Around 1960, a tiny neo-Nazi organization struggles pathetically to succeed in a big city. A mysterious figure begins to ruthlessly guide a young, insecure U.S. Nazi leader, and the group begins to draw more attention.
Peter Vollmer is the leader of a small neo-Nazi movement in a large American city. He's having trouble getting his message across and seems to alienate people every time he opens his mouth. After a particularly bad rally, he hears a voice and sees a man standing in the shadows. He begins to advise Peter on what to say and how he can structure his message to make it more appealing to his particular audience. Peter has success but his mentor begins pushing him to extremes. There is a limit however and there is a voice of reason in the mob that seemed so willing to follow him. Written by
Rod Serling considered this episode, which he wrote and which examines the subject of Fascism, to be the most important of The Twilight Zone (1959) series. See more »
When Peter Vollmer is making his speech in the opening scene, he is standing next to a small US flag with 48 stars, which was 4 years out of date at the time of release. See more »
Portrait of a bush-league fuehrer named Peter Vollmer, a sparse little man who feeds off his self-delusions and finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in his diet. And like some goose-stepping predecessors, he searches for something to explain his hunger, and to rationalize why a world passes him by without saluting. The something he looks for and finds is in a sewer. In his own twisted and distorted lexicon, he calls it faith, strength, truth. But in just a ...
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Unfortunately, this misbegotten hour is near the bottom of TZ entries. But then, a high quality series like TZ is ill-suited for stereotypical bad guys, a preachy script, and a predictable reveal. Sorry to say, Serling really misfired on this one. I can understand his desire to condemn Nazism, but it's been done on screen so many times, the standard elements become boringly predictable. However, there is one worthwhile passage where Hopper rants about foreigners, minorities, and other right-wing scapegoats as the cause of society's ills. In 2017, it's almost topical. Nonetheless, blaming Hopper's extremism on a loveless childhood is much too cheap and facile. Then too, Hopper's baby face is quite good at expressing hurt, but as a charismatic figure, his budding fuehrer is a real reach. Anyway, by year four, I expect the series had difficulty coming up with the exotically gripping entries of earlier years. But falling back on an easy target like this looks like a moment of exhaustion.
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