might be aware of the alternate title during the closing credits. While VHS and DVDs cite one title, "The Eye of the Beholder," airings on the SyFy Channel have "The Private World of Darkness" during the closing credits. The confusion lies in a minor legal hassle that Rod Serling, at his expense, had altered to please an independent film producer. (More about this later.)

The Twilight Zone: "The Eye of the Beholder"
The story concerned Janet Tyler who has gotten used to having bandages wrapped around her face for most of her life. She has finished her 11th surgery and while the doctors and surgeons remain hopeful, her condition remains a concern. The State does not allow horribly disfigured people with her bone structure and flesh type to exist in society – banishing them to a village where undesirables are segregated. Eleven is the mandatory number of “experiments” and if this latest surgery fails, the doctors will be forced to give her an ultimatum – banishment or extinction. While the leader of the State speaks “live” on television about “conformity” and a “single morality,” the surgeons spend their time cutting away the bandages from Janet Tyler’s head. Slowly they work until the last of the bandages is removed and to their horror, there has been no improvement. The lights go on to reveal the truth – she is beautiful – it is the doctors who are the monsters. Janet Tyler, frightened, attempts to flee. Almost as if a hand were guiding her, she runs into Mr. Smith, a representative from the village, who offers her a hand of friendship. He assures her that she will feel comfortable at her new home and will be loved. As Smith assures her, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Hoping for a future life with people of her own kind, she chooses to go with him.

“This is one of those wild ones that I came up with while lying in bed and staring into the darkness,” Serling told a reporter for TV Guide. “Nothing precipitated it beyond the writer’s instinct as to what constitutes an interesting story. Also, as is often the case on The Twilight Zone, I would like to make a thematic point. ‘The Monsters are Due on Maple Street’ was a parable having to do with prejudice. ‘Eye of the Beholder’ on the other hand made a comment on conformity. No audience likes a writer’s opinion thrust down their gullet as simply a tract. It has to be dramatized and made acceptably palatable within a dramatic form. This is how we designed ‘Eye of the Beholder’ and I think we were successful.”

Donna Douglas at the Monster Bash Convention
The CBS censors received the script on June 20, 1960. On the morning of June 23, Donald Gotschall of the editing department, having looked over the script page by page, contacted Del Reisman regarding two minor matters that piqued the network’s interest. The first was to make sure the cigarette package contained no commercial identification and the title of the magazine was fictitious. For a number of reasons, he suggested the nurse’s comment in the beginning of the episode, “If it were mine, I’d bury myself in a grave someplace” be removed. Serling and Houghton were responsible for the decision to remove the line or keep it intact. They did not remove the line from the script.

CBS had two major concerns, however, and on June 24, wrote a report and sent it to Del Reisman, Robert Hoag, George Amy, Buck Houghton, and Rod Serling, explaining that caution should be issued in the delivery of the nurse’s speech in the opening scenes, “so as to not offend the Nursing Association. We were informed the nurses would not be portrayed as being in our society, but in a fictitious one.” The other major concern was mentioned twice in the same report: to exercise directorial caution in the climatic scenes to avoid any element of shock – and that “the abrupt close ups of the nurses’ faces will not be played for shock.”

"The Eye of the Beholder" Bobble Head
The problem of how to avoid the faces of the doctors and nurses without making it too obvious with the viewers that a secret was being kept from them proved a challenge. “You could have done it all with inserts, but that would have made the audience suspicious,” explained director Heyes in an interview with Ben Herndon. “What I wanted to do was try and hold their attention and yet not let them see any faces – without having the audience say, ‘Hey, something’s wrong. They’re not showing the faces.’ In other words, there is constantly a very subtle camera movement, so that you’re not aware of the fact that when somebody turns around, for example, and starts to turn towards you, someone else walks in front of the camera just at the moment he’s turning so that you don’t actually see the front of his face." The tricks applied involved zooming in on a pack of cigarettes on the counter, making sure the only source of light was a lamp by the hospital bed, and the actors turning their faces toward the dark, allowing only the back of their heads exposed to the light. “I had the idea that the voices of these monster people would be very sympathetic,” continued Heyes. “Rod was surprised at that. He had not intended them to be that way, but he liked it. So I interviewed the actors for that show without ever seeing them. I sat in a room with my back to the door. They’d come in, and I’d read the part with them and listen only to their voices. I picked the people with the most sympathetic voices I could get. If we are going to believe that these people are the norm, then they have to sound like nice people.”

