Twilight Zone – The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine

★★★1/2  October 23, 1959 Season 1 Episode 4

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This episode has more than a strong resemblance to the film Sunset Boulevard. Barbara Jean Trenton who is played by the great actress and director Ida Lupino is an aging actress who continually looks back at her old films and forgets the world has gone on. The ending has a good twist but something about the episode just doesn’t live up to some of the great ones. Saying that, it still is a very good episode…an average Twilight Zone is better than many other’s best shows. 

Martin Balsam makes an appearance as her agent Danny Weiss. We will see Martin again in the fourth season in a much scarier role. He was also in the 1985-87 reboot Twilight Zone. I remember him the most in 12 Angry Men and his appearances many 60s and 70s tv shows. 

Ida Lupino, who starred in this episode, would later direct The Twilight Zone: The Masks. She became not just the only woman to direct an episode of the The Twilight Zone, but also the only person to both star in an episode and direct one.

Ida Lupino has 42 credits to her name as a Director. 

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Picture of a woman looking at a picture. Movie great of another time, once-brilliant star in a firmament no longer a part of the sky, eclipsed by the movement of earth and time. Barbara Jean Trenton, whose world is a projection room, whose dreams are made out of celluloid. Barbara Jean Trenton, struck down by hit-and-run years and lying on the unhappy pavement, trying desperately to get the license number of fleeting fame.


Former queen of the silver screen, Barbara Trenton’s a woman who lives in her past – watching her movies from more than 25 years earlier. Her housemaid, Sally’s worried by her behavior, and tells Barbara’s friend, and agent Danny Weiss. He tries to make Barbara move on, even getting her a role in an upcoming film. But Barbara lives in the past and won’t accept that she’s older now

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

To the wishes that come true, to the strange, mystic strength of the human animal, who can take a wishful dream and give it a dimension of its own. To Barbara Jean Trenton, movie queen of another era, who has changed the blank tomb of an empty projection screen into a private world. It can happen in the Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Ida Lupino … Barbara Jean Trenton
Martin Balsam … Danny Weiss
Jerome Cowan … Jerry Hearndan
Ted de Corsia … Marty Sall
Alice Frost … Sally

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

15 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine”

  1. Yes agree sort of in the middle episode with that TZ twist at the end. I esp like the scene where she’s horrified to see her old leading man and how’s he aged

    Trying to watch a few ahead of you as you review. I remember some of them but not many. I appreciate all the background info you are including!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good scene. She looks so surprised and it shows how far she has gone. I went back and forth between 3 and 3 1/2.

      Thanks for reading and watching. I’m going back through them also…this time a little more critical…it’s amazing how well even the average ones hold up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you think they consciously based it on ‘Sunset Blvd.’? Well, no one wins every time out… actually I watched one yesterday I picked rather randomly from Season 3 and had to say when it was over, it was mediocre…fine premise but it didn’t really develop or go anywhere . (I’ll not say which to see if your evaluation is similar when you get there). But overall- that was a series that was head and shoulders above anything else on TV back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They had to base it off that it’s too much like it.
      It’s so much like it that when I was watching sunset Boulevard the last time I was thinking something happen that was in this one.

      Im looking forward to seeing it… there are not many I would give two stars… but I know a few that might get it.


    1. She was very talented…if she was in music I would ask you to include her in your March posts. I first noticed her directing on Have Gun Will Travel

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I liked it a little more than you did- a solid 4 stars. The first time I saw it the ending shocked me…..good acting once again- by Lupino and Balsam.

    Liked by 1 person

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