Friday, August 11, 2017

The Twilight Zone - Dead Man's Shoes



Poor Nate Bledsoe (Warren Stevens) seizes upon the misfortune of a murdered gangster with a snazzy pair of shoes, body dumped in his alley by a mob associate who wanted all the territory they were operating together. Nate rifles through the gangster’s pockets for any loose change (finding keys) and takes his shoes off his dead feet. Nate has no idea what awaits him after putting those shoes on. It seems the shoes, when on the next person’s feet, returns the “presence” of Dane, the dead gangster, and he wants revenge against Dagget (Richard Devon). Nate tries to shake a couple bums wanting the shoes, as they attempt to either use muscle or manipulation to get them, but Dane emerges. Dane is clearly quite different than Dane. Nate seems quite the weakling as the two bums close in on him, and he could easily be seen as barefoot not long after if Dane hadn’t possessed him. Stevens deserves some credit for alternating two different personalities. But we see very little of Nate, unfortunately. We see him at the very beginning, rambling about with no real purpose. He is first ruffling through a garbage bin, before spotting Dane’s body. After popping on the shoes, Nate is still himself up until a certain point, when Dane takes charge and focuses on his revenge. Returning to his apartment for a good suit and a bit of liquor, Dane’s dame, Wilma (Joan Marshall), questions who this guy is just making himself at home. A gun in hand, Wilma wants answers. But Dane takes off the shoes and Nate “reawakens” perplexed and confused, wondering why he’s in this apartment and this woman he doesn’t know is pointing a gun at him. He is quite nervous and quivery, collapsing into a chair as she tells him to “put on the shoes and get out”.

The creative idea is to see both Nate and Dane. In order to see Nate once more the shoes had to come off. And in order to see Dane confront Dagget the shoes had to go back on Nate’s feet. So it was important to take them off and put them back on in the middle of the episode. Yeah, one might balk at the convenience of this scene and how it is arranged…would those shoes really ever return to his feet once they were off? Of course the flimsy device—the shoes of the dead man returning him to possess the next person wearing them—itself is a bit silly, but the plot plays on the spirit of a victim not just going away until revenge is met, and whatever is used to forward that, whether shoes or literal body parts/organs, causing the personality/memory transference, is of less consequence. The shoes are just that, a plot device. In saying that, I was never quite won over by the episode. I do think Nate gets the shaft in favor of Dane, barely available for us to identify with much. Maybe that is unimportant as he was more or less a vagabond, making his bed wherever possible, but those shoes victimize him. He has no control over what happens to him thanks to Dane. What is Nate’s body to Dane? Dane can just occupy the next vagrant that takes his shoes. Ultimately Nate was taking from the dead and the dead took from him…fate just continued to visit upon Nate misfortune.

Dane eventually convinces Wilma that despite seeing Nate it was him behind the new face. When Dane requests the sugar cube in his drink, Wilma knew he might just be. And when he kisses Wilma, she gradually returns the favor, fully accepting that Dane was in there. So Stevens’ performance has the nuances there to tell us that this body has two people. Dane is clearly a dominant personality while Nate has probably spent some time pushed around and kicked about. Dane’s mission, though, was to get Dagget alone and gun him down in similar fashion…poetic justice, so to speak. But Dagget has hired guns on his payroll, hidden in areas of the office…the perfect setup. Dane wasn’t about to let Nate get gunned down from behind, but couldn’t anticipate the gun behind the bookcase. Dagget is issued a warning from Dane as Nate’s body dies: I’ll keep coming, until I get you!

I think the story has some potential but I'm not sure it should have been wasted on a tired gangster story. We run through the same gangster cliches and the end result is no surprise...one rotter kills another. The exception of Nate being unknowingly involved without any say-so is what sets this episode apart. But a better story certainly might have taken the dead shoes and produced something a bit more original.







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Battlestar Galactica - And So It Begins

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Sbut

Sbut
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Hal

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hal1

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Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

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Mrub

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Gb

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Rv1

Rv1

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Po

Po

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mh2

mh2

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z2

Hiii

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Fred

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Ghspo

Ghspo
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Enl

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nos4

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gm

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No 2

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Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
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Vyr

Vyr
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Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
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f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

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Kife

Kife
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Meg

Meg
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ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
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Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
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In the kitchen, The Shape

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exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
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Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
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pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
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Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

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WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
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h1

h1
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Bs

Bs
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linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
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Hill

Hill

Castle

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SRW

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Frere and dummy

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Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

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Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
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Bmate

Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

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Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

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