Edson Stroll and Donna Douglas
“The opposite is also true,” Heyes continued. “Under the bandages, I wanted a voice that suggested it could belong to an ugly person. I wanted a voice with character, harshness, and timbre. So we used a radio actress named Maxine Stuart, a marvelous actress, and she played the part of Janet Tyler under the bandages. Later, when we unwrapped the bandages, Donna Douglas emerged, so the part was actually played by two actresses. I thought we were going to use Maxine’s voice afterward as well, dubbing Donna after the bandages came off. But Donna was there throughout all the shooting, watching everything and listening, and she surprised me. When it came time to do the unwrapping scene, she had learned the vocal intonations and did her own dialogue sounding just like Maxine Stuart.”

“I was a newcomer from New York,” recalled Douglas. “They were looking for a woman of exceptional beauty and they picked me. Looking back I can express how proud I was to be a part of the show. It was fascinating how they put that together. The flesh-colored makeup on the nurses and doctors. They put makeup on me too, but I don’t know why since I was supposed to be under the bandages. I don’t know why they had someone different underneath the bandages. I would have done that. I guess it was the woman’s voice they were going after but I had the same voice.”

“Ethel Winant was a friend of mine at the time and she hired me for any show she was involved with. She was a dear,” recalled Maxine Stuart. “I was the victim under the bandages who was the most beautiful woman. I always had trouble crying tears on television such as Philco [Television Playhouse], but I cried tears under the bandages . . . I was into the role so much. They had me come back later and loop my voice to the film and that sound studio was at M-G-M. I could not see anything with the bandages around my face, so the cast or someone – I can’t remember – helped me move about. I had to go to the bathroom once and it was embarrassing!”

The Twilight Zone action figures
“Well I was kind of in the dark,” Edson Stroll recalled. “I didn’t know what they were doing, and it was a bit odd. I suspect Donna Douglas was in on it, because she knew how the story was working, but I was there just for the one scene and then walked away with her, so I wasn’t all too sure why there were people with monstrous makeup on their faces. Looking back now I am aware of what they were doing and it certainly was magnificent.”

To throw the audience off, in case they were to recognize the brand of cigarettes passed between nurses, a pack of Templeton Cigarettes were used. Templetons are produced by Austria Tabak, a German manufacturing company that manufactured a large variety of cigarettes for European distribution. All of the actors and actresses were required to wear the makeup at all times, even before the unraveling of the bandages, but there was apparently an exception – the opening scenes in Janet Tyler’s room with the nurse before Serling’s intro and the scene with the doctor and nurse behind the screen. The actors, in those particular opening scenes, did not have any makeup on their faces (confirmed through production notes). Among the cast was Joanna Heyes, as the receptionist who takes the pack of cigarettes off the counter seconds before Rod Serling walked on to the set. Joanna was the wife of Douglas Heyes, and she also played supporting roles in two episodes of television’s Thriller series that her husband directed. “When she came on the set with the full outfit on, all the makeup and everything, I glanced over and said, ‘Hi, honey, shouldn’t you be in makeup?’ The day did not go well from that point afterward.”

