Theatre Macabre: Season 1 Episode 22 The Fatalist

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An officer makes a bet with another one that their lives are controlled by fate.

Series Index

Theatre Macabre (1971-1972)


Host - Christopher Lee

Lieutenant Vulich - Gustaw Holoubek

Pechorin - Andrzej Hrydzewicz

Sergeant Major - Leonard Andrzejewski

Sentry - Jaroslaw Kuszewski


Dead Partisan

Card Playing Officer - Ferdynand Matysik

Older Officer - Adolf Chronicki

Major - Wiktor Grotowicz

Betting Officer - Andrzej Polkowski

Betting Officer 2 - Tadeusz Skorulski

Doubting Officer - Edward Linde-Lubaszenko

Nastja Pontiniev - Ryszard Filipski

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

The Host introduces Mikhail Lermontov's story, The Fatalist.

A group of Russian soldiers lay down in the dirt sleeping. The Sergeant Major wakes up Sentry who he catches sleeping while on guard duty. He takes him to relieve another Sentry . The first sentry is warned that the Partisans might attack. As the Sentry takes a drink of water from a nearby pool of water, he sees what appears to be a Dead Partisan floating in the water. As the Sentry turns his back, the Dead Partisan climbs out of the water and pulls him into the pool of water and stabs him to death. He then signals to another group of Partisans. In a building, a group of officers including Lieutenant Vulich and Card Playing Officer are playing a game of cards. Vulich loses the card game and complains that he knew that he would lose. Pechorin asks him why he bothered playing if he knew he was going to lose. Vulich tells him that he believes in fate. Pechorin calls destiny and fate an excuse people make for when anything goes wrong. Vulich says there is no free will and goes back to playing cards. He beats one opponent, but after an Older Officer offers to cover his bank, the Older Officer is shot in the back by the Partisans through a window. Major tells another officer to get a doctor and Card Playing Officer bets all of his money against Vulich's cards and Vulich loses.

Vulich casually walks around during the battle and kills a Partisan sniper that was shooting at him. The rest of the Partisans eventually retreat. After the battle, Pechorin continues to argue with Vulich about fate. Pechorin says that man may choose between good or evil, but Vulich says every day a person is more helpless against destiny as they are closer to death. Pechorin asks Vulich to prove fate exists and Vulich makes a proposition. Pechorin says he will bet that fate doesn't exist and Vulich hands the Major his money. Vulich has Pechorin toss him a random pistol and a Betting Officer bets 50 in money that Vulich will die, while Betting Officer 2 bets 100. Vulich puts the pistol to his head and pulls the trigger, but nothing happens. Doubting Officer thinks the pistol was empty and Vulich points it at some candles and pulls the trigger and a shot rings out. Vulich collects his money, and Pechorin admits he must believe in fate. Vulich leaves and walks by the enlisted soldiers and asks the Sergeant Major if there are any signs of the Partisans. As Vulich goes to the barn, he sees Nastja Pontiniev stumbling around drunk. Nastja thinks Vulich is a Partisan and slashes him with his sword. The Sergeant Major reports to the Major that Vulich has been killed and that his last words were, he was right. The Major brings the other officers outside and the Sergeant Major tries to burn Nastja out of the barn. Nastja shoots at anyone that comes near the barn and the Sergeant Major has his troops surround the barn. Pechorin flips a coin and then approaches the barn door and captures Nastja. The Sergeant Major then punches Nastja unconscious. The other officers congratulate Pechorin and he walks away and says Vulich was right.