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Rate Episode 98 - The Dummy from 1 ~ 10
10 15%  15%  [ 2 ]
9 31%  31%  [ 4 ]
8 31%  31%  [ 4 ]
7 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
6 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
5 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
4 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
3 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
2 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
1 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 13
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 Post subject: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Episode: 98 - The Dummy

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ORIGINAL BROADCAST: May 4, 1962
STARRING CAST: Cliff Robertson, Frank Sutton, George Murdock
WRITER: Rod Serling, {Based on a story by Leon Polk}
DIRECTOR: Abner Biberman

Jerry Etherson, ventriloquist par excellence, and his wooden partner, Willie. But pay close attention. Even though Willie is pine, paint, and glue, he is far from stiff. Matter-o-fact, Willie has big ideas on how the act should progress. In a short moment, we will see an act that requires no strings and jokes that Jerry has never heard before. So, catch this rising duo because Jerry and Willie will be moving their small time act from small, dark burlesque stages to the bright lights ... of the Twilight Zone.



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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:38 pm 
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This is not as scary for me as it was when I was a kid. I am no fan of dummies, and I think much of that has come from how scary this episode had been for me in the past.

But something awful has happened. The dummy is not as scary to me now. The little things...the eyes, the shadow on the wall, the cackle of the dummy...it's just not as scary.

The part that I really enjoyed during my latest viewing was when, after a struggle, Jerry manages to wrestle Willy into the trunk. I love the scene and the whole idea of having to handle something thought to be inanimate but is actually living...well, let's just say it gave me the "willies". Creepy!

So maybe if I watch this again at midnight or something in a totally dark room it will be spookier.

My Rating: 8 - Very Good

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:00 pm 
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... 7


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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:23 am 
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Nine


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:05 pm 
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Unquestionably the best of "the dummy" episodes.
"Caesar and Me" is often compared, (for obvious reasons), but this is truly the better more Zone-ish story.

Creepy and a bit "scary" if you will, "The Dummy" is one I saw long, long ago when I was a child, and barely remember glimpses of it.

Robertson is good again as a "troubled alcoholic", doing ventriliquist work to make ends meet and pay for the next bottle.
While Cliff Robertson is always great, (here and also in "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim), it really is "Willie" that steals the show!

Some of the scenes with Willie moving his eyes here and there, and apparently moving in the background are awesome.
We even get a cool, rare glimpse of Frank Sutton, away from "Gomer Pyle".

Nicely wound up with a good ending, its one of the more popular Zones, and rightfully so.

I'm coughing up an 8.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:37 pm 
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5 Zones.
It is an entertaining episode, I am just not fond of the concept.
I never thought this was scary,thats probably just me.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:32 am 
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I like this. I give it a 9.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:04 am 
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I don`t like these evil dummy themes. So, of course i wasn`t pleased to see this episode. The only thing i liked was the dummy`s strange laugh. 2/10.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Even if I didn't like it, it's great to see Frank Sutton in a serious part (just as TZ DZ Fan says). Even if it might be hard to swallow, an agent who gets emotionally involved with the client is always interesting. And this agent starts kicking himself for getting TOO involved.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 10:42 am 
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This is classic Twilight Zone, and one that I'll always fondly recall from my initial viewings as a kid during the marathons. I've always loved this episode. As a youngster, it was creepy. Willie was downright freakish and definitely was a bit scary to watch at night.

As an adult, I love the altered camera angles to represent the distorted mind of Jerry Etherson. I think the story is well told and in quite an interesting fashion. It's simply a look into the fractured state of the human psyche. The ventriloquist can't separate himself from his act and the dummy becomes real. Of course, this act is playing in the Twilight Zone, so Willie "is real", with independent movements, positional changes. Then 'the ol' switcheroo' for the TZ punch.

My opinion, there's nothing to not like about this episode.

10!