Originally, this episode was to grant Cayuga a savings of $10,000 budgetarily, but excessive shooting hours caused this episode to go into overtime, finishing at $3,000 less than anticipated. Owen S. Comora was the representative of advertising agency Young & Rubicam, on behalf of General Foods. He remained in constant communication with Serling to coordinate arrangements for all printed materials, news briefs, press releases, slide mailings, and all other forms of marketing that would promote the anthology series. For this episode, Comora wrote to Bob Stahl of TV Guide to remind him of an “extremely important point regarding all publicity” on this episode. “We must be extremely careful never to tip the most important element of the show,” he explained. “Neither the face beneath all those bandages nor the grotesque faces of everyone in the drama can ever be revealed in advance of the show. If they are divulged in either picture, storyline, feature or script form, Rod emphasized, it could ruin the impact of the entire show.”

Notice the makeup near the doctor's bottom lip coming off!

By the end of the first week of October 1960, publicity mailings were sent out regarding “Eye of the Beholder.” In addition to photo-storyline and telop-slide mailings, Young & Rubicam arranged to supply nationally an artist’s conception of the “Eye” theme (all details regarding the actors faces were, of course, kept secret). Morr Kusnet was the artist, commissioned by Y&R, and his work was mailed to some 450 TV stations.

On October 4, Owen S. Comora wrote to Serling, suggesting they send out a special letter or wire to at least 155 of the nation’s top TV editors. “To make it as effective as possible, I’d appreciate a quote from you on this film.” Two days latter, Serling told Comora, “There are times when film seems to fulfill its function – that of an eye, a story teller, and a probing machine into the innards of people. ‘Eye of the Beholder’ seems to us to eminently handle all these assignments and it does so with taste, excitement and meaning. I think it’s one of the most unique shows we’ve ever done on The Twilight Zone and conceivably is one of the most unusual ever to appear on television.”

TV Guide ran a four-page story titled “Anatomy of a Script.” This piece contained the first few pages from the actual script. The idea was to show how a teleplay was written in both style and format. The article was certainly effective because it appeared on the same week “Eye of the Beholder” aired. This fact was pointed out in the introductory text of the article. This was through special arrangement with Merrill Panitt of TV Guide on August 12, 1960, with the assistance of Patricia Temple, Serling’s secretary.

The CBS network agreed to increase their on-the-air network spot announcements for the show, during this particular week, leading up to the broadcast. On November 14, Comora of Y&R wrote Serling, “I think the publicity on ‘Eye of the Beholder’ was phenomenal. The seven-city Arbitron seemed to reflect this and the word of mouth on the show had been exceptional – the best of any show this year.”

When this episode aired on November 11, 1960, the title on the screen (and on advance publicity) was “Eye of the Beholder.” When it was rerun on June 15, 1962, the title card had been altered to read “The Private World of Darkness.” Why the titular change? As Serling admitted in a letter dated August 31, 1962, “Eye of the Beholder” had its title changed because of a legal hassle. “There had been a program on the old General Electric Theatre a number of years ago utilizing the same title; and in face of threatened litigation, we altered it to ‘The Private World of Darkness.’”

On November 7, 1960, upon learning of the title through advance publicity, Stuart Reynolds of Stuart Reynolds Productions, a motion picture company responsible for producing General Electric Theatre, The Cavalcade of America, Hong Kong Adventure and Wild Bill Hickok, wrote a letter to Serling, explaining his stance. “This morning, I tried to reach you or Buck Houghton to notify you that your next Twilight Zone program to be aired this coming Friday and titled ‘Eye of the Beholder’ is exactly the same as one which we produced for the General Electric Theatre in October of 1953. Our ‘Eye of the Beholder’ was telecast over the CBS network for G.E. shortly after it was produced and again in the summer of 1954. Also, prints of this film are now being shown all over the world as part of a filmed syndicated anthology series titled Four Star Showcase. And, in addition, and equally important, is the fact that we are distributing this film as an educational aid to universities and industry dramatizing the theory of perception – why ‘no two people see the same thing in the same way.’ Following the initial appearance of our film on CBS, we have spent thousands of dollars in promotion and advertising of this particular film. To have a film bearing the same title appear on such a popular program as Twilight Zone on CBS at this time would tend to create confusion and possible injury and loss of revenue to us. As the lawyers would say – ‘Please cease and desist from using such title on Twilight Zone – but, as friends, we sincerely do urge you to do something about this now, before Friday."

