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"A Nice Place to Visit" is the twenty-eighth episode of the The Twilight Zone. It first aired on CBS on April 15, 1960. The title comes from the saying, "A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."
- "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."
Henry "Rocky" Valentine is robbing a pawnshop after shooting a night watchman, but before he can get away he is shot by the police. He wakes up to find himself seemingly unharmed by the encounter and in the company of a pleasant individual named "Pip" who tells Rocky that he is his guide and has been instructed to grant him whatever he desires. Rocky is suspicious, having never received anything for free in his life. He believes Pip is trying to con him and asks him if he is a cop. Pip proceeds to quote personal information about Rocky's tastes and hobbies from a notebook. Irritated, Rocky demands that Pip give him his wallet. Pip says he has no wallet but obligingly gives him a large amount of money and is willing to give him as much as he desires. Rocky believes Pip wants him to commit a crime on his behalf and that the money is an incentive. Rocky holds Pip at gunpoint, following him to a luxurious apartment that Pip insists is Rocky's. Demanding to know what he must do to acquire all this luxury, Rocky remains skeptical when he is told that it's all free. Despite his suspicions, he begins to relax, changing his clothes and taking a shower, after which he is presented with a meal served on a silver platter. He abruptly becomes suspicious again and demands that Pip taste the food, believing it to be poisoned. When Pip claims he can't remember how to eat, Rocky shoots him in the head but finds that the bullets phase through him, leaving Pip unharmed. Rocky now realizes that he is dead and immediately assumes that he is in Heaven and that Pip is his guardian angel. Later, we see Rocky in a casino, surrounded by beautiful women and winning every poker game he plays. Outside he sees a tall policeman and is able to make him smaller and thus pick on him. After returning to his apartment with Pip and the "dolls" (as Rocky refers to them), Rocky asks to see some of his former friends who have died. Pip says that won't be possible, as this "paradise" is his own private world, and none of the people are real except for Rocky and Pip. Rocky becomes curious as to why he was allowed into Heaven. "I must have done something good that made up for all the other stuff. But what? What did I ever do that was good?" With Pip, he visits the hall of records, but it merely contains a list of his sins. Rocky is puzzled but he decides that if God is okay with him being there, he won't bother worrying. After a month, Rocky becomes thoroughly bored by always having his whims satisfied and predictably winning at anything he attempts. He tells Pip, "If I gotta stay here another day, I'm gonna go nuts! I don't belong in Heaven, see? I want to go to the other place." Pip retorts, "Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea that you were in heaven, Mr. Valentine? This is the other place!!" Pip then begins to laugh as Rocky comes to the realization that he is in Hell and unsuccessfully tries to escape his endless "paradise".
- "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."
Preview for Next Week's Story
- Next week, you'll spend a few rather unforgettable hours in this living room, watching Miss Janice Rule and Mr. Shepperd Strudwick partake in a dramatic delicacy that is one part nursery rhyme, one part terror. This is designed for those of you who are getting too much sleep. Next week on The Twilight Zone, "Nightmare as a Child". We hope you'll join us. Thank you and good night.
Preview for Another CBS Show
"Be sure to see the fun-filled family life on one of America's greatest entertainers, The Danny Thomas Show, Monday nights over the most of these stations!"
- Rod Serling as Narrator (voice only); uncredited
- Larry Blyden as Henry Francis 'Rocky' Valentine
- Sebastian Cabot as Mr. Pip
- John Close as Policeman; uncredited
- Barbara English as Dancing Girl; uncredited
- Peter Hornsby as Croupier; uncredited
- Robert McCord as Waiter; uncredited
- Bill Mullikin as Parking Attendant; uncredited
- Nels P. Nelson as Midget Policeman; uncredited
- Wayne Tucker as Croupier; uncredited
- Sandra Warner as Girl; uncredited
- Rod Serling (executive producer: Cayuga Productions)
- Buck Houghton (producer)
- George T. Clemens (director of photography)
- Joseph Gluck (film editor)
- George W. Davis (art director)
- Merrill Pye (art director)
- F. Keogh Gleason (set decorator; credited: Keogh Gleason)
- Henry Grace (set decorator)
- Ralph W. Nelson (production manager)
- Donald C. Klune (assistant director; credited: Don Klune)
- Franklin Milton (sound; credited: Frank Milton)
- Philip Mitchell (sound)
- Van Allen James (sound effects editor; uncredited)
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1960) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
- United Productions of America (UPA) (animated title)
- 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. (He guest starred in a later episode.)
- Guest star 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.
- One version of this episode has Valentine throwing an apple at a table which changes into a pool table - although another version has this scene cut out.
- "A Nice Place to Visit" was also singled out for its brazen sexual innuendo. Program Practices requested that Valentine not refer to a girl as "a broad ... really stacked," even though the crudity was essential to establishing the unsavory qualities of the character. Nor could the protagonist refer to a party as "a ball", since that word had more than one meaning. In another "Nice Place" sequence, a voluptuous young lady tends to Blyden's every need, then says "is there anything else I can do for you?" CBS's comment: "Please be certain that the girl's third speech be delivered in a sweet manner, as described."
- In 1965, a slightly modified version of this story was broadcast on the radio program Theater Five. The episode (number 154), "The Land of Milk and Honey", retained all of the important aspects of this episode, including the innuendos and the surprise ending.
- The slot machine seen in the episode is the same one used in 'The Fever'.
- Just as Valentine is about to leave the house with Pip, he peers into his bedroom where his three girlfriends are, to tell them that he will be back soon and sees something in the room that leaves him with a look of confusion on his face, he makes this face again as he is about to close the front door of his house. It is never revealed what Valentine sees in the bedroom that causes him to pull such an expression.
- The Hall of Records contains the files for every resident of Hell (including Henry Valentine's) and is the epicenter of Hell that keeps all of its dimensions tethered together. What is unique about the Hall of Records is that it is the only place in Valentine's personal dimension of Hell that cannot be changed or edited. The records are located atop a grand staircase marking them as above any power or influence in Hell and it is indicated that all residents of Hell can access the Hall of Records.