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"Are these the shadows of the things that will be?"
December 2, 2013 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Sponsored by Xerox and the United Nations, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, scripted by Rod Serling, scored by Henry Mancini, starring Sterling Hayden, Eva Marie Saint, and Robert Shaw, and featuring Peter Sellers as a post-apocalyptic pseudo-Randian cult leader in a spangly hat—it's A Carol for Another Christmas, the rare 1964 television special in which three ghosts teach a melancholy industrialist a Christmas lesson about the virtues of multilateral peacekeeping!
posted by Iridic (12 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh phew, no! Thank god. Mankiw not Mankiewicz.

God, I feel so much better. I swear I'm not high.
posted by discopolo at 2:51 PM on December 2, 2013


Sterling Hayden cannot be consumed without first reading Wanderer.
posted by alex_skazat at 2:51 PM on December 2, 2013


Sterling Haden and Peter Sellers cannot be consumed together, especially not in 1964, without grave danger to one's precious bodily fluids.
posted by The Bellman at 2:59 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Serling’s biggest (and most bizarre) departure from Dickens is an original character, Imperial Me (Peter Sellers), the leader of a ragtag group of doomsday survivors. Clad in a pilgrim outfit and a 10-gallon hat bearing the glittering legend “ME,” he exhorts his howling mob to follow an every-man-for-himself philosophy.

“Each behind his own fence!” he yells in a twanging Texas accent. “Each behind his own barricade! Follow me, my friends and loved ones, to the perfect society! The Civilization of ‘I’!” When Grudge’s black butler (Percy Rodrigues) pleads with Imperial Me’s followers to obey the rule of law, a boy in cowboy garb shoots him to death.


Nice to know mocking ridiculously naive libertarianism has a long and storied history.
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somebody was just talking about this on social media today...oh wait, it was Iridic, never mind.

For more on the UN/Xerox TV movie partnership, check out this article; the partnership concluded with "The Poppy Is Also a Flower" which is summarized on Wikipedia:

In an attempt to stem the heroin trade at the Afghanistan–Iran border, a group of narcotics agents working for the United Nations inject a radioactive compound into a seized shipment of opium, in the hopes that it will lead them to the main heroin distributor in Europe.


written (in part) by Ian Fleming, and featured Rita Hayworth, Angie Dickinson, Yul Brynner, and Marcello Mastroianni with Grace Kelly (who was Princess Grace by this point) as narrator.

So I'll be adding that one to the list as well
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:07 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Bellman beat me to it...as soon as I saw Haden and Sellers first thing I thought was "Mandrake!".
posted by kjs3 at 3:07 PM on December 2, 2013


This... this is a real thing? For really real? *pees pants a little*
posted by Token Meme at 3:59 PM on December 2, 2013


You had me at Rod Serling.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:00 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


ABC broadcasting a United Nations production? It's hard to imagine the incandescent conservative freak out about that if that happened now.
posted by octothorpe at 4:40 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


and people say the UN doesn't do anything worthwhile.

they must feel pretty silly right now.
posted by jpe at 4:50 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


ABC broadcasting a United Nations production? It's hard to imagine the incandescent conservative freak out about that if that happened now.

That's because at some point (think 1980s) the Republicans stopped ignoring John Birchers and started electing them to office.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:28 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So we watched this in its entirety last night because I apparently have a button on my iPad that sends the video I'm watching to the TiVo and Rod Serling's name overrides any video quality concerns on our couch.

It's not subtle. But fuck subtle. I loved it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:24 AM on December 3, 2013


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