Reynolds phoned Houghton and demanded he speak with Serling personally, but since the playwright was unavailable, Houghton referred Reynolds to attorney Sam Kaplan. On Wednesday, having consulted a group of UCLA professors and having screened many potential films, they found one – and only one – that had any value as an educational film that could merit distribution to schools, colleges and universities. While Serling told Reynolds he would be more than happy to cooperate, Aubrey had the final say because the film was a joint venture between Cayuga and CBS. The network sent Reynolds a rejection letter.

Reynolds talked to Kaplan, explaining the problem, and upset there was no assurance a correction would be made before airtime, consulted his attorney. Serling received the letter, forwarded to him from CBS, on Saturday morning. “My first knowledge of the title mix-up came on Thursday evening, via a telephone call from my attorney, Sam Kaplan, at Ashley-Steiner,” Serling replied to Reynolds. “Needless to say, I had no prior knowledge whatsoever of the previous usage of ‘Eye of the Beholder’ on your General Electric Theatre or anywhere
else. Since its genesis was that of a classic and well-known quote, it seemed a particularly safe choice at the time that I put it in the script.” Serling’s experience had encompassed the multi-usage of titles on other properties, so it never occurred to him that any kind of legal hassle would result. In an effort to avoid legal issues, he assured Reynolds that Cayuga intended to re-shoot both the title and trailer footage in which the title had previously been used. No further advertising would go out in which the title “Eye of the Beholder” was mentioned.

The episode aired as intended and unaltered. On November 16, Reynolds sent a reply to Serling, blaming CBS, who he felt, “does not keep better records in their title department.” The attorney for Reynolds continued to protest the use, even with Serling’s confirmation that changes were going to be made. On November 29, Serling explained to the still-persisting Reynolds, “I can well understand your feeling of propriety in the title of ‘Eye of the Beholder’ and the tone of your letter seemed to indicate that you were aware of my position on the other side of the spectrum. The quote is as eminently public domain as it is eminently well-known and it never occurred to me that anyone had capitalized on it and that my use of it would be detrimental. I’m delighted that the thing seems to be in the process of being ironed out to the satisfaction of all parties.”

(Ironically, almost two years later, Stuart Reynolds contacted James Aubrey of CBS in an attempt to acquire a negative of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” because of its psychological value, in hopes of distributing the film commercially.)

"Eye of the Beholder"
Both versions of the episode (each featuring the different closing credits with different title) have been released commercially on home video and DVD over the years, and in subsequent television reruns, offering viewers the opportunity to see the two versions. The most recent DVD and BluRay releases feature both versions, although one is labeled "alternate version."

The General Electric Theatre story of the same name was telecast in December of 1953. The teleplay by Hannah Grad Goodman, presented the story of a talented artist in search of his Madonna. Everyone in town, however, judged him by the way he dressed, walked and talked. The cab driver thought he was a hood. To his mother, he was thoughtless and unappreciative. His landlord thought he was a lunatic, and the perfect model for his inspiration thought he was a square. When the model for his canvas showed up tipsy after a hard night, he remonstrated with her bodily and she fell in a heap, more from her alcoholic content than the roughing. A cleaning woman saw this and sounded the alarm that there had been a murder. Obviously, there was no material that mirrored the Twilight Zone production, but the title was enough to cause temporary havoc.

Ironically, months before, on August 8, 1960, the New York Herald Tribune published a favored and respected comment by Serling regarding the G.E. Theatre. “The half-hour film has always been an imitative, doggy, telegraphed, insipid, assembly-line product since its inception eleven years ago,” Serling commented. “In the past few years, good anthology shows like G.E. Theatre have proven that the half-hour film can make a point tellingly and dramatically. The Twilight Zone is attempting this, too. It will often fall on its duff and on occasion will mistake pretension for maturity (a common fault of many of the ninety-minute specs), but the attempt at quality is always there.”

