Episode Reviews (1)

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  • 9.5

    Is there a snake on Harry's chest, or is he just having the D.T.s?

    By orswel, Nov 30, 2010

    Roald Dahl's short story is one of his most trenchant, but it offers difficulties for any adaptor - it's about what might happen and what doesn't happen more than what actually does. On the page, it becomes only gradually apparent that Harry Pope - convinced that a deadly krait has entered his bed and presently reposes on his chest - is a foul-mouthed, unreliable alcoholic; by its end, we realise that Dahl's real aim is to delineate a certain type of self-pitying, arrogantly racist English failure. This adaptation by veteran screenwriter Casey Robinson ("Dark Victory", "King's Row") ingeniously presents Harry as, instead, a victim of his "friend" and one whose desperate situation crystallises his real problem and might just make him a better man. And there's a new end-twist which isn't Dahlian, but is very, very Hitchcockian...moreless

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