The Neighbor

The humorous situation depicted is a latter-day TV-movie suburbia. A chilly, nondescript affair, roughly human in a general simulacrum. Box of colors or paint-by-number set, it awaits some fitting use, this artistic convention.

Here is one of the best, the woman in the wilderness. The wife is expecting, they have a neighbor, a kindly old doctor who has a mania to jab her belly with a nice long needle and quench the life within, and he very nearly does so. This is Rod Steiger with a feeling, accomplished treatment of the part as endemic to its circumstances.


Silent Night

Gibbons’ telefilm is a deliberate miracle, forty years after the fact it’s an episode of Combat!, more than one, in which German and American soldiers are locked together in a truce. This is so accurate that he is unarmed in the first reel because the premise is not recognized.

Christmas 1944, Ardennes. German mother and child, cabin. American sergeant and private and wounded man, to them three Germans.

The contemporary wraparound takes cognizance of the reduplication in full knowledge of the miracle, it’s practically Borges’ “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”.