★★★★★ 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.
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.
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)