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Hector Ponomarev
Hector Ponomarev

Twilight Zone The Movie



Producer and co-director Steven Spielberg was so disgusted by Landis's handling of the situation, he ended their friendship and publicly called for the end of the New Hollywood Era, where directors had almost complete control over film. When approached by the press about the accident, he stated, "No movie is worth dying for. I think people are standing up much more now, than ever before, to producers and directors who ask too much. If something isn't safe, it's the right and responsibility of every actor or crew member to yell, 'Cut!'" Co-director George Miller was so repulsed by the entire scenario, he abandoned post-production of his segment, leaving Joe Dante to supervise editing.[10]




Twilight Zone The Movie


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Landis has said that the actual ending of the segment was unaffected by the accident.[13] When asked how the film changed from its initial conception after the accident, Landis replied, "The intercutting between the actions of the KKK and American GIs and the Vietcong and the Nazis became more and more frenetic as [Bill] tried to protect the children. Finally, the Nazis take the children away and shoot them and load him up on the train. We decided not to use any footage of the children. It was a very difficult situation. Do we keep it in the movie? ...And, ultimately, we decided it would be really outrageous to Vic Morrow if we just cut it out of the movie completely.[14] Landis has also said, "There are moments [in the segment] I think work well. When [Bill] is in the cattle car, and he looks back and you see his POV of the bar going by. I think that's an unsettling image."[13]


Twilight Zone: The Movie opened on June 24, 1983, and received mixed reviews. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated each segment individually, awarding them (on a scale of four stars): two for the prologue and first segment, one-and-a-half for the second, three-and-a-half stars for the third, and three-and-a-half for the final. Ebert noted that "the surprising thing is, the two superstar directors are thoroughly routed by two less-known directors whose previous credits have been horror and action pictures... Spielberg, who produced the whole project, perhaps sensed that he and Landis had the weakest results, since he assembles the stories in an ascending order of excitement. Twilight Zone starts slow, almost grinds to a halt, and then has a fast comeback."[20] The New York Times' film critic Vincent Canby called the movie a "flabby, mini-minded behemoth."[21]


Robert Bloch wrote the book adaptation of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Bloch's order of segments does not match the order in the film itself, as he was given the original screenplay to work with, in which "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" was the second segment, and "Kick the Can" was the fourth. The movie's prologue is missing in the novelization. Bloch claimed that no one told him the anthology had a wraparound sequence. Bloch also said that in the six weeks he was given to write the book, he only saw a screening of two of the segments; he had to hurriedly change the ending of the first segment, after the helicopter accident that occurred during filming.[28] As originally written, the first segment would have ended as it did in the original screenplay (Connor finds redemption by saving two Vietnamese children whose village is being destroyed by the Air Cavalry). The finished book reflects how the first segment ends in the final cut of the film.


Jerry Goldsmith, who scored several episodes of the original series, composed the music for the movie and re-recorded Marius Constant's series theme. The original soundtrack album was released by Warner Bros. Records.


A complete recording of the dramatic score, including a previously-unreleased song by Joseph Williams, was released in April 2009 by Film Score Monthly, representing the soundtrack's first US release on Compact Disc. Both songs were used in Segment 1 and were produced by Bruce Botnick with James Newton Howard (Howard also arranged "Nights Are Forever"). The promotional song from this movie, "Nights Are Forever", written by Jerry Goldsmith with lyricist John Bettis, and sung by Jennifer Warnes, is heard briefly during the jukebox scene in the opening segment with Vic Morrow.


This tragedy is an instance where everyone can agree that the circumstances put in place that caused the accident was disgraceful. It appeared evident that Landis and Folsey were recklessly negligent with the safety of the set. Witnesses corroborated during the trial for the accident that Landis instructed Wingo to fly low, including camera operators and Le's father. According to camera operator Stephen Lydecker at the trial, Landis "shrugged off" warnings about the stunt being too dangerous. While new industry laws were enacted in place of the incident, including stricter enforcement of safety violations from the Director's Guild of America and contract clauses from the Screen Actors Guild regarding compliance from actors to partake in dangerous stunts, justice was not properly served. Landis, Folsey, Wingo, Allingham, and explosives specialist Paul Stewart were all acquitted on charges of manslaughter. Co-director of Twilight Zone: The Movie, Steven Spielberg, broke off his friendship with Landis following the accident. He took the on-set calamity personally, stating that "no movie is worth dying for."


