Monday, January 28, 2013

"The poor man's Bette Davis"

Meet Barbara Trenton. Classy actress and belle of the ball. On top of the world starring in movies with the hottest actors and probably attending every high luxury party in Hollywood. However, this is not the Ms. Trenton we are introduced too. We meet Barbara 20+ years after her prime. An aging actress cutting herself off from a world who has forgotten her and living in her OWN world where she is still relevant. Still proud, still a lady. Even if shes pounding cocktails at noon. She would NEVER refer to herself as the "Poor man's Bette Davis". And yet, this is the way Ida Lupino (the woman playing Ms. Trenton) described herself in her career. Some quick research actually turns up that Ida Lupino was constantly at odds with the movie studios and was adamant about not taking on roles she felt were “beneath her dignity as an actress.” Coincidence? I think not. I cant help but think Ida was purposely picked for this role because of her likeness to the character. Who knows, maybe Trenton was written differently in the original script and when Ida got her hands on it she changed the motivation behind the character. Whatever the case, the performance is believable.

By the end of the episode things have gone supernatural which i don't think any of us were surprised about. This IS The Twilight Zone. However, this episode felt to me like an episode of "Amazing Stories" (which i guess is really a twilight zone ripoff). And not even just the "twist",  something about the pacing of it. I cant really describe it. Amazing Stories was MY Twilight Zone having grown up in the 80's.  One particular episode entitled "Welcome to My Nightmare" a teenager, through his love for horror movies, is transported into Hitchcock's "Psycho". Kind of the same premise our leading lady has here. I wonder how many episodes will have similar themes between the 2.


Martin Balsam will always be Detective Balsam in Ezzio Greggio's "Silence of the Hams". Which also happens to involve "Psycho"...and "Silence of the Lambs".... and its genius.

Rating-- 4 out of 5 *'s

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