Today, June 12th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actor/cinematographer John A. Alonzo, who portrayed convicted killer Luis Gallegos in "Dust."
Considering that this is the violent old west, Gallegos' crime is hardly egregious. But, apparently while intoxicated, he did run down and kill a child – and the town of white citizenry is out for blood. Enter Sykes (Thomas Gomez), a peddler who sees an opportunity by selling Gallegos' desperate father (Vladimir Sokoloff) a bag of "magic dust."
Sykes claims that if the dust is spread around the execution site, a miracle could happen. Of course, he doesn't tell Gallegos, Sr. that the bag contains useless road dust.
Alonzo (1934-2001) made $400 for playing young Gallegos. He found a far more lucrative career as a top cinematographer in the movies, scoring an Oscar nomination for shooting Chinatown in 1974. He also received an Emmy for his ace camerawork on the television adaptation of Fail Safe.
So, as we celebrate the birth of a genius behind the camera, let's also remember the days when his character's life was in the hands of a bag of dust - perhaps a work of miracles in a dimension where miracles were as common as OMG moments: The Twilight Zone.