Everyone dreams of living in their own paradise, but what if that dream became a nightmare? That’s the idea behind A Nice Place to Visit, an episode of The Twilight Zone that originally aired on March 29, 1960. In the episode, which you can watch here (with closed captions), con man Robert Cummings walks into a tropical resort and falls in love with the place immediately… but he also quickly discovers that something isn’t quite right about it.
In the television series The Twilight Zone, an ordinary man finds himself stuck in a town where nothing ever changes and everything is perfect—except no one can leave. In the episode A Nice Place to Visit, banker Charles Bronson comes upon this small, idyllic town and stays for what he thinks will be just one night. But soon he discovers that he can never leave; it’s just not possible to get out of town. When Bronson tries to run away with fellow visitor Inger Stevens, he runs into an invisible barrier that stops him from getting beyond its bounds.
Rod worked for several years as an advertising copywriter at Benton & Bowles, then later as TV editor at Redbook magazine before moving on to public relations work and writing scripts for live telecasts such as Playhouse 90. In 1959 he created The Twilight Zone which is still one of my favorite shows of all time. I’ve seen the entire series about 4 times and I never get tired of it. My favorites are Nightmare at 20,000 Feet and A Game of Pool but I like all the stories. His production company became a part of CBS Television in 1963 with Serling serving as producer-director-screenwriter throughout that decade on numerous hit programs including Mr. Bevis, Night Gallery, Two (a novel), Four O’clock Theater and One Step Beyond. He died of a heart attack while visiting his daughter at college on June 28th 1975. He was only 50.
Rod was famous for using irony, satire and references to current events in his episodes. I think what makes The Twilight Zone so great is that you can enjoy it as an adult even though it was written originally for children. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 80, this show will entertain anyone who loves suspenseful movies or TV shows because they were made back when they used a lot more creativity and intelligence than they do now – things just don’t seem very thought provoking anymore!
Actor Bill Mumy is best known for his role as Will Robinson on the television show Lost in Space (1965-1968) and as young boy Benjy Stone on the TV series The Twilight Zone (1959-1964). Mumy also co-wrote the story and screenplay for a segment of the anthology film It’s Alive! (1974).
He was born William Mumy, Jr. on October 27, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. Mumy’s mother, Mary Margaret Peggy McCallister, died when he was five years old. He grew up with his father William and older brother Mark. In 1959, at age 14, Mumy guest starred on episodes of both The Donna Reed Show and Hazel. That same year, he auditioned for a role on the pilot episode of Rod Serling’s new science fiction series, The Twilight Zone. After reading only one line—I had to come over…to tell you that I can’t take care of your dog anymore—he landed the part.
Meredith was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 27th, 1907. His father had been a journalist, so there was a lot of creativity and story-telling around him. He attended college for journalism at the University of Missouri and then he went to New York City after graduating. Meredith’s first big break came in 1933 when he appeared as Mickey in Of Mice and Men. His career took off from there with roles like George Washington in 1776 and a variety of other supporting roles. He even starred alongside Christopher Reeve in the movie Superman III. Meredith retired from acting in 1991 after appearing as Charles Westover on Who’s the Boss? but still continued to work in other areas. After retiring from acting, he taught Shakespeare classes at his alma mater, Columbia College, where his mentor Professor William Macready once served as President. Meredith also helped students prepare for auditions and offered coaching about how to handle success or failure. In 1992, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame for his body of work. Meredith died on November 9th, 1997 of cancer at the age of 89 years old.
The cast of The Twilight Zone are a nice place to visit. I think that because they’re usually the ones introducing the stories and, for me, it’s just comforting to know that there are still people out there who create these great works of art. It makes me feel like people haven’t forgotten about creativity and fantasy. That it hasn’t been completely lost in this world where everyone’s so wrapped up in reality TV and celebrity gossip. When someone tells me that they were watching an episode of The Twilight Zone and they were crying by the end, I know that there is hope yet for humanity.
Robertson also starred in Mirror, Mirror, where he played a British actor named Simon Sparrow who comes to Hollywood to make it big. The film was based on a novel of the same name by Gregory McDonald. In 1982, Robertson played an aging mobster trying to go straight and get back his money from his son’s best friend in Breaking Away. His final appearance as an actor was as Lyndon B. Johnson for television’s LBJ: The Early Years (1987). He was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film and Emmy Award nomination. He died at the age of 88 on September 10th 1996 due to complications from cancer treatment.
Many of the cast members who played a part in making The Twilight Zone one of the most iconic television shows ever were never as successful after their time on the show. Some of them, like Burgess Meredith and Ida Lupino, were actors who had been in Hollywood for years before joining the cast. Others, like Rod Serling and John Astin, had enjoyed a measure of success but were only catapulted into fame with their roles on The Twilight zone. It’s interesting to think about how these actors might have felt when they first realized that they would be taking part in something that would become so important for generations after them. They must have been proud, honored and excited all at once. Sadly, many of them weren’t able to maintain their careers afterwards because they never found another role as good as theirs in The Twilight Zone or because they didn’t work again at all. Still, there are some lucky exceptions among the cast who did go on to find continued success long after the show ended. Read more for these type of blogs.