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Tales of the Unexpected, Set 1

$35

Tales of the Unexpected, Set 1

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Like his children’s books, Roald Dahl’s adult stories never fail to surprise, though they take more chilling flights of fancy. Darkly humorous and playfully macabre, each standalone episode in this acclaimed series is a brilliantly acted little gem of creepy delight. Episode casts feature a cavalcade of stars, including John Alderton, Joan Collins, Joseph Cotten, José Ferrer, Michael Gambon, Susan George, John Gielgud, Julie Harris, Derek Jacobi, John Mills, and Elaine Stritch. With introductions by Roald Dahl.

Amazon.com

The wicked wit of Roald Dahl's fiction is superbly adapted in the first two seasons of Tales of the Unexpected. Premiering on British TV in 1979, this first-rate anthology series had the added advantage of Dahl himself as host, introducing each 25-minute episode from a cozy English fireside and bringing his own dark, playfully macabre sensibility to the stories that followed. In the delicious tradition of O. Henry, the author's twisted sense of irony inspired superior adaptations from several of England's finest dramatists (most notably Ronald Harwood, Oscar®-winner for The Pianist), and in turn their teleplays attracted an impressive array of high-caliber British and American actors including John Gielgud, John Mills, Joseph Cotten, Gloria Grahame, Susan George, Julie Harris, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Elaine Stritch, Joan Collins, and many more.

Shot on videotape, these 25 episodes compensate for modest budgets by emphasizing excellence in dialogue, direction, and performance, all heightened by the sophisticated savagery of Dahl's cynical but never off-putting appreciation for the dark side of humanity. Unlike the mostly supernatural twists of The Twilight Zone, murder and other kinds of extreme misbehavior provide the motivation for these Tales, most of which deliver a highly refined sense of devious delight. For the final three episodes, Dahl generously includes other authors of his ilk including John Collier, whose story "Back for Christmas" inspires a particularly grisly scenario. Consistently high in quality, these overlooked gems deliver quintessentially British twists of fate, each worthy of a sly and devilish grin. --Jeff Shannon

Tales of the Unexpected, Set 1

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