|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Stuart Rosenberg|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Original air date||January 24, 1963|
Dennis Hopper: Peter Vollmer
"He's Alive" is a fourth-season episode of The Twilight Zone. It tells of an American neo-Nazi who is inspired by the ghost of Adolf Hitler. A personal passion of Rod Serling, it concludes that figures such as Hitler will always be alive so long as prejudice and ignorance persist.
|“||Portrait of a bush-league Führer 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 Vollmer (Dennis Hopper), the leader of a small and struggling Nazi group, is visited by a shadowy figure who teaches him how to enthrall a crowd. The figure instructs Vollmer to arrange the death of one of his followers, Nick, thereby creating a martyr to rally everyone around.
Following the figure's instructions and assistance, Vollmer is considerably more successful and his group's following grows. However, the elderly Jewish man that Vollmer lives with, Ernst Ganz (Ludwig Donath), spent nine years in Dachau and strongly disapproves of Vollmer's politics. Ernst disrupts a rally accusing Vollmer of being "nothing but a cheap copy" of the German Führer. After the failed rally, responding to the shadowy man's accusation that while Vollmer has the voice of a lion, he has the instincts of a rabbit, Vollmer demands to know who his mysterious benefactor is. The man steps forward from the shadows to reveal himself to be Adolf Hitler (Curt Conway). The figure orders Peter to kill Ernst and Peter steels himself enough to complete the task. Hitler congratulates him and asks him how it felt. Peter replies that he felt immortal. Hitler's thundering response is "Mr. Vollmer! We ARE immortal!"
Afterwards, police arrive to arrest Peter for complicity to commit Nick's murder. He is shot while fleeing the scene. Peter stares at his bullet wound, astonished by the pain...and by the sight of his own blood. He addresses the police: "There's something very wrong here...Don't you understand that I'm made out of steel?!"
Hitler's shadow is seen on the wall, leaving the dying Vollmer, looking for a more worthy candidate.
|“||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.||”|
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)