Four directors collaborated to remake four episodes of the popular television series ‘The Twilight Zone’ for this movie. The episodes are updated slightly and in color (the television show was in black-and-white), but very true to the originals, where eerie and disturbing situations gradually spin out of control.
Twilight Zone: The Movie is a 1983 American anthology science-fiction fantasy horror film produced by Steven Spielberg and John Landis as a theatrical version of the 1959–64 TV series The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Serling. The film stars Vic Morrow, Scatman Crothers, Kathleen Quinlan and John Lithgow with Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the prologue segment. Burgess Meredith, who starred in four episodes of the original series, took on Serling’s position as narrator. In addition to Meredith, six actors from the original series (William Schallert, Kevin McCarthy, Bill Mumy, Murray Matheson, Peter Brocco, and Patricia Barry) had roles in the film.
The film is a remake of three classic episodes of the original series and includes one original story. Landis directed the prologue and the first segment, Spielberg directed the second, Joe Dante the third, and George Miller directed the final segment. Dante recalled that in the film’s original conception the three stories would be interwoven with characters from one segment appearing in another segment, but later problems with the film precluded this.
The film garnered notoriety before its release for the tragic stunt helicopter crash which took the lives of Vic Morrow and two child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, during the filming of the segment directed by Landis. The two child actors were hired illegally. Their deaths led to a high-profile legal case, although at the end of the trial no one was found to be criminally culpable for the accident.
Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
Directed by: Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Debby Porter, Doug McGrath, Debby Porter, Annette Claudier, Charles Hallahan
Screenplay by: John Landis, George Clayton Johnson
Production Design by: James D. Bissell
Cinematography by: Allen Daviau, John Hora, Stevan Larner
Film Editing by: Malcolm Campbell, Tina Hirsch, Michael Kahn, Howard E. Smith
Costume Design by: Deborah Nadoolman, Deborah Lynn Scott
Set Decoration by: Jackie Carr, Barbara Krieger
Art Direction by: Richard Sawyer, James H. Spencer
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 24, 1983