• thedoctor9814 July 2000
    Some mediocre, some incredible
    Some "amazing stories" were actually just rehashes of old ideas, but some, such as "The Mission", were superbly written, directed, and are worth seeking out. To add to their appeal, some top-notch actors are involved to bring an extra dimension to the story. Worth seeing.
  • Tommy Nelson19 June 2008
    8/10
    A good series, but not always as amazing as the title would suggest.
    Steven Spielberg produced, wrote, came up with ideas for and even directed episodes of Amazing Stories, so naturally this would have to be the greatest anthology ever right? Unfortunately wrong. Some episodes are just fantastic, but all too often it was a mixed bag. In fact, that might have been it's downfall is it was way too mixed. Some episodes were light comedies, some were dramas, some were horror, and one was even animated, which made this a similar, but not as good 80s version of the Twilight Zone (which also was around).

    Normally I'd like having a mixture of stories in an anthology show, but they just didn't fully work here. Some of the more fantastical dramatic episodes felt like they would be better being shown late on night on the Lifetime network, like the episode "Ghost Train", which was directed by Spielberg himself. In that episode, it gave the message of hope, and gave us a fantasy story, but overall it was just a build up to the ending which didn't blow me away anyways. The horror episodes tended to work better than the drama, but there were far more dramatic ones, and they grow tiring to watch. Acting wise, this anthology got some big stars, similar to the original Twilight Zone. Kevin Costner, Kiefer Sutherland, Milton Berle, Dom Deluise, Harvey Keitel, Beau Bridges, Charlie Sheen, Forrest Whitaker, Tim Robbins, John Lithgow, Rhea Perlman, Danny Devito, Patrick Swayze, Christopher Lloyd, June Lockhart, Kathy Baker, Weird Al Yankovich and many other well knowns have been in episodes of the show. It's fun to see well known actors in almost every episode of the series. Great directors have also had part in episodes including Spielberg himself, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Bob Clark, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Paul Bartel, Joe Dante, Robert Zemeckis, Danny Devito and even Martin Scorsese. I'd actually recommend this more to fans of the directors and/or the 80s than anyone else.

    Amazing Stories was sometimes amazing, usually good, occasionally mediocre, and every once in a while a real stinker came out. But, this show has nostalgic value to me, and it's sort of fun to sit on boring afternoons and watch some episodes. John Williams' theme music for the show is sure to be caught in anyone's head who watches this, too.

    My rating: Good show. 30 mins. per episode. TVPG
  • dtucker8627 September 2003
    Great series
    Spielburg is truly one of our cinematic giants and were so lucky to have him. I remember that he said that he based Raiders Of The Lost Ark on all those cliffhanger movie serials that he saw as a kid. He is like a person with the mind of a genius and the heart of a child. Amazing Stories was his contribution to television and this series has been unfairly forgotten. It should have run longer and I am glad some of the episodes are out on video. It was imaginative and daring just like the movies Speilburg directed. It told different stories every week and used some of our finest actors in the roles. The one that touched my heart the most was one about a man who was a soldier in World War II and came home resented by his little girl. She wandered off in the woods during a picnic and was lost forever. Years later, when the old man's wife is on her deathbed, he hears a knock at the door and he opens it to see his little girl. She has come for her mother and takes her away. This was one of the most moving stories that I have ever seen and it almost brings tears to my eyes thinking of it even now. Some episodes were dramatic and some were funny but the point is that all were masterful and original. Fred Allen once said "No wonder they call tv a medium, nothing on it is ever well done". I think even Fred would have loved Amazing Stories.
  • CocoStars163 May 2004
    Amazing indeed!
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have very vague memories of watching Amazing Stories when it aired on the BBC during weekday early afternoons. I loved it as a child and when I saw the Sci-Fi Channel was showing repeats some time ago I had to tune in to see if this show that I remebered so dearly was really as good as I thought. It was! And as a 20 year old adult I loved it even more.

