In the Far West, the drunkard Al Denton is bullied by the gunman Dan Hotaling to get some booze. The mysterious Henry J. Fate observes the humiliation and Al Denton finds a revolver on the street. When Dan sees Al Denton with a revolver on his hand, he challenges the drunk for a gunfighter. Fate observes again and makes a movement with his hand that will change the life of Al Denton. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of three Twilight Zone (1959) episodes to include an eye, not a spiral, at the introduction. See more »
Right after Denton drinks from the broken liquor bottle at the beginning of the story, he's shown with a large scratch on the right side of his face. In the next scene with Liz, the scratch is gone. See more »
I was good. I was real good. I was so good that once a day, someone would ride into town to make me prove it. And every morning, I'd start my drinkin' a few minutes earlier. Until one morning, the guy who asked me to prove it turned out to be sixteen years old. I left him there on his face. Right there in front of the saloon. I left him there bleedin' to death with my bullet in him. I guess it'll start all over again, now. Every fast and fancy man who owns a gun will come riding in down that ...
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Russian folk tune
played throughout See more »
Written by Rod Serling, directed by Allen Reisner and starring Dan Duryea, Martin Landau, Doug McClure, Malcolm Atterbury and Jeanne Cooper.
The first Western themed Twilight Zone is a cracker, boosted by a great performance by Duryea, it's an episode dealing with that old dangled carrot known as the second chance. Al Denton has lapsed from being a dandy gunfighter into the town drunk, a man forced to sing for his next fix of alcohol offered by the town bully (Landau). But fate is going to play a hand, here in the human/supernatural form of peddler Henry J. Fate (Atterbury).
Story firmly has us feeling for Denton, wondering just how he came to be this way? The sorrow quickly turns to joy but this being The Twilight Zone we know there's going to be a kick in the tale, and when it comes it's a doozy, beautifully set up by Denton's revelation about what drove him to drink to oblivion. It could have ended up sappy but director Reisner ensures that is not the case, and Duryea's two pronged performance gives the story its super emotional fortitude. 8/10
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