Friday, March 03, 2006

Horror dolls in b/w.....

anyone know the names and plot summary of the twilight zone and alfred hitchcock presents that had dolls in them?

one involved a swap and thats all i've been told. is it included in the dvd box set of season one?




Bradley said...

I'm old enough to recall seeing the Twilight Zone doll episode in reruns. :) It had originally came out back when Mattel introduced its first talking pull-string doll, Chatty Cathy, back in the late 1950s, and apparently it had creeped out enough people that someone wrote a Twilight Zone episode about it. I don't recall ALL the details as I was a little boy back then, but what I do recall is this:

A man goes to a shop and buys a doll--either he's a collector or his wife is--and it is one of those new pull-string baby dolls that is all the rage. Problem is, as the owner of the shop tells him, these dolls were meant to be *played with* and not collected to gather dust on a shelf all alone.

But the buyer sees that the doll is too cute and doesn't listen. Much to his dismay he does live to regret that decision for quite some the doll comes to life, and in its own inhumanly sweet, sugar-coated way, reminds him time and again, "...I love everybody, everybody BUT YOU!" as the doll comes after him night after night trying to kill him.

I don't recall if the doll kills him right off or just drives him crazy, but it was enough of an influence on someone that the Cartoon Network did a *parody* of the episode a while back as Johnny Bravo, he of the big hair, big muscles and *wee tiny brain* has to deal with his own *psycho pull-string dolly*, one Talky Tabitha. :D

Quite frankly though this was one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes EVER, but does anyone show that one? Nah...they show the *mannequin-night-shift* episode instead, the one *everybody* knows about....8-|

Oh well, things happen. :p

TSG said...

I think a little of what you remember was lost in translation, Bradley. So let me go right to my "The Twilight Zone Companion," by Marc Scott Zicree to set the record straight--

The episode was from the fifth season, and was called "Living Doll", which aired 11/01/63. It was about this guy who was pissed off all the time about how much money the family was spending. What sets him off, though, is that his wife buys this expensive doll--a Talky Tina--for his daughter, and he really, really begins to hate the doll. Bad karma, you know, 'cause when he starts pulling Tina's string to hear what she has to say, she's starts out saying, "I'm Talky Tina, and I'm your best friend", but since Dad don't wanna be BFFs with Tina she switches over to, "I'm Talky Tina, and you're mean to me", and moves on to "I'm Talky Tina, and I don't like you", and finally ends up with the good old, "I'm Talky Tina, and I'm going to kill you!". Not hard to see where this is going--

Well, sure enough, the dad wakes up in the middle of the night, thinks he hears something, starts to go down the steps, trips over Talky Tina . . . Woop-d-do! Right down the stairs, breaks his neck, and ends up in a heap. The wife comes down, finds him and Tina, picks up Tina, pulls her string, and she says, "I'm Talky Tina, and you better me nice to me!"

The dad was Telly "Who Loves Ya, Baby?" Savalas (with hair, if I remember correctly from the various Twilight Zone marathons they run on Sci-Fi), the mother was Mary LaRoche, and the voice of Talky Tina was June Foray, AKA Rocky the Flying Squirrel. Killer doll, but no one gets transformed.

Now, if my memory serves me correctly (thank you, Chairman Kaga), "Amazing Stories" did an episode called "The Doll" which was written by Richard Matheson and was suppose to have been shown in the fifth season of the original Twilight Zone. It was about this guy who buys this doll (which looks very realistic) as a present, his niece doesn't like it so he keeps it, then becomes infatuated with it and finally starts falling in love with the doll. He gets this overwhelming urge to find the woman who was suppose to have modeled for the doll, finds her--she's like 20 years older now; it's all very fuzzy, actually--and when he enters her place he discovers that she had a doll sitting on her mantel that looks like him. Well, the show ends with him and her going into the dinning room to talk, and their dolls sitting side by side, looking very pleased . . ..

The episode was shown on 5/04/86, and stared John Lithgow, who won an Emmy for the performance. The niece was played by one Rain Phoenix, AKA Rainbow Phoenix--sister of River, Joaquin, Summer and Liberty Phoenix--and vocalist for the band Papercranes.

No one getting change or killed or anything like that. Just . . . well, dolls meeting dolls, so to speak.

Now, as for that Hitchcock story I said I saw . . . after looking through various episode guides I'm damned if I can find it. I know I saw the show, but this was about 10 years ago at someone's house, but again: memory is fuzzy, and I assumed it was AH 'cause it seemed like that sort of those, and it was in black and white. My guess is it was some other anthology show from the late '50's, early '60's, but I have no idea what it could be.