Phone on the right can be seen in "Third from the Sun"
and "One More Pallbearer" among other episodes!
On August 1, 1960, while the sets were being designed and built, Serling drafted “The Leader’s Voice,” which would be featured throughout the second half of the episode. Two speeches were composed and recorded separately from the Janet Tyler scenes, so the Leader’s voice could be later added to the soundtrack, and the film placed on large television screens during the editing. The first was used through the bandage removal scene. The second speech was revealed more visually during Janet’s attempt to escape through the corridor. These speeches, while heard in sections on this episode, appear in print in their complete form, reprinted below, courtesy of CBS, Inc.:
       “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight I shall talk to you about glorious conformity . . . About the delight and the ultimate pleasure of our unified society . . . You recall, of course, that directionless, unproductive, over-sentimentalized era of man’s history when it was assumed that dissent was some kind of natural and healthy adjunct of society. We also recall that during this period of time there was a strange over-sentimentalized concept that it mattered not that people were different, that ideas were at variance with one another, that a world could exist in some kind of crazy, patch-work kind of make up, with foreign elements glued together in a crazy quilt. We realize, of course, now, that . . .”
       “I say to you now . . . I say to you now that there is no such thing as a permissive society, because such a society cannot exist! They will scream at you and rant and rave and conjure up some dead and decadent picture of an ancient time when they said that all men are created equal! But to them equality means an equality of opportunity, an equality of status, an equality of aspiration! And then in what must surely be the pinnacle of insanity; the absolute in inconsistency, they would have had us believe that this equality did not apply to form, to color, to creed. They permitted a polygot, accident-bred, mongol-like mass of diversification to blanket the earth, to infiltrate and weaken! Well we know now that there must be a single purpose! A single norm! A single approach! A single entity of peoples! A single virtue! A single morality! A single frame of reference! A single philosophy of government! We cannot permit . . . we must not permit the encroaching sentimentality of a past age to weaken our resolve. We must cut out all that is different like a cancerous growth!”

The November 14, 1960 issue of The Hollywood Reporter reviewed, “The biggest reward for that evening was a Twilight Zone that should rank as one of Rod Serling’s best scripting efforts. Titled ‘Eye of the Beholder,’ it combined suspense (through excellent low-key camera work) with some of the most penetrating dialogue we’ve ever heard – a preachment against ‘conformity’ in a Zone where (at the surprise finish) ‘ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation.’ Borrowing the thought of Serling’s theme, shall the public at large ‘conform’ to the tastes of a minority group of intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals? We think not!”

"Eye of the Beholder"
On January 3, 1961, wife Mary Cummings wrote to Rod Serling, explaining that the Cummings household received from the Directors’ Guild of America a list of titles which would be considered for nominations for best directorial achievement during 1960 for the Television Academy’s Emmy Awards. “King Nine Will Not Return” was not included, and Mary requested Serling talk to producer Buck Houghton and make whatever arrangements were necessary in getting the episode on the list so members would have a chance to vote on it. Only the producer, not the actor, can make that request. Her husband, Robert Cummings, gave a brilliant performance for the season opener and she wanted him to be nominated for best actor.

On January 9, Serling sent the following apology to Mary and Robert Cummings, “Unfortunately and regretfully, I was unable to include ‘King Nine’ in the Emmy nominations for that time period. Another of our shows called ‘Eye of the Beholder’ seemed to have been better written. It could not boast the kind of brilliant tour-de-force performance that Bob gave in ‘King Nine,’ but as an over-all production found more audience favor.” For the Emmy Awards, the television program voted best of the season was not represented by the entire season as a whole, but rather only one episode -- the best episode of the season -- was submitted to judges for consideration. Submitting "Eye of the Beholder" was a brilliant stroke on Houghton's part... it helped The Twilight Zone win another Emmy.