Despite new laws put in place and important figures like Spielberg recognizing the immorality of what occurred, John Landis never paid the price for his ill-advised filmmaking. He continued to direct films for years following, notably a major box office hit in Coming to America in 1988. Directors have been sentenced to the proverbial "director jail" for way lesser wrongdoings. In Hollywood, you are punished for making movies that don't produce a profit (whatever happened to Richard Kelly or Frank Darabont?) but not for involuntary manslaughter.


For as magical as Hollywood and filmmaking are on the exterior, the Twilight Zone tragedy spotlights the cursed nature of the business. In the cruelest manner, the negligence of the film's production was a cautionary tale of the state of filmmaking at the time. In 1982, when the film was shot, New Hollywood was at its tail end. The era of filmmaking that centered around filmmaker-controlled auteurism was being sidelined for bankable franchise blockbusters during the transition to the '80s. The most fateful consequence of awarding unbridled power to a visionary like Landis is what transpired on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. This incident showed that directors have a much greater responsibility while directing movies beyond realizing their artistic vision. For this Twilight Zone segment, cast and crew safety ought to have been priority #1.


Sadly, fatalities on-set did not end with Twilight Zone: The Movie. Brandon Lee was shot and killed while filming The Crow when the lead tip of a bullet from a previous scene had stayed in the barrel of a handgun. According to an Associated Press report, at least 43 people have died on movie sets in the U.S. and more than 150 have been inflicted with life-altering injuries. The recent firearm mishap on the set of Rust, which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, has continued to raise concerns about gun safety in film production. The deficient safety precautions put in place by Landis and the lack of accountability in the aftermath of Morrow and the two children's deaths was a low point for Hollywood. One would like to imagine that the industry learned its lesson as a result of the tragedy, but the last 40 years have shown that there is still an unsolved crisis regarding film production safety.


The superstars are John Landis ("The Blues Brothers") and Steven Spielberg ("E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"). The relative newcomers are Joe Dante, whose "The Howling" was not my favorite werewolf movie, and George Miller, whose "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" is some kind of a manic classic. Spielberg, who produced the whole project, perhaps sensed that he and Landis had the weakest results, since he assembles the stories in an ascending order of excitement. "Twilight Zone" starts slow, almost grinds to a halt, and then has a fast comeback.


1959. Friday nights. We time-travelled. Witnessed surprising twists. Entertained aliens. Experienced fear. And first journeyed to the "Twilight Zone" of Rod Serling's memorable TV series. And guided by four imaginative moviemakers, we travelled there again in 1983. Directors John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller fashion stories based on or inspired by classic episodes. Landis weaves the tale of a bigot who gets a walloping dose of his own hatred. Spielberg takes over with a fable of senior citizens offered a magical rejuvenation. Dante serves up a terror trip with a child who uses his cartoon-inspired powers to enslave his family. Then fright goes aloft with Miller's finale about a neurotic passenger who sees a monster on the jetliner's wing. Or does he?


These motherfuckers literally had a meeting where they decided that it was more fiscally expedient to release a movie that edited around the death of a man and two children instead of dropping a single segment of an anthology film.


After directing what many consider a landmark movie in the form of ET. the Extra-Terrestrial, Spielberg was at the top of his game and though it all end up in the worst way possible, one can't blame Steven for trying out on making a movie based on the iconic TV series created by Rod Sterling. It stick in many ways to his sensibilities and the film manages to bring back certain magic elements of the original show - though even when the current revival by Peele is good, I guess it wouldn't be any controversial for me to say any of the attempts have never managed to catch the brilliance. 041b061a72


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