★★★★1/2 October 16, 1959 Season 1 Episode 3
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
I think very highly of this episode. The more I watch it the more I enjoy it. We travel to the old West for this episode. We meet the town drunk Al Denton who was brilliantly played by Dan Duryea. A gunfighter named Dan Hotaling played by a young Martin Landau is making a fool of Denton by making him sing “How Dry I Am” for whiskey. He picks on Denton one too many times.
The show also has a mystical character (but of course…it’s the Twilight Zone) named Henry J. Fate and he tries to help Denton to redeem himself. I can’t say enough about Dan Duryea’s acting in this episode. The transformation of Denton and the nice twist at the end makes this a great episode.
You get to know Al Denton and feel for him as he was an old gunfighter and it drove him to drinking…will he be forced into that line of work again?
This episode was written by Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
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. In the parlance of the times, this is a peddler, a rather fanciful-looking little man in a black frock coat. [A revolver mysteriously appears on the ground next to Denton] And this is the third principal character of our story. Its function: perhaps to give Mr. Al Denton his second chance.
In the Old 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 in his hand, he challenges the drunk to a gunfight. Fate observes again and makes a movement with his hand that will change the life of Al Denton.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
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.
Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Dan Duryea … Al Denton
Martin Landau … Dan Hotaling
Jeanne Cooper … Liz
Malcolm Atterbury … Henry J. Fate
Ken Lynch … Charlie
Arthur Batanide … Leader
Bill Erwin … Man
Robert Burton … Doctor
Doug McClure … Pete Grant