On January 11, 1961, Serling replied to a request from Peter S. Mallett, director of dramatics at the Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, Vermont. “We have been forced to make a standard rule rejecting offers of copies of the script since these requests come in on the average of fifty to a hundred each week. To date there have been one hundred and sixteen requests for copies of ‘Eye of the Beholder,’ and it is for this reason we’ve been forced to hew to a hard and fast rule rather than grant some requests and then quietly unfairly failing to accommodate others. And after this somewhat negative approach, and in my usual disconnected fashion, I’m enclosing a copy of the script to perform as you see fit. There is no royalty payment required and the only requirement is that no admission be charged for its performance.”

"Eye of the Beholder"
On October 25, 1961, Lynn Anderson in San Francisco wrote to Serling, explaining a commercial promoting the television program, which featured numerous close-up shots of the monsters from this Twilight Zone episode, and the Devil from “The Howling Man” and “Nick of Time.” The commercial was being shown at the end of children’s TV programs in the morning and during a circus show early in the evening. “As a result of viewing this macabre presentation, [my son] has had various nightmares involving these horrible faces and is frightened in his room at night with the lights off. He says he’s afraid of those people – and describes the commercial.”

The letter was forwarded to Serling from CBS, and on November 13, 1961, he sent a reply explaining that The Twilight Zone is scheduled for ten o’clock Friday evenings – a time frame designed for adult viewing. “Without my knowledge and certainly without my support, film clips of this program have been shown as promotional material during the daylight hours. I deeply regret that this has been the case but unfortunately have no control whatsoever over the networks promotional planning and programming. Please accept my apologies for this. I’m sending a copy of your letter to the network here on the Coast in the hopes that this particular film clip will be taken out of use during the daytime hours."

In January of 1962, this episode of The Twilight Zone was shown at the TV Festival of Monte Carlo. Paris Match, a French news magazine, featured photos of the monstrous faces of the doctor and the nurses in one of its issues, to help promote the festival and the television series. Makeup artist Rick Baker, whose work was responsible for such movies as An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Greystoke (1984), was influenced early on by this television episode. After viewing the telecast at the age of 15, he managed to reproduce the same makeup job from this episode.

This episode was selected for use in the “Cable in the Classroom” program. This episode was ranked in the January/February 1998 issue of Cinescape as the sixth-best science fiction television episode of all time.

Production #3640 “EYE OF THE BEHOLDER”
(Initial telecast: November 11, 1960)
Cayuga Productions, Inc., November 10, 1960, LP19931
Copyrighted under the title “The Private World of Darkness"
Dates of Rehearsal: August 1 and 2, 1960
Dates of Filming: August 3, 4 and 5, 1960
Script #40 dated: June 8, 1960, with revised pages dated August 1, 1960
Shooting script dated: August 1, 1960

Production Costs
Producer and Secretary: $1,775.00
Story and Secretary: $2,650.00
Director: $1,250.00
Cast: $5,294.39
Unit Manager and Secretary: $600.00
Production Fee: $825.00
Agents Commission: $2,500.00
Legal and Accounting: $250.00
Below the line charges (M-G-M): $31,663.49
Below the line charges (other): $1,791.12
Total Production Costs: $48,599.00

Donna Douglas (Janet Tyler, revealed); William D. Gordon (the doctor); Jennifer Howard (Janet’s nurse); Joanna Heyes (the reception nurse); George Keymas (the Leader); Edson Stroll (Walter Smith); and Maxine Stuart (Janet Tyler, bandaged).

Original Music Score
Composed and Conducted by Bernard Herrmann (Music No. CPN5926): Etrange #3 (by Marius Constant, :09); Milieu #1 (by Constant, :16); Patience (:12); The Nurse (:44); The Hospital (:54); The Doctor (:16); The Plea (:46); Lead-In (:06); Declaration (:03); The Bandage (1:50); The Last Bandage (1:31); Hysteria (1:13); The Revelation (1:47); Etrange #3 (by Constant, :10); and Milieu #2 (by Constant, :30).

