From Rod Serling’s The Night Gallery season 2. Two unconnected stories. The Messiah on Mott Street is a truly great story. The Painted Mirror is less so.
The Messiah on Mott Street
The Messiah on Mott Street – A near-penniless Jew (Edward G. Robinson), determined to stay alive for his grandson, hopes the Messiah will give him salvation. An absolutely excellent episode – wonderful acting by all involved, highly recommended.
It’s the story of an elderly, poor Jewish man, in poor health, at Christmastime. He’s raising his grandson, and determined not to die … yet. His doctor’s doing all that he can, but it’s not enough. And the grandfather tells his grandson about the Messiah, who will make all things right when he comes. So, the grandson goes looking for him.
But what he finds is an African American man. Who is clearly more than he seems to be. I won’t say more, to avoid spoiling an excellent episode. Possibly the best episode in the entire Night Gallery series.
The Painted Mirror
The Painted Mirror – An elderly antique dealer (Arthur O’Connell) uses a magic mirror portal reflecting an prehistoric world landscape to get rid of his hateful business partner (Zsa Zsa Gabor). Literally, a story of disproportionate revenge. The animated dinosaurs are nice, however.
An old woman sells a painted mirror to an elderly thrift store operator. A man who recently took on the unpleasant Mrs. Moore as his business partner. But beneath the paint is not a mirror, but a portal. A portal to a world of dinosaurs! Fighting, killing dinosaurs.
Mrs. Marsh exercises her options, and buys out Mr. Standish. With a small payment, that would only pay for him to live in a hotel for a few months. Ms. Chase throws a ball through the portal, so the dog will chase after it!
Then, when Mrs. Marsh’s dog goes through the portal, she goes after it. And Standish and Ms. Chase …. paint over the portal, so she can’t get back through!
Seriously, what does Mrs. Moore do to deserve death in a world of dinosaurs? I’ll be the first to admit that she’s a thoroughly unlikable woman. A penny-pinching, nasty person who enjoys putting other people down. But, is that worthy of death? And her dog dies with her!
- Zsa Zsa Gabor can been seen with a Yorkshire terrier, like her sister Eva Gabor in Green Acres.
Cast of characters – The Messiah on Mott Street
- Edward G. Robinson (The Stranger) … Abraham Goldman
- Yaphet Kotto (Five Card Stud) … Buckner
- Tony Roberts (Million Dollar Duck) … Dr. Morris Levine
- Joseph Ruskin (Diary of a Madman) … Fanatic
- Ricky Powell … Mikey Goldman
- John J. Fox … Santa Claus
- Anne Taylor (Zontar the Thing from Venus) … Miss Moretti