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Twonky, The

Entry updated 16 February 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1953). Arch Oboler Productions/United Artists. Directed by Arch Oboler. Written by Oboler, based on "The Twonky" (September 1942 Astounding) by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner). Cast includes Gloria Blondell, Hans Conreid, Billy Lynn, Ed Max and Janet Warren. 72 minutes. Black and white.

After his sanctimonious Five (1951), about survivors of nuclear war, Oboler chose another sf subject for his next film. A creature from the future invades a television set, bringing it alive. The set is soon running its owner's life, scuttling about doing household jobs by means of an electronic beam, but later becoming censorious and dictatorial, hypnotizing those who attempt to stop it (see Hypnosis). Kuttner's witty story collapses under the weight of Oboler's laborious script and the inadequate special effects. Television was a much-hated medium in Hollywood at that time, and it was only appropriate that Oboler, an old-time Radio producer, should have launched this symbolic attack. The film went unreleased for 17 months, then flopped. [JB/PN]


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