Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The End of the World, Baby; Kraft Suspense Theatre, Peter Lorre, Gig Young, Katherine Crawford, Nina Foch

Click here for the previous review.

Season #1, Episode #3

The End of the World, Baby

Original air date - October 24, 1963

Setting/time - The Italian Riviera in the present. This episode is one of three (in addition to Rapture at Two-Forty and Knight's Gambit) that took place on the Mediterranean Riviera. All of these Riviera episodes featured wealthy people with time on their hands and either living in elegant housing or driving expensive cars (or both).

Plot/Review/Discussion -

Katherine Crawford stars as the daughter of an independently wealthy American woman (Nina Foch) who is looking to leave her husband (Crawford's father) for a playboy sculptor (Gig Young). The plot gets complicated when Crawford's character falls in love with the same sculptor without her mother's knowledge. You will never be sure whether Crawford is acting in her own best interest or simply to protect her father.

What makes this plot enjoyable is that it is not simply a good v. evil story. It is not simply a case of the hero/heroine escaping danger. The plot is strong because the characters are forced to make decisions. The suspense occurs where the audience does not know which choice the character will make and what the consequences will be.

The plot is strengthened as we explore the art of Young's character and the immaturity of Crawford's character. Crawford's character struggles as she is pulled from all directions - (1) her loyalty to her father, (2) her new feelings for the sculptor and (3) her need for maternal comfort (despite keeping secrets from her mother) as the situation spins out of control.

Much of the story takes place in a centuries old Italian castle known as Fini del Mondo ("The End of the World.")


Katherine Crawford makes her first of three KST appearances with this episode. She is the daughter of Roy Huggins, a writer and producer of several KST episodes (although not this one). She appeared in numerous popular shows from the early 1960's through the mid-1970's. The photo below is from The Fugitive.

Katherine Crawford

Gig Young starred in TV and movies for nearly forty years, including such examples as an uncredited appearance in 1941's Sergeant York and one of the more famous episodes of Twilight Zone. He won his only Oscar for his role in 1969's They Shoot Horses, Don't They. He apparently committed a murder-suicide with his wife of 3 weeks in 1978.

Nina Foch starred in TV and movies for nearly 65 years. Her most famous role was probably 1960's Spartacus, in which she starred with, inter alia, future KST star John Gavin.

Peter Lorre died nearly six months after this episode aired.

1 comment:

  1. This is one KST episode I didn't care for at all despite its excellent cast. It was my sense that someone came up with a hip "existentialist" title, then built what struck me as only an attempt at a sophisticated drama around it. Good actors flounder.