Twilight Zone – The Last Night of a Jockey

★★★1/2 October 25, 1963 Season 5 Episode 5

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

Rod Serling was great at this kind of low-life character. They were not evil but just the bottom of society. Mickey Rooney plays Grady who was small in more ways than one. He was a jockey who was disqualified from racing and he blames everyone but the one responsible…himself. Mickey Rooney runs a gamut of emotions from rage to grief to terrible self-loathing and is credible throughout. He carries the show…although he must because he is the only actor in it.  A bit of Twilight Zone justice is dished out at the end. 

This is another character that you won’t have much sympathy with at all. It is an impressive one-man show. Agnes Moorehead did this in The Invaders and was incredible. 

This one is by no means a bad episode. It’s just not a classic one. I think the basic story was done better in Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room, another episode of a self-pitying loser being lectured by his alter ego. 

From IMDB: With exactly one performer appearing–either in image or voice, not counting Rod Serling’s routine turn as host–this episode features the smallest cast of any in the series. Close runner-ups include The Twilight Zone: Where Is Everybody? (1959), The Twilight Zone: King Nine Will Not Return (1960), The Twilight Zone: Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room (1960), The Twilight Zone: The Invaders (1961) and The Twilight Zone: Two (1961).

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The name is Grady, five feet short in stockings and boots, a slightly distorted offshoot of a good breed of humans who race horses. He happens to be one of the rotten apples, bruised and yellowed by dealing in dirt, a short man with a short memory who’s forgotten that he’s worked for the sport of kings and helped turn it into a cesspool, used and misused by the two-legged animals who’ve hung around sporting events since the days of the Coliseum. So this is Grady, on his last night as a jockey. Behind him are Hialeah, Hollywood Park and Saratoga. Rounding the far turn and coming up fast on the rail—is the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Grady is a champion jockey who has recently been banned from the sport owing to his participation in race fixing and the drugging of horses. He claims he is innocent and currently has an appeal with the racing commission but his agent isn’t hopeful. Suddenly, Grady begins hearing a voice – his own as it turns out, speaking to him from his own mind. As Grady rages over the unfairness of it all, he is granted his one true wish.

***WARNING…VIDEO SPOILERS***

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

The name is Grady, ten feet tall, a slightly distorted offshoot of a good breed of humans who race horses. Unfortunately for Mr. Grady, he learned too late that you don’t measure size with a ruler, you don’t figure height with a yardstick, and you never judge a man by how tall he looks in a mirror. The giant is as he does. You can make a parimutuel bet on this, win, place, or show, in or out of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Mickey Rooney … Grady

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

6 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Last Night of a Jockey”

  1. Mickey Rooney has been a ham since he was a kid. He goes way over the top in this, as usual. I really like the “special effects” in this. I agree, it’s pretty good, but not top of the line.

    Liked by 1 person

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