“If I had not gone into Monty Python, I probably would have stuck to my original plan to graduate and become a chartered accountant, perhaps a barrister lawyer, and gotten a nice house in the suburbs, with a nice wife and kids, and gotten a country club membership, and then I would have killed myself.”
“On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man’s life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry’s machines - including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete in the Twilight Zone.”
-Rod Serling, “The Lonely”, The Twilight Zone (1959)
“Down this hall is a very strange individual locked in a room. He’s known by various names and by various forms. Our story is called The Howling Man by Mr. Charles Beaumont. It’s designed for the young in heart, but the strong of nerve.
Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regrettably, finder of truth. A man who will shortly arise from his exhaustion to confront a problem that has tormented mankind since the beginning of time. A man who knocked on a door seeking sanctuary and found instead the outer edges of the Twilight Zone.”
-Rod Serling, “The Howling Man”, The Twilight Zone (1960)
Fabulous Final Scenes: Marlene Dietrich in Dishonored (1931, dir. Josef von Sternberg) The gorgeous music that plays over the final shot is Ivanovici’s “Donauwellen” (Waves of the Danube).
As the lady spy confronting the firing squad in Dishonored (after having spent her last night on Earth playing a piano in her cell), she waits patiently while a young soldier in a burst of heroism shouts, “No more butchery!” Marlene, as sure that there will be more butchery as she is that her own death will follow, merely applies fresh lipstick. This is the ultimate vision of beauty as courage and the ultimate victory of style (Dietrich’s & Sternberg’s) over content; style has become content. For what man will not feel his claims to courage dwarfed by such a gesture of acceptance, and what director will not feel the pretentions of his socially conscious film reduced by such a shrug!