    Amazing Stories is a prime example of good quality TV. The basis of the show was that it was kind of a modern day family version of the Twilight Zone, each week the viewer was shown a different story. Some episodes were weak, true, but most were amazing and AS will forever be one of my favourite TV shows.

    AS had a breath taking musical score - many famous composers were brought in to score the episodes. It also had excellent photography and direction, not to mention great writing and a talented cast (people like John Lilthgow, Rhea Pearlman, and Hayley Mills all appeared in random episodes). Each story was unique and while not always "amazing" the show never failed to entertain me. The varity of stories was very wide. Some were tragic, some were scary, and some where comedy based but each episode always gave the viewer a new outlook on the universe.

    Some good episodes that nobody else has mentioned that are really worth seeing are "Lane Change", where a middle aged woman is shown important events in her life as she drives along the freeway with a hitch-hiker she picked up who turns out to be herself 30 years into the future. Other good episodes are "Blue Man Down", where a police officer is struggling to cope with the death of his partner which he was partly responcible for. "Boo!" is a lighthearted romp about two spirits who don't like the crude new tenants that have taken over their house and "You've Gotta Believe Me" is a haunting tale about a man who predicts a plane crash in his nightmares. Each episode was original and exciting. I long for this wonderful series to be released fully on DVD so I can enjoy it properly again and again. 5 stars all the way!
  • sowma20 October 2002
    One of the best!
    ever since the sci-fi revival started, i've been wondering if they would ever try another crack at the amazing stories series. i don't know if anyone has seen the new twilight zone series or any of these other 'hack' type shows... but when i think about the best shows since the original twilight zone and outer limits (which are THE BEST) this series is the best thing to happen since those shows went off the air. writing, acting, production value (for its day) are all way above the mark of anything to happen since. the only other show that i remember being EXCELLENT is the short lived jim henson show- and i can't even remember its name. this show along with northen exposure, star trek tng, and a very, very select few make up the creme of the crop of shows since the 80's. oh yeah, of course the x-files had some 'amazing stories-esque' episodes, but 'amazing' was and is the only true modern fantasy series of greatness!!!!!!!! yay!
  • DKosty12325 February 2007
    6/10
    Solid Series With A Lot of Notable Names
    As my 175th review, I chose this as I was given the Season 1 set for Christmas & have been looking at this series for the first time. I remember the ads for it years ago, but never watched it because the NBC people moved the series around so much that I could never find out when it was on.

    In the season 1 shows, the first 6 episodes were really solid. Then the next 6 tailed off. The third 6 got better again. I have not watched the last 6 yet. The DVD's do feature some deleted scenes though so far the deleted scenes i have looked at have not been anything major.

    What this series did have was names & not just Spielberg's - consider Clint Eastwood directing an episode with Sondra Locke in it. Mark Hammil does an episode,Kevin Costner, Sid Ceasar, Milton Berle, & others.

    The episodes range from cute - Aliens touring Hollywood to World War 2 Missions to depression era stuff to the Alamo. The good thing is Spielberg did not try to get corny & do a Rod Sterling type of introduction to each one. This gave him a little more time to develop plots than Sterling format. Actually the aliens, the Alamo & the VooDoo sitter are pretty good.

    The bad news is that some of the plots are quite predictable. Given the overall quality of the DVD I have seen though, the DVDs are the way to watch these. I think too many commercials are put in on the Science Fiction channel & these shows make no sense when they are shortened at all. In fact, I would not be surprised that even when they ran on NBC they were shortened too which is why the series failed.

