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|Index||16 reviews in total|
Solid entry that raises a couple of interesting philosophical
questions. First, can there be too much of a good thing. And second
(and more problematically), how would you feel if you knew the outcome
of your actions was determined by an unnatural force outside yourself.
Your choices would remain free choices, but the outcomes themselves
would result from programming outside yourself. So whether you choose
to roll the dice or not, for example, remains a matter of free choice.
However, if you do roll them, the outcome is determined not by force of
gravity or by a law of averages, but by an outside programmer who has
already decided whether you will win or lose. Could you still take
pleasure in your choices knowing that the results were out of your
hands, so to speak.
Blyden's small-time thief has just such an experience after being shot in a robbery. Sets are imaginative and well-mounted. Much of the polish is no doubt do to director John Brahm, who was for many years a stylish filmmaker with 20th Century/Fox. Larry Blyden is appropriately obnoxious as a bottom-feeder who suddenly can do no wrong, while portly Sebastian Cabot projects the unusual quality of sinister geniality. And who wouldn't want to be in Blyden's shoes? An episode to think about.
Eternal damnation can be interpreted in many ways - having "everything you ever wanted" could most certainly become detestable after a short period of time. Granted there was no fire and brimstone, but the concept was very theologically sound. Just living with the frustration of always winning, always getting whatever you want, always having things turn out in your favor - imagine it! The spice of life is the unexpected, it's in the "not knowings" of this world that we find excitement. Remove that, and life becomes unbearable for many. Add to that the concept that "Hell" means different things to different people, and the precepts behind the story become very theologically sound.
This was one of two episodes from season one of THE TWILIGHT ZONE that
is highly entertaining yet would make most theologians heads
collectively explode since the ZONEs view of the afterlife is
definitely NOT inspired by Christianity, Judaism or Islam. But, in
spite of this, it's also a very entertaining episode and is a must-see
for fans of the series.
The show starts with a small-time hood running from the police. As the police fire, the man jumps over a wall--only to find a very creepy Sebastian Cabot waiting there for him. Creepy, I say, because his hair and beard are white as well as his clothing. The crook soon realizes he did NOT survive the gun fire and this must be Heaven. Cabot ("Pip") shows him about and the place seems better than the crook could imagine--beautiful girls, money, gambling and booze--everything he could possibly want. So what is the bizarre twist that you find at the end of most every episode? See it for yourself--it's quite an entertaining and memorable show!
If the principle character had been a cat, he would have been very happy. In this episode, a small time hoodlum gets shot. When he awakens he is in the presence of Sebastian Cabot, who appears to be on his side. The man is given whatever he wants. He chooses the most base, crass, set of circumstances. Those things that mattered to him during his miserable life. There is a scene where he actually tries to shoot his benefactor. I guess we all imagine what our own hells would be like. We might think a little more. For him, boredom comes easily because he has few options. It has an interesting conclusion and the guy gets what's coming from him.
Larry Blyden plays immoral small-time crook Rocky Valentine, who is running away from the police after a robbery when he seems to have been shot and killed, only to find the smiling face of a Mr. Pip(played wonderfully by Sebastian Cabot) who declares himself his guide in the next world, where at first Rocky is ecstatic in, with all the gambling and women he can take, but after a while the unimaginative Valentine gets bored and dissatisfied, and begs to go to the other place, but Mr. Pip has a big shock in store for him... Memorable episode may now be obvious, but Cabot is superb, elevating this one a couple of notches, and really brings home the sting of the end revelation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Come on now, admit it, this episode couldn't have ended in any other
way, even if you or I wrote it. It's the classic 'be careful what you
wish for, you just might get it' scenario, with a small time hood
getting nothing that he bargained for, either in life or in death. What
Rocky Valentine (Larry Blyden) is left with as he faces eternity is the
ultimate hell, the absence of freedom. Sure, he's got everything he
could ever hope for, but it all goes for naught when he can no longer
have it on his own terms, the thrill of the chase and the adrenaline
rush that comes with making a clean getaway. I found it uniquely
apropos that essential guide Pip (Sebastian Cabot) tempted Rocky with
his favorite color - yellow. Because that's what Rocky was, a yellow
punk and a coward who needed short cuts to get ahead in life, and found
himself short circuited as he tried to go over the wall.
The most surprising thing about the story for me was that I've never seen this one before, and as best as I can recall, it doesn't get any play during those twenty four hour Twilight Zone marathons they have a few times a year on the various cable channels. This one ought to be right up there with Burgess Meredith's book deal and William Shatner's last flight. The finale is classic, and couldn't have been better presented than it was, with Sebastian Cabot laughing maniacally, taunting Rocky Valentine with an eternal sentence of damnation heralded by his closing remark - "This IS the other place"!