Production Credits
Associate Producer: Del Reisman
Assistant Director: Henry Weinberger
Director of Photography: George T. Clemens, a.s.c.
Casting: Ethel Winant
Film Editor: Leon Barsha, a.c.e.
Production Managers: E. Darrell Hallenbeck and Ralph W. Nelson
Sound: Franklin Milton and Charles Scheid
Makeup: William Tuttle
Art Director: George W. Davis and Phil Barber
Directed by Douglas Heyes
Set Decorations: Henry Grace and H. Web Arrowsmith
Teleplay by Rod Serling.

Opening Narration
“Suspended in time and space for a moment. Your introduction to Miss Janet Tyler who lives in a very private world of darkness; a universe whose dimensions are the size, thickness, length of a swath of bandages that cover her face. In a moment we’ll go back into this room and also in a moment we’ll look under those bandages. Keeping in mind, of course, that we’re not to be surprised by what we see, because this isn’t just a hospital. And this patient in 307 is not just a woman. This happens to be the Twilight Zone . . . and Miss Janet Tyler, with you, is about to enter it!"

Closing Narration
“Now the questions that come to mind . . . where is this place and when is it. What kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? You want an answer? The answer is . . . it doesn’t make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this year or a hundred years hence. On this planet or wherever there is human life perhaps out amongst the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson to be learned . . . in The Twilight Zone.”

Trailer: “Next week, you’ll see these bandages unwrapped and you’ll get a good, close look at the face beneath them. It’s an excursion into the odd and into the very, very diff erent. Our play is called ‘The Eye of the Beholder’ and it comes recommended. I hope we’ll see you next week on the Twilight Zone. Thank you and good night.”

The enclosed was a sample reprinted with permission from THE TWILIGHT ZONE: UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO A TELEVISION CLASSIC by Martin Grams, Jr. Available for sale on and

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hollywood Poster Auction and Convention, 2015

It seems with the close of every film festival or Hollywood collectible convention, another one opens. Such will happen November 13 to 15, 2015, at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. When the momentary threat of a film festival in Columbus, Ohio, closing doors, Morris Everett of The Last Moving Picture Company decided to start his own. 

The Last Moving Picture Company (LMPC) was founded by Morris Everett, Jr.  His store, located in Kirkland, Ohio, houses more than 40,000 vintage original movie posters and over 500,000 photographs. It is regarded the single largest stock between the East and West Coasts. He is also the co-owner of The Everett Collection, a successful New York-based firm and television photo leasing business. 

If you live within driving distance of Cleveland, Ohio, then you might want to check this out.

Friday 10 am to 10 pm
Saturday 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

Admission Prices $10 per day, $25 weekend 

More than 100 dealer tables will offer posters, lobby cards, photographs, arcade cards, DVDs, 16mm reels, movie magazines, celebrity autographs and much more.

For more info call 440-256-3660
or e-mail

Free Parking

Photos below were taken from the recent Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, but are a prime example of the type of movie posters you will find for sale at the new Hollywood Poster Auction & Convention.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Richard Webb as Captain Midnight
The Captain Midnight radio program was among the more popular of children’s shows, centering around the character of flying ace Captain Midnight (formerly Captain Albright) who had received his nickname years before when he, as an Army flyer, returned from a dangerous mission at the stroke of twelve, just in time to save the Allied cause.

The program first aired in 1938, and during the early years (under the sponsorship of the Skelly Oil Company) Captain Midnight and his friends belonged to an organization known as the Captain Midnight Flight Patrol.

Late in 1940, a new sponsor (Ovaltine) took over and at this point the Flight Patrol was superseded by an organization known as the Secret Squadron. As the story unfolded, Captain Midnight was asked by the U.S. Government to head up this special new organization whose mission it was to assist federal authorities in fighting injustice throughout the world.

