Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Twilight Zone Mr. Denton on Doomsday (1959) Review

Mr Denton Contemplates Fate
Back to our regularly scheduled program, we have been discussing The Twilight Zone from start to finish, and here I am with another edition. This time around, we are at episode 3. This episode originally hit the airwaves in 1959. It stars Martin Landau, Jeanne Cooper, and Dan Duryea. It’s well acted, streamlined, and hits you right in the “what if” cycle of life. There are some interesting puns used for this episode, and things really get through to a whole different wavelength then the previous two episodes of the series. This is a serious mind numbing episode, because if you’re like me, you are a bit anxious about your own abilities. The story is interesting, set in the wild west, a drunkard is made to dance and sing for his drink. There is a group of bullies that continually tease and cause him to dance and drink, and he hits rock bottom. Jeanne Cooper here is absolutely beautiful, as she comes out of the saloon to talk to Denton and encourage him for to change. Denton being the drunk.



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As the story progresses, a man shows up and gives Denton something nifty. He gives him literal liquid courage. You see, Denton was a gunfighter in the past, and one day he was challenged by a teenager, and he shot him dead. Since then, he turned to drink, out of guilt. A man shows up called Fate, only after Denton wakes up to find a gun lying next to him. When he has a fast trigger and confronts his bullies, he is challenged by a new rival. Fate intervenes, as a pun and visual cue. Denton awaits his new challenger and as he takes the liquid courage that Fate gave him, he sees that the other gunslinger has the same thing! They both shoot! Boom, gun hands are shot, injured, and this whole thing is a strange story.

There is a duality here. The duality is about salvation at the cost of another. Denton is saved from being a perpetual drunkard, and his rival, he is saved from being a killer for life. It’s a weird balancing act that works as a morality tale for the series. Serling has a way of doing this often enough.

Overall, this is a great episode in my view. It has a great overall story arc, and comes full circle with the morality at play. It features Dan Duryea, whom really convinces you of redemption and regret through the episode. A young Martin Landau shows up too. Jeanne Cooper’s beauty had me captivated, however, as she is a beauty. Malcolm Atterbury’s delivery as Henry J. Fate is classic. The whole episode wraps up very well, without losing the concept of salvation, which is definitely interesting. It hit me in an odd way. I used to be competitive in a lot of arenas, and when I would meet my match, I’d wonder if they too had an edge, as I always thought I had an edge somehow. This is a good episode, and easily one of my favorites, thus far. You can pick up The Twilight Zone Season  Blu Ray from Amazon Here.

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