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 »
Portrait of a town drunk named Al Denton. This is a man who's begun his dying early - a long, agonizing route through a maze of bottles. Al Denton, who would probably give an arm or a leg or a part of his soul to have another chance, to be able to rise up and shake the dirt from his body and the bad dreams that infest his consciousness.
[Shot of Henry J. Fate]
In the parlance of the times, this is a peddler, a rather fanciful-looking little man in a black,...
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This is about reclaiming one's life. The Western was the dominant dramatic form on television at the time this came out, so people had a regular diet of them. In this one, a town drunk is given a chance to regain his dignity by doing something positive. He is given a bottle that will allow him to be a great gunfighter for a short time. Unfortunately, Mr. Fate has other plans and he find himself neutralized. All is not lost, however, because he and his adversary are left to live normal lives because their gunfighting days are over. This is a cold war tale and a morality play. Serling had to take it to the next level, by injecting irony. The story plays pretty well and is enjoyable and, if we have not seen it before, it plays pretty well. If you are looking for a parallel to this, see "The Chaser."
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