episode #127 - The Old Man in the Cave

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episode #127 - The Old Man in the Cave

Post  BoG on Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:05 pm

Air Date: 11/8/63  Arrow  written by Rod Serling, based on story by Henry Slesar  Arrow  Directed by Alan Crosland, Jr.

An 'After-the-Bomb' scenario, making this a companion piece to other episodes like Two; it's a decade after the nuclear war which destroyed almost everything. In one town, the populace follows the instructions of an old man in a cave, via a go in-between (John Anderson), a leading citizen. This old man is never seen by anyone but his information always seems to be correct, though people get a bit irked over not being able to eat most food, which is said to be contaminated. Things go along reasonably well (as well as can be expected when it's just survival), when some kind of military unit arrives (headed by James Coburn).  The military commander stirs things up, challenging the veracity of the old man's instructions, mostly in regards to food and drink.
The plot of this episode hinges on the big reveal near the end, when we all find out exactly just who or what is this old man in the cave. The theme, stated by actor Anderson in the end, concerns faithlessness. People, even after the bomb, are a fickle lot, always dissatisfied, always wanting more - so this story says. They are their own worst enemy and things do not end well. The impact is muted, however, because they all weren't very well off anyway, even before they made things worse for themselves. The ending is quite bleak - it is post-nuclear war, after all. This had some fine actors - Coburn just before he became a big star, Anderson and John Marley. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10 This video has the Spoiler of the ending:
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