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
In his 1959 promotional film shown to potential sponsors, Rod Serling summarized an earlier version of this week's plot under its original title, "Death, Destry, and Mr. Dingle." As told by Serling, the basic premise is similar, but the earlier version seems to have been more comedic in tone, involving a meek schoolteacher who quite unintentionally gains notoriety as a top gunslinger. The name "Mr. Dingle" (originally intended for the Dan Duryea character) would be used by Serling for a future show, Twilight Zone: Mr. Dingle, the Strong (1961) with Burgess Meredith playing the eponymous character. See more »
TV antennas can be spotted in the distance. See more »
Mr. Henry Fate, dealer in utensils and pots and pans, liniments and potions. A fanciful little man in a black, frock coat, who can help a man climbing out of a pit - or another man from falling into one. Because, you see, Fate can work that way - in The Twilight Zone.
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This episode has several familiar faces to TV and the big screen from the 1940s-70s. One of my favorite bad guys, Dan Duryea, is, for once, a hero (of sorts) in this show--and it's nice to see him playing a different sort of role. As two baddies, you have the always interesting Martin Landau as well as Doug McClure. And, though you'd probably never remember his name, the face of Malcolm Atterbury is very familiar.
The show begins with Duryea as the town drunk in the old west. He's a truly pathetic creature--being pushed around by punks like Landau--all because he's too afraid to fight and because he'll do almost anything for his next drink. However, unknown to him, a stranger, Mr. Fate (Atterbury) steps in and changes everything. What happens next as well as the nice twist ending is something I just won't get into now--I just don't to ruin a very good show by telling too much.
Overall, a very good episode with particularly good acting (Duryea is at his best) and nice writing. While it's not a 'must-see' show, it certainly is worth your time. Well done.
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