Reviews & Ratings for
"Tales of the Unexpected" The Sound Machine (1981)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nice idea

Author: howking1 from United States
16 November 2013

The concept, not the production,is far ahead of its time. It argues that we on this planet are surrounded by suffering, even if we can't hear it. Today's dramas lack this sort of existential reckoning. King Lear has been diminished into a story about the homeless and Hamlet into a play about the plight of the mentally ill. The "socially relevant drama" has done more to kill tragedy than Euripides. Everything can be solved with the right social worker or news reporter. Most film festivals judges and dramaturges probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Too bad. For audiences. Anyway, the Sound Machine is worth watching. I saw it years ago and it has resonated in my thoughts ever since. .

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Original and unique, can you imagine if this was true?

Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
13 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mrs Saunders has been visited by Doctor Scott, she tells him she fears for her next door neighbour, Mr Klausner, who spends ages in his garden shed experimenting with equipment. Klausner explains to Doctor Scott that he's been developing an amplifier to hear sounds the human ear hasn't been designed to hear, a world of sounds around us, that up until now were inaudible. Klausner hears the screams of the Rose bush as Mrs Saunders cuts flowers from it.

Fine performances from James Warwick (what's happened to him?) and the hugely underrated Harry Andrews, he is wonderfully sincere throughout, he didn't play up this story at all, especially as it's one which is rather far fetched.

Series Four has taken a bit of a deviation from the standard format of the show, this and the boy who talked with animals are more in the realms of fantasy, but as with the latter, this has a definite and unique charm. I don't think I've ever seen anything with a similar plot, so points for originality.

A total goody, 8/10

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Average tale of the unexpected.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
19 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tales of the Unexpected: The Sound Machine is set during 'Summer 1935' where a eccentric old man named Klausner (Harry Andrews) has invented a machine which is able to detect extremely high pitched sounds up. The first time he tries it out he sets it up in his garden where nearby he sees his neighbour Mr's Saunders (Margery Mason) cutting some roses, wearing headphones Klausner hears a horrible high pitched shrieking noise which he quickly releases are the screams of pain from the roses that are being cut...

This Tales of the Unexpected story was episode 7 from season 4 that originally aired here in the UK during May 1981, the fourth of eleven Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by John Gorrie this has a decent set up but criminally & somewhat surprisingly does absolutely nothing with it. The story by Roald Dahl was dramatised by Ronald Harwood & has a light hearted fantasy feel about, I wouldn't call it horror exactly but neither is it based in reality or have anything to do with crime. Unfortunately while the basic premise is alright of a machine that detects the sounds made by plants absolutely nothing is made of it & the episode disappointing fizzles out into not very much & a weak ending which I would even called a twist where Klausner gets carted off to an insane asylum, deeply uninspired stuff & a very dull way to round things off. At 30 odd minutes it's worth a watch I suppose but the none event of an ending left me distinctly unimpressed.

This one has a nice period setting & looks pretty polished, unfortunately not that much really happens in it & I found it a bit dull & forgettable. The acting was OK from the usual strong British cast.

The Sound Machine is average at best that really suffers because it does nothing with it's story & there's just no twist here whatsoever, maybe one for the fans of the series.

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