    Even with predictable plots, The DVD sticks a lot into each episode so shortening these hurts them.
  • CindyLH24 April 2005
    A series that I truly miss
    I was 26 years old when "Amazing Stories" was on TV. My co-workers and I always talked about it the next day at work. Everyone I knew loved the show...it always gave us something great to talk about and almost always made us really, really laugh. Everyone got involved in the conversations and it was always in a positive way. Some of the shows were serious...some were very touching...and some were absolutely hilarious. But they were all very clever in one way or another. They remind me of "Tales from the Crypt" and "The Twilight Zone. Two very, very, very funny episodes were "Head of the Classs" and the one with the college boys with the pink goop in Science class. They were the two that were our favorites. Who couldn't help but repeat the line "Kiss me and I'm yours forever"? Or how about "Mr. Braaaaaad"? I did, however, miss the magnetic episode. And even from just hearing about it really tickled me. I remember laughing so hard that tears were running down my face when the people at work told me about it. I would really love to be able to see that one. Even after twenty years, I still find myself bringing up the show for some good reason or another. I miss the show very much, and I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for it to come out on DVD.
  • mattkratz14 March 2002
    good show
    This quasi-Twilight Zone series (but with more emphasis on the fantasy elements) ranks as one of my favorite shows. The episodes were all good, and I especially remember the episodes where a guy finds himself trapped in the bottom of an airplane during a war, and one where a nerd can't seem to get the girl he wants and wishes life could be more like the movies, until he finds himself in a dark one...

    All in all, not too bad.
  • S.R. Dipaling10 October 2007
    The Theme song resounds in my head still!
    Fresh off a slough of big-screen success,filmmaker Steven Spielberg put his name and money(along with others such as Bob Gale and Robert Zemekis)behind this short-lived NBC TV project in the mid-1980s. Meant to be a more fanciful,less grim and ambitious "Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits",this show couldn't seem to settle on either a half-hour or hour format,and after two seasons simply could not afford to keep running(not to mention having fading viewer-ship)and went off the air. It was soon repackaged in two-hour movie forms,combining episodes that were released on Video and to cable TV. KInd of a shame for the ambition and possibilities this show offered,but not a surprise really.

    Some episodes that stick with me(And I actually haven't seen ALL of them,but I've caught quite a few):the elderly couple whose long-missing 7-year-old daughter returns to them;the 1930s comic-book collector who leaves his family behind to chase his bliss,only to find himself become a poor,perceivably unstable eccentric;a teenager who discovers a way to make 1-dimensional images come off paper and become real;a hen-pecked husband who chances upon a remote control that brings the characters in the t.v. LITERALLY inside his home and a mystical Jamaican babysitter whose magic puts two bratty kids in their place. The stories were interesting and memorable,but for me,the thing that probably salts this show away in my mind was the rousing theme by long-time Spielberg collaborator John Williams. It had more of the feel of a large screen experience when you heard it open the show!

    Whenever these shows make it to DVD(assuming they haven't already),they would be WELL worth a rent and/or buy.
  • scenario17 July 2006
    5/10
    OK series, but not that Amazing
    This anthology series wasn't really all that great, but on the flip side, it doesn't totally suck either. Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" tries to be a cross b/w "The Twilight Zone", early Disney films, and some magical pulp adventures from the 1930s. But a lot of the episodes are flat out boring. There was a certain ambiance that surrounded "Amazing Stories" and it's marketing back in 1985 that made you think it was an important event series that couldn't be missed. This was a especially true if you were a child a the time. Was it a movie being broadcast on network TV? Was it a made for TV movie that Spielberg dreamed up for NBC? Was George Lucas somehow involved? Or was it just a TV show? The lines of what "Amazing Stories" was often felt blurred, it was not really a sci-fi series, but more creepy tales from the netherworld. It was hard to tell at the time, but I bought it. Hook line and sinker, I was there for every episode. It also had Steven "Jaws/Indiana Jones/E.T." Spielberg's name attached to it, which automatically made people in the mid 80s think it would be awesome. The opening credits with the cavemen sitting around a fire tries to reinforce this notion that the series is telling ancient, wondrous stories but it's simply not that good. To be fair there is some magic to this show and there were a couple of stand out episodes (The Mission was one of my favorites), but I never thought it was the kind of magic that was promised in the credits.

    A problem I had was that the episodes often build up to what seems like an amazing climax (pun intended), but level off with corny, tacked on endings that felt written at the last minute. Many of the stories are VERY PREDICTABLE. If the series is award winning, I'm certain it's because of technical achievements. The early CGI TRON styled credits were excellent for their time. In fact I believe "Amazing Stories" was the first TV series to use computer generated special effects.

