The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
35 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




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


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


When the camera scans the town at the beginning, many large oil wells can be seen in the distance. See more »


When the bully, Hotaling, throws Denton into the street and follows him out with a liquor bottle in his right hand, the bottle is corked. In the next cut, Hotaling is shown pouring liquor onto Denton's face. However, Hotaling is never shown removing the cork, and the cork is nowhere to be seen - not in the bottle, not in Hotaling's left hand, and not on the ground. See more »


Rod Serling - Narrator: [Closing Narration] Mr. Henry Fate, dealer in utensils and pots and pans, liniments and potions. A fanciful little man in a black, frock coat, who can help a man climbing out of a pit - or another man from falling into one. Because, you see, Fate can work that way - in The Twilight Zone.
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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

How Dry I Am.
23 February 2014 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Written by Rod Serling, directed by Allen Reisner and starring Dan Duryea, Martin Landau, Doug McClure, Malcolm Atterbury and Jeanne Cooper.

The first Western themed Twilight Zone is a cracker, boosted by a great performance by Duryea, it's an episode dealing with that old dangled carrot known as the second chance. Al Denton has lapsed from being a dandy gunfighter into the town drunk, a man forced to sing for his next fix of alcohol offered by the town bully (Landau). But fate is going to play a hand, here in the human/supernatural form of peddler Henry J. Fate (Atterbury).

Story firmly has us feeling for Denton, wondering just how he came to be this way? The sorrow quickly turns to joy but this being The Twilight Zone we know there's going to be a kick in the tale, and when it comes it's a doozy, beautifully set up by Denton's revelation about what drove him to drink to oblivion. It could have ended up sappy but director Reisner ensures that is not the case, and Duryea's two pronged performance gives the story its super emotional fortitude. 8/10

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Release Date:

16 October 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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