The Twilight Zone

Season 4 Episode 4

He's Alive

5
Aired Unknown Jan 24, 1963 on CBS
7.6
out of 10
User Rating
94 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Peter Vollmer, a small-time neo-Nazi leader, yearns for more power. Advised by a shadowy benefactor, Vollmer's following grows, as does his ego...

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Darkness in Mankind

    10
    Professional Reviewers for 4 decades have panned this episode for its leap of logic, "Americans" will never accept this kind of evil in our hearts and minds. Flash forward to 2016, disillusioned people and disenfranchised people are supporting someone with heavily racist, xenophobic ideals akin to Peter Vollmer. We haven't learned our lesson from Hitler's evil legacy, which is the heart of of the episode. People want scapegoats rather than to face up to the real facts of their lives, there are no glories for a lot of people, just an endless stream of failures and false hopes.



    I liked the use of shadows in this episode hiding the shadowy figure's true form, something benign in the darkness from the little money that is left for Peter on the street or the pep talk. Then as the rhetoric ramps up and the body count mounts, we see the reality, the figure is Hitler and the benign idea is Fascism.



    Is patriotism bad? Is national security bad? Is accountability in our government bad? No



    All of those things are hallmarks of normal discourse in both major US political parties, but beyond the issues, the evil spirit that can drive it into hell is "fear of others", whether it is the others as in Foreigners (Russians in 1960's and Mexicans in 2010's), elite politicians (Communist sympathizers in 1960's or Democrat/Republican establishment leaders in 2010's), or even the simplest issue of a capitalist system the poor mobs of people versus the rich few.



    This is a great underrated episode that deserves a second look.moreless
  • More timely now than when first aired.

    10
    This is more than just a great episode, it is an important one as well. Almost fifty years after it was first aired, hate is still an issue. In our country and throughout the world for that matter. Dennis Hopper plays a small time hate monger in one of the early roles of his career, who gets a lesson in how to really do it right from one of the most evil human monsters ever to walk the face of the earth. For fans of The Twilight Zone and Dennis Hopper as well, this is a must have for your video collection!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (opening narration)
      Narrator: Portrait of a bush-league fuehrer named Peter Vollmer, a sparse little man who feeds off his self-delusions and finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in his diet. And like some goose-stepping predecessors he searches for something to explain his hunger, and to rationalize why a world passes him by without saluting. That something he looks for and finds is in a sewer. In his own twisted and distorted lexicon he calls it faith, strength, truth. But in just a moment Peter Vollmer will ply his trade on another kind of corner, a strange intersection in a shadowland called the Twilight Zone.

    • Peter: There's something very wrong here... don't you understand that I'm made out of steel?!?

    • Benefactor: (whose face we still cannot see as of yet) Mr. Vollmer, I was writing and delivering speeches decades before you could read or understand them! I was fighting battles, when your only struggle was to climb out of a womb!! I was taking over the world, when your universe was a crib!!! And as for being in Darkness, Mr. Vollmer... I invented darkness!! (he steps into the light at last, revealing he's Hitler)

    • (closing narration)
      Narrator: Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare--Chicago; Los Angeles; Miami, Florida; Vincennes, Indiana; Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there's hate, where there's prejudice, where there's bigotry. He's alive. He's alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He's alive because through these things we keep him alive.

    • Peter: You… you picked me! You picked me!
      Hitler: I did not pick you, Mr. Vollmer; you picked me! You chose my ideas, you invoked my name, you stole my slogans. So now, you must take whatever else comes with it. In the past, I have given you suggestions! Now, I give orders!!

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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