06 May 2014

Postcard from The Twilight Zone

A fresh urge has taken hold of me, and I have been watching quite a bit of The Twilight Zone lately. Watching "A Passage for Trumpet" anew the other evening, my eye caught an anomaly. It does not rise to the name of goof; it would be unreasonable to have expected a solution to it with the technology of that epoch. Not only is it not the sort of detail which would interfere with anyone's reception of the performance; but Jack Klugman's compelling characterization commands the eye in that scene, in all events.

** SPOILER ALERT :: If you have not yet seen "A Passage for Trumpet," STOP RIGHT HERE, READ NO FURTHER **

Klugman plays a trumpeter who is down on his luck. Drunk and depressed, and having hocked his horn once again, he pushes himself in front of an oncoming truck.

For the duration of the drama in which Joey Crown is in a neither here nor there state, this is dramatically underscored by the fact that, as he wanders to this or that frequent, erm, haunt of his, none of the people he knows are in place, and none of the strangers with whom he tries to speak can hear or see him. Thus, too, this peculiar state he is in, is visually realized by there being no reflections of Joey Crown in any of the mirrors he looks into; for that reason, when at last he is returned to the land of the living, the camera returns to a shot of his trumpet in the pawn shop window - and we see a reflection in the shop window of Joey stretched out on the sidewalk.

Yet there is a scene in which we see Jack Klugman's reflection (though, as I wrote above, it is no mark against the director or camera man): when he is the bar, and telling the barkeep (who is a stranger to him) what a nice guy the bartender he knows is, he spends a minute or so leaning against the jukebox recounting another instance of the bartender's kindness. And, we see a reflection in the curved glass of the jukebox.

1 comment:

jochanaan said...

Love that episode! My lady Tammie loved The Twilight Zone, and often said she felt she was living there. *lol*