Episode Reviews (1)
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Is there a snake on Harry's chest, or is he just having the D.T.s?
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