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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Twilight Zone" Dead Man's Shoes (1962)

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

If the Shoe Fits, Don't Wear It

Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
26 June 2006

Grubby transient (Warren Stevens) steals flashy shoes from dead man named Dane. Trouble is, these are size 9's from the twilight zone, which have the magical effect of replacing weak, cringing persona of the transient with strong, criminal personality of the dead man. This sets up interesting sequence in which Dane now occupies Stevens' body, and returns to old haunts to unnerve mistress and gang rival, who hear Dane but see stranger. Fun to watch icy mistress (Joan Marshall) gradually come unglued.

Neat idea, but filmed in straightforward style that adds little to the plot. Stevens does convincing job of altering personality whenever the shoes fit. Good script, even though climactic office scene is disappointing. On the whole, a solid entry.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The sort of twists and fanciful ideas that made this series so compelling...

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
2 October 2009

This is a neat episode--one that shows just what sort of bizarre ideas the show was able to come up with and make work...and work well.

The show starts with a bum stumbling upon a dead man. Well, not wanting to waste perfectly good shoes on a stiff, the guy steals the shoes and replaces his old beat up shoes (is it stealing if they are dead?). Oddly, however, in true "Twilight Zone" tradition, this starts a bizarre chain of events. It seems that upon putting on the shoes, the bum is suddenly possessed by the spirit of the dead man--and the dead man wants revenge. So the guy now seeks out those who killed him--confronting them and wanting what is by all rights his. The folks he approaches are baffled, however, as he looks nothing like the dead man...yet he knows things only the corpse could know!! This episode has a particularly good ending, but the story idea is pretty cool as well. No complaints or changes I'd make to the show--this is one good episode.

By the way, it's not a serious error but Merrill talks about "hypnotism". This term, though created just before the war was not widely known or in widespread use. If anyone were referring to hypnosis, they might term it "mesmerism" back in 1863--not hypnosis.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Mickey Spillane meets Henry James in hardboiled tale of ghostly revenge

Author: mlraymond from Durham NC
15 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A simple, but clever premise ,makes this episode fun to watch. The fine acting of Warren Stevens creates two completely different characters, when the nervous bum puts on the shoes, and is transformed into the cold blooded gangster who used to own them.

For trivia buffs, it's fun to see a very glamorous and sexy Joan Marshall as the girlfriend. She is best known for her unusual role in William Castle's gimmicky chiller Homicidal.

I've never seen this acknowledged anywhere, but I feel this teleplay bears a strong resemblance to a 1940 Universal movie called Black Friday. Boris Karloff surgically transplants part of a gangster's brain into the skull of a college professor who's dying. Karloff hypnotizes the professor to obey him, and remember nothing. They go to New York, where Karloff suspects the gangster has hidden his stolen fortune. Periodically, something will cause the mild mannered professor to actually physically transform into a tough gangster, who goes around terrorizing his former friends and enemies, who were responsible for his death. At one point, he visits the gangster's girlfriend, and scares her with his knowledge of things only the dead man could have known. There's even a scene in the luxury apartment, where he orders her to make him a drink. The gangsters speculate as to who this guy might be, since "Red" Cannon, the former gang leader, is dead and buried. They guess it might be someone Cannon hired to impersonate him, having told him lots of things before dying. The truth is too bizarre for them to guess, though they get unnerved at his success in bumping them off, one by one.

There are so many similar ideas, right down to specific scenes, that I wonder if Charles Beaumont saw this on the late show one night, and it became lodged in his subconscious.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fancy Shoes

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
1 December 2008

A transient pulls a pair of shoes from a gangster, dumped in an alley. He then takes on the personality of the guy and continues his evil ways. Unfortunately, in the Twilight Zone, you can't get away with this. His actions are so much the same that he finds himself facing the same things that got him killed the first time. There is a pretty cool twist at the end, especially the expression on the new wearer's face as he puts the shoes on. The weakness of the episode is the same old gangster schtick that has been done a thousand times; that Hollywood gangster accent and the whole works. But the story is still quite intriguing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Gangster's soul seeks revenge.

Author: darrenpearce111 from Ireland
9 January 2014

For me this one lives in the shadow of the 1985 reworking that starred Helen Mirren called 'Dead Woman's Shoes'. The original is a fair fantasy about a homeless man who takes on the personae of a dead mobster. Warren Stevens is more convincing when acting as the mobster's personality whose shoes are now literally filled by the homeless guy. The first transformation is gradual, but after meeting the dead man's girlfriend ,Wilma (Joan Marshall), the shoes cause instant changing when taken off and put back on. The fact that he doesn't look like the dead man puts him in a strong position to go out for revenge on his killer.

Average TZ, generally well carried by Stevens.

Joan Marshall played Herman's wife in the pilot episode of 'The Munsters'.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: kmalle558
31 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler alert!

I love this episode.I especially love the music. Still I have a question. How did the bum take a shower? I mean once the shoes came off wouldn't he be confused and scared again? It seems he would never be able to take off the shoes. This means he would have to get dressed as the confused bum before he put on his socks let alone shoes. I still love this one. It has a gritty feel, The girlfriend was prefect for the part. Good story. good twist. All of actors were good. I even like the shoe style.