    The show isn't bad at all, it's just not the classic classic that some believe it is. I mean it's entertaining enough, but don't expect Rod Serling kinda story telling. Even as a kid I thought the series was mediocre. I was about in the 5th grade when this show came on, young enough to still be taken in by the premise because the show appeared to promise "Star Wars/Indiana Jones/E.T." kinda magic, but I was an old enough elementary school kid to figure out a dumb or boring story.

    Personally I wouldn't get the DVD, this show is best seen as something you would catch on the Sci-Fi channel during a rainy day. I think it's entertaining enough to watch on TV, but not to own. It is great series for mid 80s (1985/'86) nostalgia, it'll likely make you cringe at the gaudy mid 80s styles.

    I would grade the series as a B-.
  • MartinHafer23 June 2015
    4/10
    Despite this being a Spielberg production, the show was incredibly uneven and often annoying.
    If you are looking for an anthology program with all the magic and fine writing of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits", you should keep on looking. "Amazing Stories" was a short-lived 80s series and after re-watching a bunch of episodes recently, I was actually surprised it lasted two seasons and wasn't canceled sooner. This is because although it was a Steven Spielberg production, the show was incredibly uneven. Many of the episodes were bad--poorly written and very broadly acted. I think perhaps much of this is because they were trying to create a show that would appeal much more to kids than adults--and so many episodes are just tedious and annoying. It's a real shame, as a few of the shows (such as the one starring John Lithgow) were magical and sweet. The idea of such a program COULD have worked. It's just a darn shame the writing was so bad and the appeal strictly limited to kids.

    By the way, if you think I am wrong about the show, try re-watching a few episodes yourself. I thought the show was pretty good back in the 80s when it debuted but when seen today, they have clearly NOT aged well. The acting and subtlety seem more akin to "Family Matters" (that annoying Urkel show) or "Full House" than an anthology series. Also, the earlier episodes were a tad better and often featured top directors or famous actors directing (such as Timothy Hutton and Burt Reynolds). Later, the show fell into a more mundane pattern with less stars and a bit less entertainment.

    Also, if you watch, pay attention to the heavily computer generated intro. In the mid-80s, it was DEFINITELY state of the art and amazing. By today, it looks incredibly dated and shabby. This is NOT a criticism--more a comment about how far CGI has come since then.
  • Thor20001 August 2003
    Worthy Twilight Zone Successor
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm a big fan of the "Twilight Zone," but I never thought its returns on CBS and on the UPN were worthy of its memory. "Amazing Stories," however, picked up the torch with its more family-oriented stories of which even a few were meant for a laugh. Episodes like "Gather Ye Acorns" might suggest bad life decisions, but others like "Miscalculations" where a guy brings his poster girls to life are just fun with a bit of terror. That one in particular is my favorite as he uses too much and gets a giant and then uses too little and gets a living skeleton. This is one series with a big fan base that deserves to be returned to prime time.
  • Petri Pelkonen18 September 2000
    Created by Steven Spielberg
    Amazing Stories was a TV series created by The master Steven Spielberg.It was made in the years 1985-1987.Every time there was a different story and different actors.Amazing Stories was a great fantasy show that kept you interested from the beginning to the end.Very often it had some famous actors so it was nice to watch who were the stars each time.Watch this show if you want to see something interesting.
  • Randy H. Farb19 June 1999
    Twilight Zone variation
    I wish that the episodes that were repeated at Christmas time were on one tape. "The Doll" is about a match-maker Albert Hague, who gets John Lithgow and Mary Steenburgen to meet; "The Ring", where Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito are featured, and Rhea sings the theme song. Then there was the touching episode of Lukas Haas and his grandfather waiting for the train; and then comes the re-make of Night Of The Meek with Barnard Hughes in the Art Carney role. The pity is that all these episodes are on various tapes.
  • grad28 February 2001
    The One I Remember....
    The epsiode I remember from this show is probably the one that everyone who watched rememebers most. This one is "Go to The Head of the Class." I was probably 10 or 11 when I first saw it and enjoyed watching it with my older brother and sister. It is packed with moments that make you jump. Now that I am older, I enjoy when it comes on TV and still jump at the shocks. Christopher Lloyd is brilliant as the cruel teacher. The way he says Mr. Braaaand and Miss Simpson will always be a standout. The kids do well also. The music by Alan Silvestri is fantastic and chilling. This is a scary episode, but a lot of fun! So don't lose your head and catch it next time it comes on cable.
  • Susan Schmitt24 July 2006
    10/10
    Amazing Stories First Season
    I was delighted to finally see the release of Amazing Stories the first season on DVD. I had forgotten just what a stellar cast of actors and directors worked on this series. For the longest time the only way you got to see this remarkable series was with the VHS 2 or 3 episode collections or when Sci-Fi would re-run the episodes. However, when Sci-Fi would host the re-runs, they generally stuck to the same episodes. There were a few outstanding episodes in Season One like The Mission that they didn't repeat. Does anyone know exactly how long this series ran? It says 1985 to 1987 at the top here at IMDb but I thought it ran longer than two years. If you loved the Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Outer Limits, you will love this series and you will not be disappointed with your purchase.
  • Jen27 August 2005
    Family Dog Episode!
    Good clean family humor. I laughed so hard when I saw the Family Dog episode. Which was created by Brad Bird who is known for his recent movie "The Incredibles".

