The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
32 user 7 critic

Mr. Denton on Doomsday 

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


Allen Reisner


Rod Serling

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Episode complete credited cast:
Rod Serling ... Narrator (voice)
Dan Duryea ... Al Denton
Martin Landau ... Dan Hotaling
Jeanne Cooper ... Liz
Malcolm Atterbury ... Henry J. Fate
Ken Lynch ... Charlie
Arthur Batanides ... Leader
Bill Erwin ... Man
Robert Burton ... Doctor
Doug McClure ... 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) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French title: 'La seconde chance' See more »


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


Leader: Tall man. Doesn't usually wear his gun. Blond hair.
Al Denton: Who does that describe?
Leader: It describes a man named Al Denton. Supposed to be top gun here. Would that be you?
Al Denton: That'd be me.
Leader: I got a message for you, Denton, comes from Pete Grant.
Al Denton: Well, let's hear the message.
Leader: Pete will be in town tomorrow night at 10:00. He'll meet you over in the saloon.
Al Denton: Look, you tell him there's no call...
[realizes what would happen if he backed off]
Al Denton: Tell Mr. Grant I'll be there tomorrow night. I'll wait for his pleasure.
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Referenced in Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) See more »


Stenka Razin
Russian folk tune
played throughout
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User Reviews

A redemption play, well told.
18 May 2010 | by kimfotoSee all my reviews

It was nice to see an aging yet durable Duryea once again in a leading role. And he more than holds his own.

I thought it an inspired touch of casting on Serling's part to cast this once uber-villain in a part that could singularly reveal both aspects of this character in one, brief 1/2-hour episode. Martin Landau was effective as the black-clad heavy (a role hauntingly foreshadowing his role in "North By Northwest"), and it was a singular pleasure seeing a nearly post-pubescent Doug McClure in what may qualify as a cameo at the conclusion. Morality tales can be tricky, but once again Serling the supreme storyteller, pulls it off with aplomb.

It always amazes me how these wonderful B&W episodes still hold up after all these years (and multiple viewings) later. I never, ever seem to grow tired of watching them. I noticed that many years later they tried (in vain) to bring back this much venerated series, only to have it fail miserably. When you combine superior writing, inspired directing, and casting the strongest character and leading actors alive into one television program, it's a tough combination to beat.

On my very favorite TZ episode, "Walking Distance," the sound track was actually written by, for my money, the greatest film composer of all time, Bernard Herrmann ("Psycho," Citizen Kane"). That fact, more than just about anything, stands in tribute to the kind of talent that Serling's landmark TV series attracted. After all of the great television I've enjoyed over the years, there is no one series that has engendered the kind of devotion and wonder that these thought-provoking episodes inspire in their loyal following, myself heartily included.

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