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Night Gallery: Camera Obscura

A moneylender is invited to the demonstration of a very mysterious camera obscura.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 2x37
Production Number: 34312
Airdate: Wednesday December 08th, 1971

Director: John Badham
Story: Basil Copper
Teleplay: Rod Serling

Guest Stars
Ross Martin (1)Ross Martin (1)
As Gingold
Rene AuberjonoisRene Auberjonois
As William Sharsted

Co-Guest Stars
Arthur MaletArthur Malet
As Abel Joyce
Brendan DillonBrendan Dillon
As Drucker
John Barclay (2)John Barclay (2)
As Sharsted, Sr.
Milton ParsonsMilton Parsons
As Old Lamplighter
Philip KenneallyPhilip Kenneally
As Driver (as Phillip Kenneally)
Main Cast


In 1915 London, moneylender William Sharsted comes to collect from one of his clients, the elderly Mr. Gingold. Gingold invites him in and Sharsted admires his collection of rare paintings. He suggests that Gingold could sell them, but the old man says he has no plans to do so. Sharsted then asks for the 300 pounds owed and reminds Gingold that the debt is due the next Monday in three days. Gingold avoids the issue and takes Sharsted to his study for a glass of sherry...

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "Camera Obscura" by Basil Copper. This story was first published in the Herbert van Thal anthology The Sixth Pan Book of Horror Stories (1965).

Episode Quotes
Host: We branch out a bit this evening and move a few feet away from the usual and get into the area of photography. Now, this painting here had best be viewed in a dark room, because it conjures up the ghostly, the ghastly, and the ghoulish. It tells the story about a very remarkable device that offers up a vision as things are, and a hellish vision of what they were and shall be. Our painting is called Camera Obscura.

Gingold: That may be business, Mr. Sharsted, but it is a far cry from humanity.
William Sharsted: Humanity, Mr. Gingold, applies to funeral eulogies and Valentine cards, not business.

William Sharsted: My father was a most successful man.
Gingold: At the art of backing people into a corner of despair, he was without peer.

William Sharsted: Gingold! Gingold! I don't belong here, I swear to you! these aren't my kind. These are ghouls and graverobbers! Bloodsuckers and usurers! I don't belong here! Gingold! Gingold!
Gingold: You're wrong, Mr. Sharsted. You're in your element.
William Sharsted: I'll reform!
Gingold: With your colleagues and your peers. Damned and doomed for an eternity of the leech.
William Sharsted: Never mind the 300 pounds.
Gingold: Oh no, Mr. Sharsted, too late for reprieve. Now you shall stumble and weep and swear along the alleys and squares and streets of your own private Hell!
William Sharsted: I'll reform! I'll change! Gingold! I'll change!
Gingold: And you shall do for all eternity.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
ProducerJack Laird
Costume DesignerBill Jobe
Set DecoratorSal Blydenburgh  |  Chester L. Bayhi
Director of PhotographyLeonard J. South
Art DirectorJoseph Alves, Jr.
Main Title DesignWayne Fitzgerald
Music ScorePaul Glass
Film EditorSam Vitale  |  David Rawlins
SoundDavid H. Moriarty
Assistant DirectorRalph Sariego  |  Lester William Berke
Unit ManagerBurt Astor
Executive Story ConsultantGerald Sanford
Assistant To The ProducerAnthony Redman
Editorial SupervisorRichard Belding
Theme MusicGil Melle
Gallery PaintingsThomas J. Wright  |  Logan Elston  |  Phil Bandierle
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