The Twonky - 1953
The Twonky - Released June 10, 1953. Directed by Arch Oboler
A living television set takes over the life of a University Professor (Hans Conried) when his wife leaves on a trip and he is left alone to care for himself, which never exactly happens as the TV takes over these duties and increasingly consumes the decisions and actions of the frightened man.
Laced with a lot of humor and a Twilight Zone sense of unreality, The Twonky is a very early jab at describing the totalitarian results from lighted electronic devices (the TV set in The Twonky marches about listening to martial music, generates money when needed, fights away distracting people from the professor's life, and believes itself entitled to rule everything within its reach). A low budget and a lack of cinematic structure hurts the film, but Hans Conried and the rest of the cast (including William Lynn, Janet Warren and Gloria Blondell) make it work (usually) well with their funny character portraits. The writing is the high point of this film, and though it is sometimes like a comedy sketch that goes on a bit too long, there is an actual horror and sci-fi mentality down among the words about a future in which technology runs amok.
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From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.
Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association