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is making his speech in the opening scene, he is standing next to a small US flag with 48 stars, which was 4 years out of date at the time of release.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 »
Where will he go next? This phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare. Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami, Florida? Vincennes, Indiana? Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there's hate, where there's prejudice, where there's bigotry. He's alive. He's alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a ...
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I have to admit that I did like Dennis Hopper in this role. He was a young, rising star in the day. While he had some important roles, he never really became the new Marlon Brando that some expected. In this effort, he plays a Neo-Nazi who spouts the standard ravings and continually pushed off the stage, sometimes in peals of laughter. He has a connection to an old Jewish man who knows what a loser he is, but who still gives him shelter and a sort of father figure to latch on to. This really confuses the issue. We ask why, with this role model, he has become so jaded. Things are going bad for these nasties until Hopper meets a man whose face is in the shadows. He gives advice on how to control the masses. Pretty soon our hero is able to exude his venom, using the shortcomings of his audiences to pull them in. He falls totally under the control of this guy and starts to get a lot attention. The problem with this episode is that the Hopper character is utterly unconvincing. He is too malleable on the one hand and incredibly decisive on the other. He has no consistency. And then there is his old friend and mentor. It's silly and melodramatic.
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