Tales of the Unexpected

Season 1 Episode 1

Man From the South

Aired Unknown Mar 24, 1979 on ITV
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Man From the South
A young American sailor on shore-leave in the West Indies is tempted by a crazy bet. To win a new Jaguar car, all he needs to do is to make his cigarette-lighter light ten times without any failures. In return, he has to stake one of his fingers. But what is the truth about Carlos, the high-rolling old man who has proposed the bet?moreless

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  • How much do you trust your cirgarette lighter?

    This is the first story in Roald Dahl's long running anthology series. A sailor and his girlfriend sit down at a shore-side table, being polite the sailor asks if anyone wants a cigarette. One of two gentlemen sitting close by accepts a cigarette. The sailor offers to light the cigarette. The other gentleman, Carlos, says the wind is blowing to hard, the lighter will go out. The sailor brags that his lighter has never failed him yet. Carlos bets the sailor that he can't make his cigarette lighter light ten times in a row without failing. Carlos will give up his brand new Jaguar if the Sailor wins, but if the sailor loses, Carlos gets to chop off the sailors left pinky finger. The sailor accepts the wager. They go to Carlos' room. Carlos ties down the sailor's left hand and waits in anticipation with chopping knife. The tension builds with each flick of the lighter... I must admit I really enjoyed the way the story ends. The Characters are very believable and the story keeps you on the edge of your seat, ready for the chopping knife to fall. I give this story a 9.5. I look forward to the next story.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Roald Dahl: I ought to warn you, if you haven't read any of my stories, that you may be a little disturbed by some of the things that happen in them. When I'm writing a short story, I am haunted by the thought that I've got to hold the readers attention for literally every second, otherwise, I'm dead. The one you're going to see now is the first of a series based on stories that have taken me thirty-five years to write. I find them difficult to do well, so I work slowly, about two a year. This one was filmed in it's real setting, Jamaica. I hope you like it.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This story had previously been adapted for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with Peter Lorre as the mystery man and Steve McQueen as the young American. When Alfred Hitchcock Presents was revived in the mid-1980s, this story was part of the pilot episode, with John Huston and Steven Bauer taking the roles.

    • This episode is based on Roald Dahl's story Man from the South, which was first published (under the title Collector's Item) in the magazine Colliers on 4th September 1948.

      The story has also been published under a third title - The Smoker.

    • Man From the South was shot on location at a hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

    • Click here to read Roald Dahl's story.


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