From Visiting the Zone to Hobnobbing with a Beatle, Kenneth Haigh Got Around

Ever have one of those times when an actor from one of your favorite TV shows also appeared in one of your favorite movies, and it didn’t click for a long time?

I’m usually pretty good at spotting faces and coming up with a name right away: “Oh, that’s So-and-so. He starred in Such-and-such.” But while my memory — at least for show-biz faces — is above average, it’s not perfect.

Take “The Last Flight.” We all have some episodes of The Twilight Zone that aren’t particularly famous, but that really hit a sweet spot for us. That’s how I feel about this story, which concerns a World War I pilot who lands at a modern-day air base (well, modern in 1960, when the episode first aired) and discovers that he’s done some inadvertent time-traveling.

I’m also a huge fan of the Beatles. Seriously, I could run a blog about them, too. And one of the many films I can quote almost word-for-word is “A Hard Day’s Night.” It’s a lot of fun — very witty and comedic, and loaded with great tunes, of course.

So why did it take me so long to figure out that Kenneth Haigh, the actor who plays Lt. Decker in “The Last Flight,” also starred as Simon Marshall, the sardonic advertising executive who interviews George Harrison in “A Hard Day’s Night”?

It’s not as if they were filmed that far apart. “The Last Flight” was filmed in July 1959 and first aired on February 5, 1960, while the Beatles film was filmed in March/April 1964 and released that July. So it’s not as if Haigh has aged much. He looks pretty much the same.

Of course, he’s dressed differently for each role. More importantly, he acts differently.

Maybe it’s because we bring varying mindsets to certain shows and movies. When I watch the Zone, I’m in sci-fi/fantasy mode. When I watch “A Hard Day’s Night,” I’m there for a few laughs and some first-class music.

Plus he did just one scene in the movie. It’s not as if we’re looking at his face the whole time. He’s on screen for less than three minutes. But still. I have a reputation to uphold! ;)

I don’t know why it took a while to finally click a few years back. But whatever the reason, here’s a toast to Haigh, who made two of my favorite things to watch funnier, more intriguing — and more memorable.

***

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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!

About Paul

Fanning about the work of Rod Serling all over social media. If you enjoy pics, quotes, facts and blog posts about The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Serling's other projects, you've come to the right place.

Posted on 02/05/2021, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. E. Tristan Booth

    I see what you mean. Even watching the clip (which I hadn’t seen in ages) I can barely tell it’s him. Not only is this character a far less pleasant person than Decker, but he’s also less attractive physically. The Last Flight is one of my favorite episodes because I found him so compelling.

  2. I had no idea, Paul. That’s a great connection. My ability to recognize and associate names with faces is far below average, so I might never had made this connection. The Last Flight is pretty high on my list. I love it when he makes the connection that he needs to go back to save the timeline.

  3. Oh, that’s hilarious! I’d never have known if you hadn’t pointed it out!

    However.

    Since you did point it out, all the far-shots of him in the Hard Day’s Night clip totally register what what I recognize of him from the Last Flight episode. I.e., that from *afar* I see the same stance and overall physical characteristics I’m familiar with, including his movment. In other words *I recognize him better from afar* in that Hard Day’s Night clip! That’s wild! Up close he’s harder to discern.

    Nice job!

  4. Howard Manheimer

    He looked quite different to me, Paul! I am surprised, thought he’d be easier to recognize, especially since you pointed him out in advance! Another note, he used the phrase SONNY JIM, which was also used in the 90s adventure film, JUMANJI!

  5. Joseph F. Buckley

    Oddly enough, both Kenneth Haigh AND Victor Spinetti, from AHDN had small roles in the old series, ‘The Chronicles Of Young Indiana Jones’. Spinetti played two different characters in the same episode! Haigh is in the episode titled ‘Paris, 1916’ if happen to catch it.

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