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S2E29: “The Director’s Director”


You might not know the name Elliot Silverstein but you should. He directed a couple of very big movies (Cat Ballou and A Man Called Horse). He also helped invent TV directing back in the 1950’s and 1960’s (directing Naked City, Have Gun Will Travel and The Twilight Zone. Elliot was always an artist’s rights guy. The reason directors have a “director’s cut” or “final cut” is because Elliot fought for it. It’s not hyperbole to say that Elliot Silverstein really is the director’s director.

We first met Elliot back during our Tales From The Crypt days. Elliot directed four episodes including one of the series’ best – “The Reluctant Vampire”. It’s about a vampire who doesn’t like hurting people so he gets a job as night watchman in a blood bank. Malcolm MacDowell played the vampire.

Having learned to direct during TV’s first Golden Age, Elliot taught himself to see the whole show or movie in his head before he ever calls “Action!”. It made working with him on Crypt a fascinating – and very educational – experience.

We cover a lot of territory in this one. A lot of fascinating characters make appearances: If Elliot’s anything, he’s a kind of Don Quixote tilting at corporate and studio windmills. The word that best defines Elliot at the end of the day: integrity.

Yup – Elliot Silverstein is very much the director’s director.

Photo 1282336 / Movie © James Group Studios, Inc. |

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