    A day in the life of "the family dog" the laughs never stop. The animation was OK for it's day, but it was also a pilot for what would later become a short lived series. I believe that the pilot was the funniest, but the series was great too.

    I would love to see this one resurrected, reanimated... and a little longer. :) Good family movie, funny over the top humor for the parents, great kid humor for the little ones.
  • glennwhelan7 July 1999
    Rarely Amazing but great entertainment...
    Anthologies can be a difficult thing to swallow. Attach Steven Spielberg to the project and suddenly there is interest. So, Spielberg produces the series, writes several of the stories himself(Even directs 2 episodes), hires a veritable 'Who's who' of directors, actors, writers, cinematographers and film composers and like magic, nobody was interested. Well, I feel that was a bum rap. The 2 season series had several very strong episodes (The Doll, Family Dog, Mirror Mirror, etc) as well as some throw away (Best not to mention these...)but, they were consistently produced with strong budgets and film-making even if lopsided. Film Music fans were given a special treat because the episodes were scored by a plethora of popular composers. The experiment worked and was often entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking. Great television!
  • Rat Man1 June 1999
    Aptly named
    Amazing stories was a unique series. It was sorting like opening gifts. Some stories were really good, some mediocre, and some were quite disappointing. But you always kept guessing.

    The typical story would have a future famous actor(Patrick Swayze, Kevin Costner, etc.) with a very slow plot, but with a cool twist at the end.

    The Cartoon story with the Dog was pretty good. It was a Pre-Simpsons.

    The Halloween Special with Christopher Lloyd was outstanding.

