Pity poor actor James Donald who has to do both more and less at the same time. As plantation owner Harry Pope, he's got to lie stock still in bed and make us believe what's happening using nothing more than facial expression. The problem is that a deadly snake has found a cushion on his stomach and if he moves an inch, he's toast. So, watch him sweat and sweat, as we sweat with him. And if that's not bad enough, his partner Woods (Corey) who'd just as soon see him dead comes bopping in the door. Sure, I'll help, he says, just as soon as he figures out how to use a telephone. And when the doctor finally comes, of all people it's Arnold Moss who last played a good guy in maybe 1943. Poor Harry, looks like he's going end up a pop-tart, for sure.
One of the most suspenseful entries of the series, from that past master of the offbeat, Roald Dahl. It's a 30-minutes that certainly started off the 4th season with a bang, or should I say a bucket of sweat. As I recall, it was also one of those episodes that got talked about the next day, folks imagining what they would do in Harry's place. Harry's predicament is also reminiscent of Joseph Cotton's paralyzed businessman trying to stay off the coroner's slice-and-dice table in the classic Breakdown (1955).
Anyhow, it's superior Hitchcock and a candidate for classic status, so don't miss it.
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