Reviews & Ratings for
"The Twilight Zone" Mr. Garrity and the Graves (1964)

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Be careful what you ask for--you might just get it!!

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
29 January 2008

A man arrives at a small town and offers to resurrect the dead. At first, the townspeople are dubious, but when it seems like he might just be able to do it, the people are excited...until they begin to fully appreciate the impact of this miracle. Ultimately, the twist you'd expect from The Twilight Zone is indeed present and it ends in a very satisfying manner.

This is an excellent episode and I liked how what initially seemed like a straight drama actually had a subtle comedic twist. While it had a ton to say about human nature, it said it in a truly ironic and clever fashion that made me smile. Not the very best the series had to offer, but a definite notch above the norm.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Resurrection Day, TZ Style

Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
5 August 2006

How many folks would like their dearly beloved dead to return to life. That's the premise of this clever little half-hour, played strictly for laughs. Not the most promising comedic material you might think. However, the light touch avoids tricky matters of taste. John Dehner turns up in an Arizona backwater town circa 1890, claiming supernatural powers to raise the dead. Nonetheless, skeptics turn believers when he resurrects a road-kill dog before their very eyes. The town, of course, is filled with humorous types, such as J. Pat O'Malley whose dear departed 240lb. wife entertained herself by breaking his arm, "six times, total". Guess how eager he is for her return.

Dehner is so good at portraying eloquent scalawags. Here you can just about see him twirling his moustache as he counts the money. Story really plays out like an old Jim Garner episode from the Maverick series and is almost as satisfying. My one complaint-- they could have left off the occult after-thought. But then this is the Twilight Zone, not Maverick.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Mr. Garrity and the Graves" is one of last TZ season's best

Author: (chuck-reilly) from Los Angeles
27 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John Dehner plays Jared Garrity in the Twilight Zone's final season entry "Mr. Garrity and the Graves." Simply put, Garrity is a conman in the Old West who claims that he can raise the dead. When he arrives at the dead-beat town of Happiness, Arizona, he finds the perfect group of suckers for his next scam. Seems that Happiness has had a rash of killings and nearly everyone left in the town has recently lost a loved one. When Garrity announces his fantastic and supernatural skills to them, he's at first greeted as a savior. But after further review, the townsfolk begin to realize that they may not want to ever see their dearly departed brethren again after all. Unfortunately, allowing Mr. Garrity to perform his magical act has already opened up a "can of worms" for the good citizens of Happiness. It may cost them more dearly to have him cease and desist his actions.

John Dehner, who could portray a good-natured scoundrel better than anyone, is perfectly cast as Garrity. Dehner's list of television credits was one of the longest in the history of the medium; his well-worn features and baritone voice were fixtures on the tube for many years. Another familiar face, J. Pat O'Malley, is also in the cast as a local named Gooberman. He gets all excited about his late wife returning until he remembers that she used to beat him up on a regular basis. And he's not the only one in the town who soon has regrets about seeing their dearly departed relatives and friends. Veteran character actor Stanley Adams (Jensen the bartender) is also aboard and provides some good comic moments in this entry. The directorial duties are handled by Ted Post ("Hang 'em High") who does his usual competent job. Writer/creator Rod Serling wrote the teleplay although there's no doubt that this tale has been told many times over in many different guises.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Worth digging up.

Author: darrenpearce111 from Ireland
20 November 2013

I never expected to like this one as the subject matter seemed unappealing. Also the old western-set stories tend not to be true classic TZ. When you get into it 'Mr Garrity' has some darkly satirical things to say about human nature. John Dehner (also in series one -'The Lonely') plays the mysterious, composed Garrity arriving in a town called Happiness professing to be able to raise the dead. This might be a little slow building, but I found it increasingly pleasing as the story unfolded. On something of a tangent to 'The Last Rights Of Jeff Myrtlebank' in series three, although there are more plot twists and turns in 'Mr Garrity'.

The last scene really makes this one 'come to life' as it were.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

a Gothic tale in a small ghost town

Author: ron_tepper from United States
5 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mr Garrity and his Graves was one of the best episodes from a very dismal year towards the end of the series run. The previous commentator gave the plot away.My feeling is a little different about his criticisms of the "Occult Afterthought". I couldn't disagree more. Without that somewhat predictable and yet still shocking ending there would be no point in even telling the story.Isn't it interesting how influential this episode was on George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead".Wasn't it interesting how his "Little Girl Lost" influenced Poltergeist and so on.I guess there comes a time when people stop coming up with novel ideas and just steal those ideas from previous works. The reason these films still succeed is because new generations don't remember the earlier works.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Predictable Twist is Still Great

Author: wilddon from United States
10 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the Twilight Zone episode, "Mr. Garrity, and the Graves", one can generally figure what is going to happen, but it is still fun to watch how it plays. The appearance of a particularly heavy-set woman, at the end, is especially hilarious. Despite being comedic, this episode still leaves things wide-open enough to cause a person to think. About what one should be thinking, I am not sure, but it's a great story. John Dehner does a tremendous job of playing the con artist. All of the townspeople we see, especially the late townspeople returned, are great characters. This episode does indeed come from the much maligned fifth season, but the story does a good job of sticking to the original Twilight Zone format.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Simple and Memorable Classic Ghost Story