Within the Secret Squadron, Captain Midnight was designated as SS-1. Captain Midnight’s superior officer at government headquarters was Major Steel, and his chief Squadron assistants were mechanic Ichabod Mudd (SS-4), and young friends Chuck Ramsay (SS-2) and Joyce Ryan (SS-3). (Along with the organizational and sponsor changes came a change in the name of the young female lead from Patsy Donovan to Joyce Ryan.)

Chief villain of the entire radio series was Ivan Shark, mastermind of a world-wide crime syndicate. Though Ivan Shark was the central antagonist, his equally unprincipled assistant Fang and his evil daughter, Fury, were often heard from. There were also other international bad apples, one of whom was Barracuda, a sinister figure of Oriental ancestry. During the war years, the villains regularly took on an Axis makeup, and that period saw Captain Midnight and his friends continually rushing from adventure to adventure in a never-ending effort to make the world secure once more.

In 1942, Columbia Pictures licensed the character of Captain Midnight for a cliffhanger chapter serial, featuring most of the characters described. In 1954, Captain Midnight was introduced to television as a continuing series of 39 episodes produced under a contract with Screen Gems, Inc. Character actor Richard Webb played the title role. Variety reviewed: “For the little shaver with his adventurous soul, and there must be millions of them abroad in the land, this is super. Budget for budget, none of the kid shows is done better. There is no skimping here and all hands can come out of the wings for a deserved bow.”

These 39 episodes, under sponsorship of The Ovaltine Products Division, ran nationally for four years through syndication. Screen Gems then ran them nationally under their own title as Jet Jackson, Flying Commando, for many years. Ovaltine owned the name “Captain Midnight” so Screen Gems dubbed the words “Jet Jackson” in the soundtrack to avoid trademark issues. In 1968, Jet Jackson was the number one television series in Australia.

In 1956, a National Poll indicated the public rating of then current heroes: Mickey Mantle, President  Eisenhower… and Captain Midnight. You will no doubt find a number of Captain Midnight collectibles on the vendor tables this weekend: the 1940 American Flag Loyalty Badge, the 1941 Detect-O-Scope, the 1942 Mystic Eye Detector Ring, the 1945 Magni-Magic Code-O-Graph, and more. Over fifty collectibles were manufactured and distributed over fifteen years, not counting printed promotional material.

Script cover for unaired TV pilot.
Sixty years following the conclusion of the television series, a rare discovery was made. It appears that in October 1974, Richard Webb acquired from the Ovaltine Company of Illinois the rights to Captain Midnight, to produce a new television series. Authored by Richard Webb himself, an updated space age version was scripted with all the familiar characters and locale, including the Secret Squadron Headquarters and laboratories in a remote section of the Mojave Desert. The lead role of Captain Midnight was in his mid-twenties, assisted by mechanic Budd (nicknamed Ikky), Ramsay (age 14) and Joyce Ryan (age 13). Without explanation or excuse, the pilot script established that Captain Midnight spent time on another planet, returned to Earth in a Flying Saucer (referred to as The Silver Dart), and uses the same craft as his personal mode of transportation on his missions planet-wide.

In the pilot script, Captain Midnight and his crew investigate a highly effective method of sabotage at a geothermal site, discovering who the criminal is and his motives. Hoping to thwart the discovery of valuable diamonds under the ground, the villain used a long-handled sledge hammer to sabotage the drilling, with hopes the company would pack up and go home… leaving the diamonds behind for excavation.

Until recently this script was not even known to exist. Webb, also a successfully-published author of Great Ghosts of the West (1971) and These Came Back (1974), wrote a novel titled Captain Midnight, contracted for publication with Hawthorn Books. The novel was never published. Such discoveries, decades after classic programs such as Captain Midnight went off the air, are continuing to surface courtesy of historians and dedicated researchers. (I personally would love to read Webb's unpublished Captain Midnight manuscript if that novel ever surfaced...) Some of these discoveries stem from flea markets, online auctions and vendors at film festivals. Which makes us wonder just what valuables are fated for discovery next weekend in the vendor room at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention?