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January 6, 2010

The Twilight Zone: Steel (1963)

The Twilight Zone: Steel (1963)

Episode 122 from season five, is another great Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) script. It stars the broiling Lee Marvin as a desperate man fighting his own greed and a robotic punishment machine. In 1974, boxing has been made illegal. Only robots are allowed in the ring. Former boxer "Steel" Kelly and his manager Pole are forced to make an inhuman decision when their out-dated robotic fighter suffers a final mechanical break down prior to a fight.

The Twilight Zone: Steel (1963)

In the future, the boxer's eyes actually start out blackened.

Steel Kelly is forced into the ring, disguised as his broken robot, where he barely lasts three minutes of the fixed fight against a brutal machine. The rigged fight ends with Kelly taking a fall - bruised and nearly killed but stubborn as ever, Steel tells Pole that with the take money they'll get the parts to fix Maxo.

Matheson's story echoes the unwinnable man vs. machine conflict of the Post-Industrial Revolution world where the souless machine always wins.

In a bizarre recent development, Variey magazine has reported that Dreamworks Studios are spending $80 million on what they are calling Real Steel, an adaptation in which former upbeat tap dancer and Broadway singer Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman will headline. The filming for this atrocity is set to begin in June of 2010. It will arrive in theaters the same day I collapse in epileptic fits of frantic laughter.

Wikipedia, The Twilight Zone: Steel
Wikipedia, Lee Marvin
IMDB, Lee Marvin
Twilight Wiki, Steel
Obsessed With Film, Dreamworks Set To Butcher "Zone" Classic!

Season Five of The Original Twilight Zone is available at:
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