The most powerful morality tale ever. What happens when you're given any paradise you can invent and you're so profoundly ignorant and foul-tempered you create a hell instead of a heaven for yourself??? Look closely at this piece and consider what percentage of the planet's population would shriek in agony if they were abandoned to a paradise no better than what only they, themselves', could conceive. Rod's concise, wildly hysterical illustration of the dissolute life of Rocky Valentine carries a clear message. Rod's two principal prescriptive ethics in 'a nice place to visit', he wishes us to follow are= 'YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR KNOWING THE PARADISE IN WHICH WE ALL OUGHT TO LIVE' and 'MAKE HONOR YOUR LIFE'S GOAL'. When we seek the good things in life as life's ultimate goal, as rocky does, no 'good' if ever qualitatively or quantitatively enough. Rod clearly prescribes that, in order that we may elude Rocky's fate we must use life's 'goods' and pleasures as a tool to fill us with goodwill and inspire us to 'go forth' and 'give back' to the world in ways that we personally define and continually improve.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Without getting too philosophical like some of the other reviewers, the
1960 entry "A Nice Place to Visit" has a unique twist at the end that
isn't altogether predictable. Larry Blyden plays recently deceased
Rocky Valentine, a small-time hood who happened to get shot down by the
police during his normal petty robbery. When Rocky awakens he's in
"heaven" or at least someplace that outwardly appears to be heaven. A
portly and genial Mr. Pip (Sebastian Cabot) greets him and introduces
himself as his new guide to this wondrous land where everything Rocky
wants Rocky gets. At first Rocky has a blast, and who wouldn't? All the
girls, the booze, the gambling, the money etc. are at his disposal and
he just can't get enough...until a month rolls by. By that time, Rocky
is bored to the nth degree and wants some real "action." It just isn't
the same when everything you want is preordained. Mr. Pip tries to
explain to him that it doesn't work that way. If Rocky wants to lose at
gambling, he can fix it so he'll lose. If he wants to get arrested for
committing a robbery, that can also be "arranged." But it's just no
good for poor Rocky; he's only interested in the thrill of the chase
and the chance to be able to truly beat the odds. What he craves and
can't live without is the uncertainly of it all.
"A Nice Place to Visit" displays some expensive sets (at least for the Twilight Zone) and lively performances by Blyden and Cabot. Blyden, who died much too young, was an excellent comedian who also had the talent to effectively play a despicable punk. Cabot, best known for his co-starring role on TV's "Family Affair", is a fine foil for him here. As one might guess, Rocky's stay in "heaven" doesn't turn out to be a gratifying experience after all. But it is "permanent."
"Who said you were in 'heaven' Mr. Valentine?" roars Mr. Pip at the end to the now very distressed Rocky.
After the dreadful disappointment of the previous episode "The Big Tall Wish", it was seriously a relief to notice that this is another good old-fashioned TZ episode with all the familiar but nevertheless fantastic ingredients. Within seconds, you're able to tell that things will not end very well for our protagonist Rocky Valentine, and that the mysterious Mr. Pip is a lot more than just the overly polite and chubby fella that he pretends to be, but that's exactly what we've come to expect from "The Twilight Zone". We want cynical humor, sardonic characters, mounting tension and bizarrely grotesque twists Guess what, the massively underrated director John Brahm and the even more gifted writer Charles Beaumont have foreseen all these trademarks and more in "A Nice Place to Visit". Small time crook Rocky Valentine gets shot in the back whilst running from the police. When he wakes up in a luxurious mansion, with a jolly fat man by his side who instantaneously grants ALL his eccentric wishes, Rocky soon realizes that he died and ended up in paradise. Of course Rocky wonders why a thug like him deserves such a heavenly treatment, but he doesn't care even if it's a mistake and greedily enjoys the overload of lewd women, gambling profits and expensive cars. But, wait a minute, does Paradise really means getting everything you want without the slightest form of effort or challenge in return? "A Nice Place to Visit" which is a brilliant title if you come to think of it is a very enjoyable episode with good dialogues and impeccable performances from both lead actors. You just can't wait for Mr. Pip's character to transform from the obedient servant to the diabolical henchman that he somehow must be. Normally I would rate this episode a solid 7 out of 10, but since it's such a major improvement over the previous one, I'm giving it an 8. What the hell, I can do that!
Valentine (Larry Blyden) is a thief who finds himself dead and in a
realm of afterlife. Mr Pip (Sebastian Cabot) is his guide in the white
suit. As all seems pleasant Valentine wonders if he might have done
something good to get into heaven, but cant remember any such thing.
A light and dreamy fantasy that is one of the weaker entries of the outstanding first series, though it would have held it's own in any other season. The best asset is Sebastian Cabot, the unsung great character actor who voiced Baghera for 'The Jungle Book' and played Dr Hilyard in 'The Time Machine'. He was always a great actor to listen to.
Light fun, put across with tongue-in-cheek in an atmospheric white-looking corner of the Zone.
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