Night Gallery

Season 1 Episode 17

They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar

Aired Unknown Jan 20, 1971 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A has-been salesman is haunted by phantoms from a happier past.

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  • A disappointment

    Unfortunately a rather disappointing rewatch. Overwritten (especially in the part of the secretary) and with a hopelessly corny and implausible ending tacked on. It plays like a cross between that Twilight Zone with Brian Aherne and Death of a Salesman, but by this point Serling was often repeating himself and veering dangerously close to self-parody. Windom is very good throughout at least.
  • Night Gallery Season 1, Episode 17: "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar"

    Not bad, but certainly not Emmy quality. I would hope wonderful character actor William Windom was nominated for his performance, which far outshines Serling's desperate attempt to equal landmark TZ episodes such as "A Stop at The cast is great (as per usual for this series; they milk the generally mediocre scripts for all they're worth) - Diane Baker plays her typical overly compassionate self as Randy's loyal secretary. But I found the last 5 minutes silly and decidedly cloying. "Antoine's" has heretofore not been established as the "Pritkin Plastics" hangout, yet there it is across the street, just waiting for Randy and the last-minute gesture to make him feel better--am I mistaken, or is Convy's bratty upwardly-mobile competitor conspicuously missing from the "celebration"??? Better than many of the other episodes I've seen, but a cheap stab at sentimentality; Serling and others did this much more smoothly and cleverly in the late 50s and early-to-mid-60s.moreless
  • Wonderful Writing and Acting

    By Raymond C. McArdle- The sum of one man's life, it seems, lies restless and unfulfilled, and can be found beneath the floorboards, behind the walls, and just beyond the whitewashed window panes of Tim Riley's Bar. "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar," is a departure from most "Night Gallery" episodes, as Serling doesn't bring us to our knees with the fear of specters, supernatural happenings, or shadows in the night; he uses something far more sinister and ominous: the prospect of our own mortality and the unsettling possibility of facing it alone. Through Lane, Serling illuminates the stark sadness in a man's life when he discovers that his ship has left port without him, taking on board his loves, desires, second chances, and with them, the possibility of reconciliation. In this particular illustration, Randy Lane's ship appears in the form of a shuttered tavern, whose brick, wood, and mortar will soon part company under the force of a quite impersonal wrecking ball, bidding a solemn farewell to both sentimentality and Tim Riley's Bar.moreless
  • Time Passages

    It's hard to keep up with times because were always use to having things one way, but then once their gone their gone forever.

    This is a rather different tale for "Night Galary" it feels more like a "Twilight Zone" tale and that's part of what's so great about it it has sort of that throwback quality. This is one of my top ten favorate tales for this series because it's one I find very emotional.

    The Randy character you feel deep pathos for because he is an aged man that feels he has no place in the present. We hear about him talk about what he use to have in his past and it really drew me in just hearing him and it was just heartbreaking when we hear all those things his wife, friends, and feelings in is past is all gone. I find this heartbreaking because there is a truth to it, as we constantly move forward in our lives things always get lost to us.

    Randy feels his home is in the past and so he visits his old bar and of course all the people in his past magically appear his friends and even his late wife he gets to talk to one more time and to tell him to move foward. And that is what the story theme is about moving foward; you can always remember the past to keep it alive but you can never go back to it because the past is gone forever, Randy really can have all those things from the past again their just at a different place and time.

    The ending gave me a good feeling inside, Randy has found a home again in a new time, while the people and feelings from his past are alive in his memories.moreless
  • Randy Lanes world is falling down around him. In peril of losing a job to an up and coming snake, he is low. He learns that they are tearing down Tom Rileys bar which pushes him over the edge. He gets lost in the past and would rather not come back.moreless

    Great episode. I still get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when I watch this one even after all these years. William Windom does an excellent acting job as Randy Lane. The character is so natural and honest that he pulls you in. You can't help but feel what Randy Lane is feeling. I must say this is one of my top favorites in Night Gallery even though it doesn't lean heavily on the spooky stuff which is what drew me to Night Gallery in the first place as a kid. The one thing that did bug me slightly about this episode is that in the end everything worked out a little too wonderfully. Everyone saw the error of their ways and all was well again. I think it may have been a little better if he had just been willing to see the possibility of a new beginning with the secretary who obviously loved him so. Either way though, I still dig this one.moreless
Henry Beckman

Henry Beckman

Officer McDermont

Guest Star

William Windom

William Windom

Randy Lane

Guest Star

Diane Baker

Diane Baker

Lynn Alcott

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Host: Welcome ladies and gentleman to an exhibit of the eerie and the oddball. Our first offering this evening, faces, paint, pigment and desperation. The quiet desperation of men over forty who keep hearing footsteps behind them and are torn between fear and the compulsion to look over their shoulders. The painting is called They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar.

    • Randy Lane: I rate something more than I've got! Where does it say that every morning of a man's life he's got to Indian wrestle with every hot young contender off the sidewalk who has an itch to go up one rung? McDermont, I've put in my time, do you understand that? I've paid my dues! I shouldn't be hustled to death in the daytime and then die of loneliness every night. That's not the dream! That's not what it's about!

  • NOTES (2)