Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Man from the South Times Three

I'm going off to Maine for a few days and won't be back until the end of the week, meaning no updates until Sunday. But I hate to leave you completely in the lurch, so here's nearly an hour an a half to tide you over.

Roald Dahl's best known for all his children's books, but he was a mighty fine storyteller for adults as well. He liked the macabre humor and the last minute plot twist, and he was great at describing people. I still remember the ratty hitchhiker in "The Hitcher," and the wine critic darting his tongue in a glass in "Taste."

One of his stories, "Man from the South," has been turned into a screenplay three times (four if you count Quentin Tarantino's using it in Four Rooms). I think it might be quite informative to stack them up one after another and see their likeness and differences. Don't you? Course you do.

So here's the Alfred Hitchcock Presents version from 1960, starring Peter Lorre and Steve McQueen.

Here's the Tales of the Unexpected version from 1979, starring Jose Ferrer and Michael Ontkean (Slap Shot, Twin Peaks) and introduced by Dahl himself.

Finally, the 1985 pilot for the updated Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with John Huston and Steven Bauer, plus a fairly impressive cast of women.

See you when I get back...

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