James Leer said...

(Raises Hand)
No, no, no....I'M the smartest one here! Pick me! Pick me!

The T.Z. episode Asudem may be talking about is called "Miniature." It starred a young Robert Duvall as a lonely man who spends his lunch hour at a museum. He looks inside a dollhouse display and sees the beautiful girl doll moving, walking, interacting with the doll props and furniture, apparently alive! Of course, no one believes him, to the point where his family has him put under psychiatric care. He lies to the shrink, saying he's been cured, but after his release makes a beeline for the musuem and doll, with whom he's now fallen in love. Duvall's family and shrink search but never find him. Then, a museum guard looks in the dollhouse and sees the living girl doll...joined by Duvall, who's now living happily with the person he loves.

Charming, not one of the "dark" episodes where the protagonist gets cosmically screwed.

This episode was originally shot partially in color -- the scenes inside the dollhouse were in color, with scenes from Duvall's ordinary life shot in black and white, a la "The Wizard of Oz." In most reruns, though, it's usually shown all in B&W.

BTW, Asudem, great blog! I'm an avid reader. Keep up the good work.

Bradley said...

Ok, so my recall of a Twilight Zone episode I saw maybe at the age of Six is way off. Who knew? *lol* :p Thanks for correcting the error of my ways. ;)

TSG said...

Here's what I was looking for: the one doll-switching episode. It was on the Alfred Hitchcock Hour, which doesn't seem like a big difference, but is.

Anyway . . . the episode was Where the Woodbine Twineth, which was from the third season and aired 1/11/1965. Here's the summary:

Nell Snyder has been taking care of her orphaned niece and has been growing more and more concerned over her niece's behavior. Her niece continually blames all the trouble she causes on an imaginary friend named Mr. Peppercorn. When the girl's grandfather Captain King Snyder gives her a Creole voodoo doll, Nell grows more and more worried. Her nieces says the doll came from Mr. Peppercorn. She names it Numa and treats as if it were a real person. Eventually, Nell becomes convinced that the doll is real and that it is trying to take her niece's soul. She follows her niece and Numa into the forest. There she frightens her away, not realizing that the switch has already occurred. She later sees the doll and discovers that it bears her niece's face.

So now you have it.

Oh, and Bradley--no problem. ^_^

And not to leave any stones unturned, a little bit more on Miniature:

The episode was shot entirely in black and while. There was a problem with Miniature: it was the only hour-long episode that wasn't put into syndication when the show ended. The show was involved in a lawsuit not long after the "TW" went into syndication, because of a script that had been sent to Cayuga Productions (the company that made "TW") called The Thirteenth Mannequin. Apparently, the script (and I quote from my book) "concerned an old man who preferred the company of store mannequins--mannequins who ultimately come to life. The suit claimed that since both works dealt with main characters becoming involved with inanimate human figures who comes to life, Miniature had stolen the idea."

So, the show didn't get shown in syndication until like sometime in the early 1980's, and it was decided to do something "special" for the showing. This was during the height of the colorization craze, and so the parts of the story showing the doll's life were colorized. Fortunately, colorization died a quick death, and now Miniature is seen the way it was suppose to be shown--in glorious black and white.

And one last thing: the doll in Miniature was played by Claire Griswold. She was in serious contention to play the lead in Hitchcock's The Birds, but dropped out of acting all together in 1963 when she decided she'd rather raise her kids. She's still married to her first husband, director Sydney Pollack.

Edo said...

Here in Japan there was a manga and anime series called Warau no Salesman or the Laughing Salesman in English. The salesman was this heavyset character in a navy suit, bromberg hat, with a face like the Joker's-perpetually smiling. His name was Moguro Fukuzo which I won't translate into English as the kanji has too many meanings.

In every episode he offers his services for free and gives the customer a chance to fulfill his/her deepest darkest wish. There is a rider in that the client dare not break the terms of the agreement-which as we all know always happens. At that point you see a shapeless shadow form, from which you see the eyes and smile of Moguro appear and as he points an accusing finger at the client a change happens. Sometimes it is for the good, often it is for the bad.

In one episode, a man buys a doll to give to his daughter who dies shortly after in a car accident. The grieving father lavishes all his care on the doll after the death of his child. Moguro enters and gives him one opportunity to speak to his daughter again by allowing her spirit to possess the doll. The father breaks the agreement by preventing the child's spirit to return to the beyond. His punishment is to be forced to inhabit the doll's body and the daughter's spirit enters her father's body.

It is not one of the bad endings that are so common with this series and others produced by Fujiko Fujio A.

For more info on him check other the information below