★★★★★ May 8, 1964 Season 5 Episode 32
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This is an excellent episode and what initially seemed like a straight drama actually had a subtle comedic twist. It says a lot about human nature. This may be a lighter episode but it works on many levels. Top to bottom, the comic casting is impeccable. Not a blight to be found in the cast. John Dehner is marvelously dry as a con man in the Old West and there is a good deal of humor as he goes about his business in the town of Happiness, Arizona. The town’s cemetery contained 128 dead, all but one were victims of violence…and as one drunk put it…that was my dear wife Zelda, rest her soul, a fine, healthy, strapping woman of 247 pounds but not unattractive, mind you.
John Dehner’s character Jared Garrity is going to raise the dead in Happiness Arizona. The townspeople in the saloon claim to miss their loved ones. But, upon rethinking the matter, one by one they realize that their late friends, wives, husbands, and drunkards maybe…just maybe weren’t the lovely people they were fondly remembering. Will Garrity be able to pull this feat off or is he taking the town for a ride?
The Twilight Zone’s 5th season lagged a little in the middle but with three more episodes to go…they finished up quite strong.
From IMDB Trivia: This is based on a supposed true story that happened in Alta, UT in 1873. It was initially told on Death Valley Days: Miracle at Boot Hill (1961).
This show was written by Rod Serling and Mike Korologos
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Introducing Mr. Jared Garrity, a gentleman of commerce, who in the latter half of the nineteenth century plied his trade in the wild and wooly hinterlands of the American West. And Mr. Garrity, if one can believe him, is a resurrecter of the dead – which, on the face of it, certainly sounds like the bull is off the nickel. But to the scoffers amongst you, and you ladies and gentlemen from Missouri, don’t laugh this one off entirely, at least until you’ve seen a sample of Mr. Garrity’s wares, and an example of his services. The place is Happiness, Arizona, the time around 1890. And you and I have just entered a saloon where the bar whiskey is brewed, bottled and delivered from the Twilight Zone.
In the early 1890s Mr. Garrity arrives in Happiness, Arizona apparently knowing a great deal about some of the people who live there. He knows that Jensen the bartender’s brother died and that Gooberman the town drunk lost his wife. Garrity also reveals that he has a very peculiar gift – he can bring back the dead. When a dog is run down by a wagon in the street he resurrects it without any difficulty. When he offers to do the same for the town’s loved one’s, they realize they would rather he not bring back the dearly departed, something they are quite happy to pay him for. Garrity, a charlatan if ever there was one, is glad to accept their money – though he does seem to leave something behind
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Exit Mr. Garrity, a would-be charlatan, a make-believe con man and a sad misjudger of his own talents. Respectfully submitted from an empty cemetery on a dark hillside that is one of the slopes leading to the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Host / Narrator – Himself
John Dehner … Jared Garrity
J. Pat O’Malley: Mr. Gooberman
Stanley Adams … Jensen
John Mitchum … Ace
Percy Helton … Lapham
Norman Leavitt … Sheriff Gilchrist
Edgar Dearing … First Resurrected Man
Kate Murtagh … Zelda Gooberman
Patrick O’Moore … Man
John Cliff … Lightning Peterson
Robert McCord … Townsman In Black Hat
Cosmo Sardo … Resurrected Man