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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Twilight Zone Collector's Edition (Trade Ins, 3rd from the Sun, Fever, and Prime Mover)

Twilight Zone Collector's Edition (Trade Ins, 3rd from the Sun, Fever, and Prime Mover)

1 rating: 5.0
A Twilight Zone Collector's Edition tape
1 review about Twilight Zone Collector's Edition (Trade...

Four distinct love stories, the love of spouse, love of family, love of gambling and the love of friends

  • Oct 31, 2009
Rating:
+5
A married couple that has grown old together and is still deeply in love is a tender, rare and precious thing. In "The Trade-Ins" John and Marie Holt are such a couple, although their bodies are failing. Technology has advanced to the point where they can trade their old and failing bodies for new models. Unfortunately, they only have enough money for one transfer.
In a desperate attempt to make the rest of the money, John enters a poker game and is on the verge of losing all his money. For odd reasons, one of the players allows him to win the final pot that leaves him with his original stake. After some deliberation, Marie insists that John have the transfer done as he can then earn the money that she will need for her transfer. John has it done and he comes out a new, young and vigorous man. However, after he looks at Marie, he goes back and has the process reversed. The show ends with them walking away with their arms locked.
The premise of youth regained is one that has been widely used in literature, especially science fiction. This episode emphasizes some of the major downsides to such a procedure, the expense and the dramatic psychological effect it would have on you relative to your loved ones. John realized that his vigorous body would reject his beloved Marie so he made the most loving and caring decision of his life.
"Third From the Sun" is another episode that uses the premise of the fear of a nuclear holocaust, yet has an interesting and ironic twist. Scientist William Sturka works at a facility where weapons of mass destruction are created and Jerry Riden is a test pilot that has just flown a prototype of a space ship. They plot to steal the ship and take their families to another planet, so they concoct the premise of a card game to make their final plans. Their society is one of deep suspicion of loyalties, so they must plan in secret to avoid being discovered. Although they are careful, their actions arouse the suspicions of Carling, a security thug. They are able to make it to the space ship and after a brief battle with Carling and other security personnel, they manage to load their families and fly off to the third planet from another star, one the local inhabitants call Earth.
The premise that societies on other planets face the same doomsday scenarios that Earth went through is a depressing one. With so many different levels of fear and paranoia in American society in 1960, this episode played well to the mass psychology of the times. Those of us that lived through it remember it well, the next generation has no idea about the things that we took for granted, such as learning how to "duck and cover."
"The Fever" is a very good episode, while it describes gambling fever, the same concept could also be applied to drugs. Flora Gibbs wins an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas for her and her husband Franklin. Franklin is an extreme moralist, believing and stating forcefully that gambling is a sin for suckers. However, once he plays a single coin for another and wins, the slot machine has him hooked. His desire for gambling becomes an immediate obsession; he stays at the same machine and gambles through all the money in their checking account. All attempts by Flora to pull him away from the machine fail and even after their money is gone, the fever controls him. So much so that he hallucinates and sees the slot machine in front of him and taunting him. This unnerves him to the extent that he backs away in fear and falls through the window to his death.
One of the most traveled paths to addiction is the one that begins with initial rejection of the vice with an initial feeling of superiority. The internal thought, "I can handle it" is generally false and often leads to the path of loosing control. Franklin is an unpleasant man, his initial treatment of his sweet wife is atrocious and the message of this episode is that a feeling of superiority is often the first step on a road to ruin.
The casting of "The Prime Mover" was superbly done and the two lead males play their roles to perfection. Dane Clark plays Ace Larson and Buddy Ebsen plays Jimbo Cobb. The two men are partners in running a small cafe in Nevada and Ace is full of spirit while Jimbo is more relaxed in his approach to the world. The men share a room and Ace wants to marry his waitress but there is a chronic lack of money. When a car crashes, Ace is astounded to learn that Jimbo has the power of telekinesis as he lifts the car up and away from power lines.
Ace immediately realizes the significance of the opportunity so Jimbo, Ace and the waitress head to Las Vegas where Jimbo manipulates the dice at the craps table to win a fortune. However, Ace is not satisfied with those winnings, his plans enter the realm of megalomania and are about to cost him his fiancé. Jimbo, being a practical and humble man despite his power, claims that it has been overused and has gone away, so Ace loses everything. Humbled, yet not bitter Ace realizes the error of his ways and the three of them go back to their cafe and their former life.
The rags to riches to rags plot is well worn yet is superbly done here. The contrasting characters of Ace and Jimbo and how well they are played makes this story work very well. Ebsen is superb as the simple yet very wise Jimbo, loyal to his friends throughout and seemingly uninterested in personal advancement.

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