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February 21 in Twilight Zone History: Celebrating the 1963 premiere of 'Miniature'

Contributed by
Feb 21, 2018

Today, February 21st, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1963 premiere of "Miniature."

Relative newcomer Robert Duvall starred as mild-mannered accountant Charley Parkes – a real square peg – who takes his daily lunch hour at the local museum. There, he focuses on a particularly captivating miniature of a 19th century townhouse, with a tiny woman (Clair Griswold) who comes to life for him – along with her maid and suitor.

Like Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith) in "Time Enough at Last," Charley has found mental and emotional shelter in a world all his own.

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Long before he started to play the crusty cowboy or military man, Robert Duvall seemed to excel at underplaying his characters, particularly as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird and Charley Parkes in "Miniature."

Written by Charles Beaumont and capably directed by Walter Grauman, "Miniature" ran afoul of a plagiarism suit against Beaumont's script. According to Grauman, a settlement was reached and CBS was prevented from rerunning the episode for 20 years. It's another underrated hour of TZ.

Duvall had previously co-starred as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird and has gone on to become one of America’s most honored actors with seven Academy Award nominations and a win for Tender Mercies (1984). The object of Charley's affections, the little woman, was portrayed by Claire Griswold (1936-2011), who had a brief acting career before marrying director Sydney Pollack.

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Lovely Claire Griswold left her acting career behind to marry director Sydney Pollack and raise their children. 

So let's raise a 19th century libation to Charley Parkes and his special little world, found only in a tiny reserved corner of The Twilight Zone.