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Cliff Robertson and Frank Sutton are engaging to watch. They both sell their parts with crafted care. Frank obviously cares about Jerry both as a client and a friend but has gone that extra mile - 110 of them - too many times. He's not sure if Jerry is insane, alcohol delusional, or too creative to function. Jerry insists that his dummy is a living piece of wood, glue and paint. How and When Willie took on a life of his own is unclear to both Jerry and the audience, but the tell-tale signs are there.

I had 2 or 3 ventriloquist dolls as a boy - Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, and a generic sears dummy. After watching this episode when I was 8 ~ 10, never quite liked having them out on a shelf at night and began storing them in my closet. Better safe than sorry.

8!


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:40 am 
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I have to rate the episode a 9 but I give the ending a ten as the finale with it's turn is so very memorable. Good stuff all around.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Is the dummy alive or not? The ending I think is more ambiguous than people give credit for.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:35 am 
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I've always thought that because of the way Jerry struggles physically with the dummy, it indeed IS alive. Ventriloquist tales are usually psychological but in this case, I don't think so.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:28 pm 
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This is one of my top 20 episodes (I have to re-visit that list, it may be close to top 10). I think this is a story about a fractured psyche and alcoholic in show biz. Since it's placed in the science fiction/fantasy genre, there are certain twists and turns that can emphasize the point and make it quite creepy. Upon this viewing, I actually got to truly enjoy one of the first scenes between Frank Sutton and Cliff Robertson. I always tend to enjoy certain dialogues, and this scene was quite good. Emotions running high, both Robertson and Sutton were simply awesome. They just go so into the scene, it felt authentic.

As for the recent question about Willie being alive - my opinion is that Willie was alive but that's because this is the Twilight Zone. He's alive because weird shite happens here. I think it's a psychological tale but placed in this genre you make the impossible possible to drive it home and take to another level.

10!

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Along with everything else, it has Ralph Manza in a small role. Like a lot of other character actors, I'm glad he made it into at least one TZ episode.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:59 pm 
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Two-Bit Floozy Betty Lou wrote:
Along with everything else, it has Ralph Manza in a small role. Like a lot of other character actors, I'm glad he made it into at least one TZ episode.


If you count the 80s revival - technically he made it to 2. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:21 am 
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Yes, I always liked him in that one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:21 pm 
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DrMoreau wrote:
Cliff Robertson and Frank Sutton are engaging to watch. They both sell their parts with crafted care. Frank obviously cares about Jerry both as a client and a friend but has gone that extra mile - 110 of them - too many times. He's not sure if Jerry is insane, alcohol delusional, or too creative to function.


I've always liked that line when Frank threatens to quit. It goes something like "You can have my ten per cent commission and I'll get my self-respect back!"


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:22 pm 
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I wonder how much commission ventriloquists pay there managers now ..gotta be 15 percent ! :ROTF:


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:50 pm 
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My wife and I were discussing this the other night. You really couldn't remake some episodes today without losing most of the appeal. This was one of those episodes. Almost nobody does ventriloquism acts today, you can probably count them on one hand and have fingers to spare. And a manage who actually shows up to his clients performances, unheard of today. Maybe an assistant but not the agent.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:49 pm 
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This 12 year old girl ventriloquist was just on AGT, if the voice is real, shes very talented, and I am not a fan of ventriloquism, yet loved this, worth a watch I feel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk_qLtk0m2c

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummy
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:48 pm 
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DrMoreau wrote:
My wife and I were discussing this the other night. You really couldn't remake some episodes today without losing most of the appeal. This was one of those episodes. Almost nobody does ventriloquism acts today, you can probably count them on one hand and have fingers to spare. And a manage who actually shows up to his clients performances, unheard of today. Maybe an assistant but not the agent.


Tell me about it. The only thing that comes to mind is that bobcat goldthwait and don rickles tales from the crypt episode about ventriloquism, and even that is now close to 30 years old! :clap:
What about the cost of food back then that is plastered all over the walls of the restaurants and diners in the show as well. 15cent steak ....can't go wrong with that. :clap:

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