In a dusty old-western town, a man's scheduled to be hanged, after having been found guilty of accidentally killing a child while drunk. His father begs for mercy, but the marshal, has no choice but to proceed with the sentence. Sykes, an odious salesman takes advantage of the situation by selling the desperate father 'magic dust', which he says will make the townsfolk take pity upon his son. Soon, the events provide for an unexpected conclusion.Written by
The hollow-backed horse in the foreground beside the jail had a condition of a malformed vertebrae and weakness in the soft tissues than allowed the spine to sag called Lordosis. See more »
At the beginning of the show they are testing the noose and it drops next to Rod Serling. The rope is too long and the noose drops down next to Mr. Serling. See more »
There are only two people here who have the right to ask for an eye for an eye. What about it, Mr Canfield?
No more today, John. No more!
He killed our child!
And part of himself while doing it. And he's suffered enough.
Sherriff Koch, there must be... there must be another hand in this, for the rope to break like that. Another hand. Maybe... maybe the hand of providence.
You want to stop at that, Mr Canfield?
[Mr Canfield nods, and turns to walk away]
John? We leave it like this?
We leave it ...
[...] See more »
This episode would have made a fine 30 minute film, but within the auspices of a show like "The Twilight Zone", a disappointment. That's because although the episode is well written and especially well acted, there isn't really that much irony or metaphysics--you know, that bizarre twist at the end. Yes, there is a twist but not at all as satisfying as you'd expect to see in this series.
The star of this episode is Thomas Gomez--a fine character actor who did tons of TV and movies over the years. Here he plays a truly nasty piece of work--a man who is eagerly anticipating the execution--a man who takes intense pleasure at the suffering of others. While most in the town are excited by the prospect, no one takes as much joy as Gomez. Additionally, he's a loud-mouth opportunist--a guy who not only sells the sheriff the rope for the hanging, but sells the condemned man's father some "magic dust" that will make everyone love and forgive his son.
As for this son, he's a guy in his 20s who was riding about drunk on his horse when he accidentally ran over and killed a child. The show very strongly pushes the audience to feel sorry for and forgive the man, though I wonder how much we would be willing to do either had this been a guy who killed a child today while driving drunk.
I don't want to spoil the ending but I'd just like to say that it didn't feel all that satisfying. But, Gomez's acting as well as the acting of the Sheriff and the boy's father were all very good so the episode is still worth seeing. However, this is far from classic and is quite skipable.
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