Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shakespeare in The Twilight Zone: “Queen of the Nile”

"Queen of the Nile." By Jerry Sohl. Perf. Ann Blyth, Lee Philips, Celia Lovsky, and Frank Ferguson. Dir. John Brahm. The Twilight Zone. Season 5, episode 23. CBS. 6 March 1964. DVD. Image Entertainment, 2005.

Here's another tiny Shakespearean element (or are there two?) in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

A journalist arrives at an actress's mansion to interview her—with special attention to her youth and vitality. When he skeptically asks her about one of her early films (Queen of the Nile, 1940, co-starring Charles Danforth), made when she was only fifteen, she replies, "Darling, Juliet was only twelve."

The second possible (and merely tangential) connection to Shakespeare involves a spoiler. If you don't mind discovering a secret of the episode, scroll down a little further and read on.

It's possible that the actress is Cleopatra—the very Cleopatra of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra herself—also known for her youth and vitality. That point is open to debate, but it is within the realm of possibility.

Links: The Episode at Wikipedia.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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