Twilight Zone – A Nice Place to Visit

★★★★★  April 15, 1960 Season 1 Episode 28

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This is a great one. You will see Mr. French from Family Affair like you have never seen him before. The acting and the twist both are top notch in this episode. I’ve watched this many times and it just keeps getting better. The Twilight Zone can highlight the dregs of society better than any other show I know. Rocky Valentine is not a well known criminal, just a lowlife, and a drag on humanity. A man who doesn’t have a thought for anyone but himself.

There is a fantastic last line given by Pip (Sebastian Cabot) to Rocky. it sums up the episode…which I won’t give away here. (The video below gives it away). On a deeper level this episode has an interesting proposition. When you get everything  you want… and everything goes your way… how can that be a bad thing? We find out how in this episode.

Mickey Rooney was the first choice to play Valentine. In a memo to Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont suggested, should Rooney not be available, that Serling himself consider playing the part. Serling declined and Rooney ended up being unavailable.

Sebastian Cabot had to bleach his hair white for the role and it took three months for the actor’s hair to return to its original dark color.

This show was written by Charles Beaumont

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Portrait of a man at work, the only work he’s ever done, the only work he knows. His name is Henry Francis Valentine, but he calls himself “Rocky”, because that’s the way his life has been – rocky and perilous and uphill at a dead run all the way. He’s tired now, tired of running or wanting, of waiting for the breaks that come to others but never to him, never to Rocky Valentine. A scared, angry little man. He thinks it’s all over now but he’s wrong. For Rocky Valentine, it’s just the beginning.

Summary

Rocky Valentine is a small-time hood who has been on the wrong side of the law for most of his life. After robbing a pawn shop, he is gunned down by the police and awakens to be met by Mr. Pip, who describes himself as a guide to his new surroundings. Rocky can’t quite believe where he’s ended up as he can have anything he desires. He’s living in a beautiful apartment, never loses at the casino and is always surrounded by beautiful women. What good deed could he have done in life to deserve this. After a month or so however the shine of having anything and everything wears off.

The video has spoilers.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

A scared, angry little man who never got a break. Now he has everything he’s ever wanted – and he’s going to have to live with it for eternity – in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Larry Blyden … Henry Francis ‘Rocky’ Valentine
Sebastian Cabot … Mr. Pip
John Close … Cop (uncredited)
Barbara English … Dancing Girl (uncredited)
Charles Fogel … Casino Patron (uncredited)
George Ford … Casino Patron (uncredited)
Peter Hornsby … Croupier (uncredited)
Robert McCord … Waiter (uncredited)
Bill Mullikin … Parking Attendant (uncredited)
Nels P. Nelson … Short Cop (uncredited)
Murray Pollack … Casino Patron (uncredited)
Rod Serling … Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Norman Stevans … Casino Patron (uncredited)
Wayne Tucker … Croupier (uncredited)
Sandra Warner … Girl (uncredited)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – A Nice Place to Visit”

  1. Five stars, sounds like it should be on the list ! Will have to try to find an afternoon sometime this month to cram in some of these highlighted ones from the list before Netflix drops them.
    Sounds like it could be a cautionary tale for Powerball players… I like putting a couple of bucks on lottos and am delighted when I win even $100. But I generally never buy the Powerball or Megamillions, especially when the jackpot really rises. Both the long odds and the thought of winning deter me. A million bucks would be huge, and change my life, but $300 million – that would be a nightmare… too many temptations and too many people coming after you for the money. I think you’d have to live in a fortress more or less, and who wants that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I may buy a ticket once every year…that is it. Can you win without anyone knowing? Do they have that option? It’s really dangerous to let that out publicly…at least when you first win.
      $300 million…I can’t imagine. First thing I would do is put the best part of it away somewhere and find out the best tax loopholes…then i would be traveling.

      i would invest in things I love…A Jimi Hendrix guitar, a John Lennon hand written lyric sheet, etc…things that dont’ go down in price and I love… My problem though…I would never want to let it go lol. .

      Like

  2. I think its good they didn’t get Rooney[ who is a guy I always found annoying]- I like the character actors they got to play these roles- getting big stars would have ruined it- and Mr. French perfect as Mr. Pip.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can’t believe Serling even thought about it. That would have been odd…just odd. He was perfect as it. The TZ has some of the best casting I’ve seen.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. they had to be working pretty fast back then so many episodes in a year- to think they nailed the casting as they did- is kind of incredible. I think big stars would have tainted it a bit- unless the star really did a great job I think you’d be thinking – that’s Mickey Rooney…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are correct in that…it would be associated with that star. Case in point…a great TZ episode had Robert Redford…which he was just a tv actor then…now you think…that is Robert Redford…because of his career later…he did a great job though.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree Mr. French was perfect in that role. I think Valentine needed to go to another level of hell for calling Pip “Fats” repeatedly. I will be watching this one before netflix drops them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great one Max. Valentine keeps getting clues along the way but is so narcissistic that he doesn’t get it til end. Agree that laugh at end is priceless. In some ways reminds me of the early episode Escape Clause – what happens when you get everything you ever wanted. Be careful what you wish for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep…he will be paying for it. I saw some reviewer say…he was given the keys to heaven but turned it into hell…that was interesting.

      Hey Paul I want to ask you something. You know Hanspostcard right? We have had an album draft, movie draft, and now we are going to have a singles draft. Would you be interested in joining? It would only mean 2 songs a month contribution….as long or short as you want….Just wondering man if you would be interested. It would be 10 songs total.

      Like

      1. Hey Max. Yeah count me in! – been trying to ease back into blogging – this sounds like a good way to do that. I missed the album one but have been following the movie one. Would it be the same type of thing – different themes?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No themes…completely open man… my address is maxdotgower@outlook.com…of course just fill in a real dot instead lol. I’ll give you Hans email address when you do.
        It’s a lot of fun and with only 2 songs a month….pretty easy.

        Liked by 1 person

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