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directed by Philip Leacock
USA 19

Acres of burning desert. A rundown diner. Hostile, close-mouthed locals. And an upscale L.A. couple just passing through. It’s the perfect setup for suspense. Eight-time Emmy Award winner Cloris Leachman leads a stellar cast that includes Ross Martin, Ned Beatty and Dabney Coleman in a smart, lean chiller scripted by acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy writer Richard Matheson (I Am Legend). The story follows Jean Miller (Leachman), whose husband (Dabney Coleman) disappears after they stop at the dusty crossroads diner. No one – not even the sheriff (Dana Elcar) – will help her. So Jean desperately begins her own investigation, one that leads her straight into an ingenious web of mystery and murder.


Married couple Jean (Cloris Leachman) and Jim Mitchell (Ross Martin) stop at a rundown roadside eatery. When time comes to leave, Jean is ready, but Jim isn't. In fact, Jim is nowhere to be found. Jean's anguished efforts to locate her husband are mysteriously blocked by the hulking restaurant proprietor (Ned Beatty). This variation on the old radio play "Cabin 13" was written by Richard Matheson.

Excerpt of review from MRQE located HERE

Television Première: September 18th, 1973

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:14:21

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.98 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
•  None

DVD Release Date: April 22nd, 2010
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Chapters 8



Dying Room Only is hard to forget - I remember seeing it on TV over 30 years ago. Typical Richard Matheson genius - a simple story expanded with widening cracks, crevices and a MacGuffin-like mystery. Superb! 

It's standard single-layered but progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks exceptionally good. The image is very impressive - clear, clean, bright colors, strong detail.... Black levels are surprisingly adept. There is some damage at around the 36-minute mark.  The disc supports the Made-for-TV film with a fine transfer. Excellent overall.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles, nor supplements, offered.

While watching Dying Room Only - I kept thinking of another Matheson gem; Duel from 2 years earlier directed by a young Steven Spielberg. This, too, is just wonderful TV - significantly superior to much of the eye-candy drivel in the theaters today. If you haven't seen this - you are in for a treat. Strongly recommended!  

  - Gary Tooze



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