RARA-AVIS: Richard Matheson, "Twilight Zone"

From: chrisaschneider@earthlink.net
Date: 03 Jan 2004

Here are a couple of good articles about Matheson and the "Twilight Zone" series:

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/tzscripts.htm http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/tzscripts2.htm

The first two TZ scripts which come to my mind as pleasureable experiences are "A World of His Own," where Howard Duff as an executive discovers that his "real" life is a movie being filmed, and "A World of Difference," where Keenan Wynn as a writer is able to alter reality and eliminate tart-yet-shrewish wife Phyllis Kirk. And, of course, there's "The Invaders," featuring a wordless Agnes Moorehead ...

(Half-remembered Firesign Theatre line: "Is that Steve Reeves? No, it's Agnes Moorehead.")

Paranoia seems to have a significant part of the Matheson world-view. Hence his flourishing as a "Twilight Zone" writer.

And did any one of you ever see the Matheson-scripted "Legend of Hell House"? I'd remember that one even if it *weren't* for the tongue-kissing episode that occurred during a drive-in double-bill of "Hell House" and "Soylent Green." Why? Because of the singular cruelty of one line where a ghost, speaking to Roddy McDowell, tells him "You may have been hot stuff when you were 14, but now YOU'RE SHIT!"

As a line directed at the former star of "My Friend Flicka," I'd say that that's just the teensiest bit unconscionable.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Shifting gears, I was watching Twilight Zone a couple nights ago and I noticed that Richard Matheson (I AM LEGEND) got a big credit at the beginning. The episode was called "Steel" and Lee Marvin was in it. It was set in the future (1968) when robots boxed instead of people. It wasn't very good.

Happy new year,



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