Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)
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A Girl Can't Always Have Everything 

Suzy Starr and Pat Lewis are struggling actresses in a provincial touring production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Herbert, a middle-aged widower, who has become rich via ... See full summary »



(dramatisation), (story)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Suzy Starr
Pat Lewis
Brewster Mason ...
Herbert Millette
Nancy Nevinson ...
Grande Dame
Marshall Ward ...
Michael Ryan ...
Man at Airport
Richard Foxton ...
Stage Manager
Sylvester Williams ...


Suzy Starr and Pat Lewis are struggling actresses in a provincial touring production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Herbert, a middle-aged widower, who has become rich via manufacturing toys, puts money into the production and falls for Suzy, who snaps up the expensive gifts he gives her. They get married but she is only using him and is having affairs with other men, leading Herbert to request a divorce. Suzy wants the best of both worlds and asks for Pat's help, not realizing that this is Pat's perfect opportunity to teach her that a girl can't have everything. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller




Release Date:

9 November 1980 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

OK Tales of the Unexpected episode.

Tales of the Unexpected: A Girl Can't Always Have Everything starts as stage play director Patrick (James Faulkner) informs two of his female stars Suzy Starr (Joan Collins) & Pat Lewis (Pauline Collins) that their production of The Importance of Being Earnest might have a new rich backer. Rich toymaker Herbet Millette (Brewster Mason) wants to invest in the play & takes a shine to Suzy who senses her opportunity to get rich herself & strings him along, soon she has reeled Herbert in & they get married. Suzy admits to Pat that she hates Herbert, is sleeping around & only staying with him for his money. However Herbert finds out that Suzy is sleeping with other men & threatens to divorce her, Suzy turns to Pat for help but Pat senses her opportunity & gives Suzy a taste of her own medicine...

This Tales of the Unexpected story was episode 5 from season 3 & originally aired here in the UK during November 1980, the fourth of twelve Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by Graham Evans this is alright but nothing special. The story by Tonita S. Gardner was dramatised by Julian Bond & is a neat enough little self contained story of greed with a suitably macabre & coldly cynical twist at the end. Most of the build up is actually needed to get across how unlikable Joan Collins character is & it does a decent job, in fact she is portrayed as a money grabbing heartless bitch who sleeps around which probably wasn't too far from the publics perception of the five time married Collins back in the 80's! She is also well know for her affairs with other men so I guess this was the ultimate typecasting! I mean I'm not being funny here but I doubt she had to research the role that much, she was born to play someone like this. The end is nicely cynical & cold which I liked, I don't think this episode would have great replay value as once you know the twist that's pretty much everything the episode has to offer gone.

Like most Tales of the Unexpected shot on a combination of 16mm film & videotape the two formats can be quite jarring at times when it switches between the two. There's a black stage hand in this who in one scene is dressed in a bright yellow outfit which looks hideous in 2008 although maybe back in 1980 it might have been considered cool. I doubt it though. Again the cast stands out here, Joan Collins makes her third & final appearance on the show after Neck (1979) from season one & Georgy Porgy (1980) from season two. Oscar nominated actress Pauline Collins OBE no less is no relation to Joan despite sharing the same surname & has been in lots of stuff for both film & TV.

A Girl Can't Always Have Everything is a watchable Tales of the Unexpected episode with a decent story & a decent twist, it's not the greatest thing ever made but it's far from the worst. I doubt I'd ever want to see it again though.

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