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
26 April 2014

Mr. Garrity, a shyster in a plaid suit, shows up in a little western town that has a deserved reputation for violence. Boot Hill contains 128 bodies, most of whom were gunned down or the products of gun play of some kind. The con man goes to the saloon and after a bit of small talk, tells the bartender that his profession is that of one who raises people from the dead. The sheriff and some of the local yokels come to the bar to meet this guy. After a bit of laughter and some accusations, a noise is heard outside. A dog has been killed by a wagon, even though he has no marks on his body. Mr. Garrity says he will resurrect the dog but forces everyone to turn their backs. Lo and behold, the dog leaps to life and takes off like a shot, down the Main Street, and out of town. People are aghast. Mr. Garrity tells the townspeople that he intends to release all the souls in the graveyard that night. At first they are overjoyed by the prospect. After he goes to do his duty, he comes back to a group of very worried people. The first of the undead comes walking through the fog and we begin to hear that the survivors aren't too happy with the thought of the dear departed rejoining them. You guessed it. They want Garrity to send them back. Of course, there is quite a fee for this and they are more than willing to pay. As is usually the case, the story doesn't end there and that's why one needs to hang on till the end. This is one of the more entertaining episodes, with Serling's tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

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The Twilight Zone : Mr. Garrity and the Graves

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
5 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Latter-series gem, directed by Ted Post, loaded with a plethora of delightful characters featuring rich comic faces, has John Dehner (last seen in the marvelous TZ episode, The Jungle) riding into a western town notorious for its history of violence (128 dead in the cemetery on the outskirts of town), now called Happiness. He claims he can resurrect the dead, offering to do so for the locals in Happiness, soon realizing (not necessarily to his surprise) that they aren't keen to see their loved ones return. With a steep price tag, Dehner's Garrity can reverse his magic, but will the locals pay?

Only flaw to this episode I could find was the disappearance of a supposed member of the cemetery. Explaining this parlor trick the episode doesn't, but it is a gaping logic hole in an otherwise brilliant storyline development. Charlatanism isn't an unknown component in the western, so the clever results of this episode don't necessarily surprise as much as amuse. But the twist regarding how Garrity "doesn't even realize his own talent" is a real charmer. Top to bottom, the comic casting is impeccable. Not a blight to be found in the cast, with especially fun work from Stanley Adams (the giant carrot in the infamous Lost in Space episode, The Great Vegetable Rebellion), J. Pat O'Malley as the town drunk who goes on and on about his heavy (but not ugly) deceased wife Zelda until it is confirmed she would return to him, Norman Leavitt as the haughty and almighty sheriff who gulps and worries when learning that the notorious gunslinger he supposedly put down in a legit gunfight would be coming back to town, and Percy Helton (who has a way of agreeing with everyone and always complimentary of them, even though he has to sometimes think back to what they actually said!) with that chatty and cheery disposition. The way the town seems so nosy and busybody, and how Garrity knows so much about each member (how they *really* don't want their dearly departed to come back to them) is a hoot. How Garrity uses a dog and accomplice only for the TZ to do what it does best at the very end—seeing it all play out with a wink and a grin—is just a thing of beauty. Why I use reverence for this show: Mr. Garrity and the Graves is such an example.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Not-So Dead

Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
8 November 2014

John Dehner stars as Jared Garrity, a traveling peddler/con man who arrives in the old west town of Happiness, Arizona to make a most unique proposition to its residents: For a price, he will resurrect the dead loved ones so that they can be reunited. To demonstrate, he resurrects a seemingly dead dog, but the citizens soon realize that they don't want the dead back, so offer to pay Garrity to not bring them back(a variation on traditional extortion!) However, it seems that some powers are not all an act... Well cast episode has a wry sense of humor, though doesn't amount to much, with a twist ending as sinister as it is ironic.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Light and Enjoyable.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
15 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The last season of "Twilight Zone" was running out of steam, but this story is so imbued with irony and hypocrisy that it's thoroughly entertaining.

Much of the credit must go to John Dehner as the con man who promises to bring back to life the 128 dead people buried in Happiness, Arizona's Boot Hill. He proves his powers by bringing a dead dog back to life. (He uses a Sanskrit mantra associated with Tibetan Buddhism: "Om mani padme hum," but it might as well be "abracadabra".) The townspeople in the saloon claim to miss their loved ones. But, upon rethinking the matter, one by one they realize that the dead folks were no good after all. The bartender's brother was a thief and the bartender shot him in the back. The town drunk's wife weighted 240 pounds and broke his left arm several times. The sheriff doesn't want to have to face his enemy, the gunslinger Lightnin' Jack, again.

They beg Dehner to keep Boot Hill as it is but he demurs. It was a big job to resurrect the dead to begin with. Putting them back will be an even more Herculean task. He refuses to undo the resurrection. But when the good folks press money on him, he reluctantly accepts the bills -- except for one good-looking young girl who says her husband was buried with a bull whip. She, Dehner smiles at, pulls against his chest, and gallantly allows her to keep her five hundred dollars, probably copping a feel at the same time.

The weakest part of the episode is the end. Outside of town, Dehner picks up his two accomplices in the scam -- an actor (John Mitchum, Robert's brother) and a dog who has learned to play dead -- and the wagon disappears into the night. When he's gone and all is quiet, the ground rumbles and the dead bodies push their way out of their graves. It's the only supernatural element in the story and would better have been left out.

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