Tales of the Unexpected: Season 5, Episode 16

A Man with a Fortune (8 Aug. 1982)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Thriller
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Californian vineyard owner John Smith strikes up a conversation with a young woman called Eva whom he meets in a bar. He tells her that he has come to England to trace his ancestry and that... See full summary »



(story), (dramatisation)
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Title: A Man with a Fortune (08 Aug 1982)

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Episode complete credited cast:
John Smith
Cyd Hayman ...
Janet Murdoch
Elizabeth Richardson ...
Donald Eccles ...
Nigel Greaves ...
Jean Kitson ...
Peter Tuddenham ...


Californian vineyard owner John Smith strikes up a conversation with a young woman called Eva whom he meets in a bar. He tells her that he has come to England to trace his ancestry and that he is going to the Norfolk village of Bedham, from where they originated. When Eva tells her flat-mate Janet, Janet, seeing the opportunity to bag herself a rich man, contrives a meeting with Smith in a records library, claiming that she too is going to trace her forebears in Bedham. However, Eva hears no more from her and, when she goes down to Bedham to look for her, she is told a disturbing story by the local vicar. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller



Release Date:

8 August 1982 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

A decent enough tale of the unexpected.

Tales of the Unexpected: A Man with a Fortune starts with a chance meeting between a rich Californian vineyard owner named John Smith (Shane Rimmer) & a young woman named Eva (Elizabeth Richardson) in a wine bar somewhere in England. They begin to chat & John admits he has no family & is trying to trace his ancestors whom came from a town in Norfolk called Bedham, Eva tells her flatmate Janet (Cyd Hayman) about the meeting & she senses the opportunity to maybe make some cash by conning John. Janet meets John in the local records office & says she is also looking for her ancestors who come from Bedham, John suspects they might be related which is exactly what Janet wants but things take an unexpected turn for the worse for Janet...

Episode 16 from season 5 this Tales of the Unexpected story originally aired here in the UK during August 1982, the ninth & last Tales of the Unexpected episode to be directed by Herbet Wise this is decent enough but nothing particularly special & could have been so much better. The story by Peter Lovesey was dramatised by Alan Seymour & has a nice idea behind it, it's not as predictable as a lot of episodes of this show are. Now the best & yet at the same time the worst aspect of A Man with a Fortune is the twist ending, it's effective & unexpected but it ends too abruptly & left me wanting more & quite frankly it sells itself short. It's almost as if they ran out of time & just had to finish it there & then. The story behind A Man with a Fortune would have made for a great Tales from the Crypt (1989 - 1996) which would have been able to round things off with a really gory ending like the build up is simply crying out for in my opinion & which a show like Tales of the Unexpected couldn't or indeed weren't allowed to provide. A good way to pass 25 minutes but with a stronger ending this could have been great, as it is it's merely good.

This one has dated like most Tales of the Unexpected although not as much as some stories from this series. Like this series in general there's no style or class to it. The acting is good & unusually there's no big names in there.

A Man with a Fortune could have been great if it had the balls to go with a really shocking ending which emphasised the twist, unfortunately it didn't & therefore I was left somewhat unsatisfied. Still worth a watch though.

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