Reviews & Ratings for
"Tales from the Darkside" The Old Soft Shoe (1986)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Well done episode of a strange lodge hotel with a secret past that brings down a wandering salesman!

8/10
Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
3 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This "TFTD" episode "The Old Soft Shoe" has to rank as one of the better ones, it's really blended and mixed well with drama and suspense even though it has a strange and shocking end. Paul Dooley stars as Chester a traveling lingerie salesman who's forced one night to have to stay in an old lodge hotel. Upon arriving he meets a beautiful and sexy blond Carol(Kathy McLain)who's dressed in a ravishing fur and this lady who appears maybe to be an escort or high class hooker takes a room and the episode begins as if though Chester is gonna put the moves on this lady of questionable virtue by offering her lingerie. Only when Chester ends up having to take the last and only remaining room by himself that being number 7 strange and mysterious things start to happen in this room soon a woman named Glenda(Dorothy Parke) with a past connection to the 1950's appears in the room and she starts to entertain Chester. This particular room happens to have a very dark and haunted secret past in fact the themes of this episode are similar to "The Shining" and even "Psycho". In the end this episode takes a shocking and odd twist as the past of this room has sucked the life and stopped the traveling of it's guest salesman. Overall great episode also a note John Fiedler(the voice of Winnie the Pooh's Piglett) has a small role as hotel manager Arthur.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Really different mixture that works.

8/10
Author: Tommy Nelson from Long Beach, California
2 August 2006

Stars: Paul Dooley and John Fielder.

This episode is so atmospheric. It's about shoe salesman (Dooley) Chester staying at a hotel during a snow storm, the owner played by John Fielder who until he passed away in 2005 played Piglett on Winnie the Pooh. He stays in a room where music starts up and a beautiful woman shows up and starts dancing with him. It's kind of romantic, but mostly the whole episode is well directed and the atmosphere is very nice. The ending is quite disturbing, but not too much to ruin this great episode. Found on VHS volume 4.

My rating: Great episode. 22 mins. TV PG SV

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tales from the Darkside - The Old Soft Shoe

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
1 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Paul Dooley is a hoot as always (no surprise) in this bizarre episode of Tales from the Darkside where he plays a lingerie salesman (ha!) on a trip out of his hometown of Toledo, stuck because of a winter storm at some less-than-spectacular cottage (Cottage #7, to be exact) where the spirit of an unstable bombshell (Dorothy Parke) appears to him, seemingly with designs on a seductive evening. There's a past incident (a drowning) specific to that cottage which might just involve the proprietor of the group of cottages (the great television character actor, John Fiedler) and Parke herself. A blonde beauty in a fur coat (Kathy McLain) lucks out by getting the last cottage not possessed by some hot (but crazed) ghost reliving events prior to tragedy (caused by her). Dooley and Fiedler is a dream team for those who love to see them individually on screen. Dooley is wearing that classically lame "salesman suit" many of us wouldn't be caught dead in, and his trying to comfort his concerned wife ("Are you with some floozy?") while ogling McLain is priceless (in a phone booth, no less; anytime there's a phone booth sighting on film, it reminds me how much I miss them). The jazz on the old radio, Parke in the lingerie and glitzy ballroom gown, and the glittery light mimicking the hanging, turning dancehall ball adding romantic value to those in attendance at the appropriate venue (in this case just Parke and Dooley in the cottage), all provided to emphasize Parke's presence from another time and how all of that history involving her returns to seduce anyone who might enter that cottage so significant to her. Dooley insists he's not "Harry", yet Parke never wavers in her belief that is exactly who his salesman is. Eventually, Dooley just plays along! This after she pulls out a gun and shoots him! Big mistake. Fielder's "fitness nut" is a treat: in gym shorts and using the "ass jiggling" exercise machine supposedly important in "shaking off the cellulite", it is the little details that give characters that extra bit of charm. The turtle talk between Fiedler (his pops loved them) and Dooley ("…doesn't everybody love turtles?") is one of those weird dialogue scenes that gives this episode such an appeal. The final image with Dooley and the bathtub is equal parts disturbing and amusing because of how he is left and the smile on his face. A detail of Dooley's character that touches on the title of the episode is his rep as a soft-shoed dancer "back in the day".

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Cool episode

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
10 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Smarmy lingerie traveling salesman Chester Caruso (a terrific performance by the ever reliable Paul Dooley) makes a pass at enticing blonde Carol (the gorgeous Kathy McLain) in the lobby of a motel. After Chester rents a cottage that no one usually stays in, he finds himself being seduced by sultry and mysterious brunette Glenda (a sensuous and captivating portrayal by the yummy Dorothy Parke), who keeps calling him Harry. Director Richard Friedman, working from a clever and offbeat script by Art Monterastelli, relates the entertaining story at a brisk pace, does a sturdy job of crafting an intriguing oddball atmosphere, further spruces things up with nice touches of amusing quirky humor, and neatly explores a nifty supernatural angle which culminates in a chilling final image. Always delightful veteran character actor John Fiedler does top-rate work as suspicious and disapproving hotel manager Arthur; it's a real treat to see Fiedler and Dooley play off each other in a few sharp confrontation scenes. Moreover, this episode makes excellent use of old swinging jazz music. A worthwhile show.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

OK episode.

5/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
13 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tales from the Darkside: The Old Soft Shoe is set in a motel which lingerie salesman Chester Caruso (Paul Dooley) is stuck at after the regions worst whether for thirty five years. The motel only has one cottage left, cottage number seven where the present owner's (John Fiedler) dad was drowned a number of years ago. Once inside his cottage Chester is visited by a mysterious woman who appears out of nowhere & seems to know Chester...

Episode 18 from season 2 this Tales from the Darkside story originally aired in the US during February 1986, directed by Richard Friedman The Old Soft Shoe is for the most part a romantic fantasy but is saved somewhat with a downbeat ending. The script by Art Monterastelli starts off like some a fairly standard warm hearted romantic fairytale as the ghost of a beautiful woman visits Chester & they both dance but then there's a fairly grim twist ending which is out of keeping with the build up, it's not the most surprising ending ever but it saves it from being too mushy & sentimental. Unfortunately at only twenty minutes in length the time isn't there to establish a back story & explore the character's, I just feel a ghost story such as this needs more flesh on it's bones so to speak. I can't say I liked it that much even at only twenty minutes long but the ending does help I suppose.

As usual this is reasonably well made with decent if unspectacular production values. There's actually a bit of blood in this episode as someone is shot but it's not too graphic. The acting is pretty good.

The Old Soft Shoe is pretty uninspiring for the first eighteen minutes & ends with a good twist couple of minute ending. Not the sort of episode that I particularly like.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Potential wasted by lacklustre execution

4/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
3 June 2015

THE OLD SOFT SHOE has some potential as an episode of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE but it's let down by typically weak execution which drags it down and reduces the enjoyment value considerably. There are times when it feels like a Stephen King horror a la THE SHINING but other times when romantic scenes are padded out so that it feels hopelessly lost.

The storyline involves an unlikeable salesman who ends up stopping in the haunted room of a two-bit motel. He meets the ghost of a beautiful woman who proceeds to seduce him, while a fellow guest and the motel's owner get involved in the shenanigans. The performances aren't very good here, and the only thing this has going for it is a great ending.

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