    Too bad this show didn't last more than two seasons, but you can always rent the good stories.
  • jack-2981 March 2002
    "Go To The Head Of The Class" (episode # 2.8) 11/21/1986
    I don't know how many times I've searched for this movie [I didn't realize, until now, that it was an episode of "Amazing Stories" and not a movie-of-the-week]only to draw a blank. It's almost been as frustrating as trying to find, "The Ghost of Flight 401" with Ernest Borgnine, which I'm convinced, the airline managed to pull from distribution because the story was too disturbing. Ahh, yes...another conspiracy therorist! Since both were made-for-TV movies, what are the chances of picking either of them up on VHS? I remember thinking that "Go to the Head of the Class" was truly exceptional. The following info was copied from IMDB's Christopher Lloyd, TV appearances: "Amazing Stories" (1985) playing "Professor B.O. Beanes" in episode: "Go To The Head Of The Class" (episode # 2.8) 11/21/1986 So...anyone know where to find either of these? jack
  • Rovin2 March 2000
    A.K.A. Not so amazing stories
    This series received alot of publicity when it came out because Spielberg was given a two year deal with NBC. The show was shot on film, at $1 million per episode--and featured a who's who of famous actors/directors etc..It even had an intro using "ahead of its time" CGI. But there were very few memorable episodes.."Go to the Head of the Class" with Christopher Lloyd, "Family Dog," and "Mummy, Daddy" were the real standouts i remember. And those were all comedies...the serious stories tended to be dull. There wasnt much in the way of irony--like in the old Twilight Zone. They werent the type of stories you could repeat to a friend. With Amazing Stories Spielberg proved he was no Serling.
  • brooke-hudson20 June 2005
    Family Dog is The Best!
    Although I enjoyed the Amazing stories portion of this movie. Even more I loved Family Dog. When I was a kid, we watched this over and over again. My parents had recorded it off of TV, and couldn't get enough of it. One day the tape was destroyed, and I couldn't watch my favorite cartoon. However, I never forgot the lines from the movie. About a year ago I decided i wanted to look for the cartoon online, and lo and behold here it is. I'll never forget how funny this cartoon is. It will stay with me till the day I die! FAMILY DOG IS TRULY THE BEST! Wendy Lou says where's my Baby! where's maryanne, Where's maryanne! Where's Maryanne? There she is! Hewo maryanne, was you good baby! (Truly the best line in the entire movie. I couldn't love it any more. My children will be watching this movie.
  • paceman904 December 2001
    Don't believe other comments...
    ...this was and still remains one of the best television shows ever. I keep hearing all these people talk about the same 3 or 4 'stories' and dismissing the others as garbage. Not true! Does anyone remember the episode (and forgive me if I can't remember titles or actors) where the man has a dream about the plane crashing and then wakes up and goes to the airport (I'll leave it at that)? Or how about the one where the aliens come down and watch TV? Or how about the episode where the meteor hits and the popular guy becomes magnetic? PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE!!! This is a great TV series, ranked up there with MST3K, Iron Chef, The Daily Show, and The Tonight Show w/ JOHNNY CARSON.

    Pace

    And it's like I always say...having one George Kennedy is better than having no George Kennedy at all.
  • Kel15 March 2009
    Spielberg was no Rod Serling
    When this show premiered Spielberg was at the top of his game/fame. He was a director(Jaws, Raiders, ET) and executive producer(Gremlins, Back to the Future). Amazing Stories was a big event series. It had a million dollar per episode budget(quite high for the 80s), state of the art title credits and many famous faces(especially behind the camera). It didn't even need to show its worth in the first season, it was locked in for two seasons. Alas it was mostly a dud, and was nowhere near as good storywise as the original Twilight Zone or Outer Limits.

    There was no equivalent of "To Serve Man" or "Nightmare at 20 000 Feet" in Amazing Stories. No "Zanti Misfits" or "Architects of Fear." Stories that you could watch once and probably remember well, and be able to relay to someone else in a few sentences and still be entertaining because the idea was good.

    The best live action episode was in my opinion, "Mummy, Daddy." It had energy, humor and clever ending, which was improvised, and if it had followed the script as originally written(concluding in the hospital) would have been a dud as well.

    "Family Dog" also stood out.

    I remember "the Main Attraction," "The Mission" (mainly for the cartoony ending), "Gather Ye Acorns," "Miscalculations," "Mirror, Mirror" and "Go to the Head of the Class."

    But beyond some fancy special effects and occasional laugh, the stories just don't hold up.

    Doing a memorable anthology show is hard, but the cheaper Tales From the Darkside was locked into the horror genre and didn't do so badly.

    The most memorable thing about it was in fact the opening credits, and as others have said, the series never lived up to the concept. It was probably held to a higher standard because of Spielberg's film history at the time, but for the small screen, he was no Rod Serling.
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