The Twilight Zone 1.23 – A World of Difference

An odd little coincidence here: Marie drew a connection between this episode and one that we watched in August, “The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine.” Both concern actors that escape into the unreality of a film, although the two stories are very different. In “A World of Difference,” written by Richard Matheson, the fictional character of a movie doesn’t understand why his life doesn’t seem to actually exist, why everybody keeps insisting he’s actually a Hollywood actor, and why a very unpleasant woman claims to be his ex-wife.

The coincidence is that the protagonists are played by Ida Lupino in “Shrine” and Howard Duff in this episode. The actors were married in real life, and would appear together onscreen about eight years later as the Batvillains Dr. Cassandra and Cabala. Lupino would return to direct a celebrated episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Masks,” in the fifth season.

Anyway, we were pleased that our son enjoyed this episode, because the last couple weren’t among his favorites. I enjoyed seeing Eileen Ryan and David White in supporting roles, although White would later get so identified as Larry Tate on Bewitched that I couldn’t remember the actor’s name! The very best part of the episode, though, features an eerie synthesizer piece while Duff’s character races back to the studio in a stolen car. It’s absolutely terrific POV camerawork from the car’s hood, showing off the wide, wide avenues of the Los Angeles suburbs and dozens of beautiful old fifties cars.

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