Fairly large plot hole though.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Twilight Zone-Dead Man's Shoes

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
2 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only thing I can think of worse than your body being hurled into an alleyway street is to have your shoes removed by an unshaven, alcoholic hobo. Well for hobos needing a pair of shoes to keep their puppies warm while wallowing in cardboard boxes for some semblance of rest they will have the misfortune of choosing home in the wrong alley. A gangster with a certain pair of loafers is left in an alley and his shoes are removed by a bum. The bum is infiltrated by the possessive dark soul of the gangster who, with the new body of Nate Bledsoe(Warren Stevens), plans to get even with those who murdered him. Stevens is allowed to perform dual roles, one as the unfortunate bum and the second of a mean gangster who slaps around his moll(Joan Marshall; HOMICIDAL)demanding her make him his favorite drink. To be honest this episode is a mini-gangster movie with certain supernatural overtones..kind of similar in ways to the Karloff vehicle, "Black Friday", instead of a brain surgery causing a kindly professor to turn into a gangster, a pair of shoes does the trick to paupers.

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Soles Of A Killer

Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
28 October 2014

Warren Stevens stars as a hobo named Nathan Bledsoe, who one day sees a car dump a corpse in a nearby alley. He goes over to it in hopes of rifling its pockets, but instead decides to take his nice pair of shoes, which mostly fit. However, the murdered man turns out to be an underworld figure whose soul has somehow latched onto the soles of his shoes, compelling poor Nate to avenge his death by whatever means possible, no matter how long it may take... Stylish episode has a good central idea at its center. Though it isn't a total success(Who does the viewer root for after all, since they are all criminals?) this still remains an appealing effort.

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If at first you don't succeed try and try again

Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA
4 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** After being rubbed out by his business partner Bernie Dagget Dane's body is dumped in the skid row section of town where Nate Bledsoe one of the homeless people living there spots it.

Cold and hungry Nate goes through the dead man's pockets finding his home keys which he has no idea what lock they'll open but does notice his very cool looking loafer that he tries on which are a perfect fit. Almost at once Nate becomes a new man and indistinctly goes to the late Dane's penthouse luxury apartment when he meet's Wilma Dane's girlfriend. Acting as if nothing is wrong with him Nate goes to the liquor cabinet and helps himself to a swig of bourbon to the shock and surprise of Wilma who has no idea who the guy is!

It's later when Nate momently takes his new found shoes off that he become's Nate, the homeless bum, again and starts to act the part by getting on his knees and begging for his life when Wilma pulls a gun on him! With his magic shoes back on Nate calmly and coolly disarms Wilma who starts to sense that there's something weird and strange in Nate's behavior. It's that Nate seems to know all about her boyfriend Dane to the point where he's becomes Dane himself! Down to knowing what Dane's favorite drink is: A shot tequila with a lump of sugar! With Dane, through his loafers, controlling Nate's body he shoot down to his favorite gin joint where he runs into Dagget and his boys who had earlier did him in that evening.

***SPOILER*** In an attempt to even the score with Dagget Nate talks him into letting him into his office where he plans to repay him for what he did to him. Nate does in fact knock off one of Dagget's henchmen who tried to ambush him from behind like he in fact did to Dane earlier but ends up getting killed anyway in a deadly crossfire with Dagget's men. With disposing Nate like he did Dane, in skid row, and feeling that whoever Nate was and who sent him are now history the magic loafers are spotted by another homeless drunk who after trying them on his body & soul is taken over by the deceased Dane! And with that he plans to give Dagget an unexpected visit where this time around he'll have more success in whacking him!

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"They do feel a little funny".

Author: classicsoncall from United States
28 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

They say shoes make the man, so Rod Serling takes that premise and runs with it in this episode of The Twilight Zone. Street bum Nathan Bledsoe (Warren Stevens) wrests a set of fancy footwear from a body dumped in an alley, and begins to take on the character of the gangster who wore them before he got whacked. The story builds on the foundation of a Season I episode, #1.12 - 'What You Need'. Here, Nate turns into a hood named Dane, so wrapped up in his new persona that he puts the squeeze on gal pal Wilma (Joan Marshall) back at the swank apartment he used to call home. As often happened in these stories, it's never explained why Wilma simply didn't just get her butt out of there. She wasn't even a blonde.

This is one of those TZ episodes that leave you with the idea that the story could go on ad infinitum, passing the pair of shoes from one tragic victim to another. It's the kind of irony the series was noted for, and here it worked pretty well. I for one though had to ask myself - 'Who in their right mind would be caught dead in THAT pair of shoes'?

Say, keep an eye on that scene when Nate first encounters the body in the alley. When he takes the corpse's pulse, the dead victim's fingers move!

If you're catching this episode on the Twilight Zone Definitive Edition box set, take note of Rod Serling's closing commercial hawking Chesterfield cigarettes. He obviously switched brands, because in Season II, Oasis (which didn't last long), was his choice of smoke at the close of #2.24 - The Rip Van Winkle Caper'. A few stories later, the three armed alien started to light up an Oasis in #2.28 - 'Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?'

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