The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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Mr. Denton on Doomsday 

The town drunk in the old-west faces his past when Fate lends a hand.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Al Denton
Dan Hotaling
Henry J. Fate
Arthur Batanides ...
Pete Grant


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

16 October 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


However Western it sounds, the harmonica music in the background is, in fact, an old Russian folksong, "Stenka Razin". See more »


The pendulum clock's pendulum swing is not truly sinusoid. Fake pendulum clock. See more »


Al Denton: I was good. I was real good. I was so good that once a day, someone would ride into town to make me prove it. And every morning, I'd start my drinkin' a few minutes earlier. Until one morning, the guy who asked me to prove it turned out to be sixteen years old. I left him there on his face. Right there in front of the saloon. I left him there bleedin' to death with my bullet in him. I guess it'll start all over again, now. Every fast and fancy man who owns a gun will come riding in down that ...
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Stenka Razin
Russian folk tune
played throughout
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User Reviews

Top draw entertainment in The Twilight Zone.
14 April 2012 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

This is yet another episode from the first few Twilight Zones that shows supernatural events can happen in a positive way, as opposed to many of the more sinister outings that the series would always be better known for.

It's all about a town drunk (Al Denton, played by Dan Duryea) who is mistreated and stripped of dignity by the local bad boy (Dan Hotaling, played by Martin Landau) until Fate steps in. Literally. A travelling salesman, a peddler, a seller of potions and knick-knacks, by the name of Henry J. Fate. Things look like they could turn around for Mr. Denton but there's always the chance that everything could lead to a repeat of the circumstances that saw him turn to drink in the first place.

It's another fine piece of writing from Rod Serling and the direction from Allen Reisner is just right for a gentle character study that may take a number of Western standards but that also gives them that particular Twilight Zone shading.

The acting is great from all concerned. Martin Landau is a young, brooding, nasty piece of work while Dan Duryea is easy to root for as Mr. Denton. Malcolm Atterbury plays Henry J. Fate with a knowing smile and twinkle in his eye and Jeanne Cooper is the swell gal named Liz. Oh, and Doug McClure fans will enjoy seeing him in the role of Pete Grant.

It's not quite as good as the high standards set by the first two episodes but this is still an excellent episode of a consistently excellent show.

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