Tales of the Unexpected: Season 2, Episode 11

The Umbrella Man (10 May 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror | Thriller
6.9
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An elderly con-man works a scam whereby he steals an umbrella from a rack in a public building and sells it to another person, who needs it to shield them from the rain. In the process, a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Himself - Introduced by
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The Man
John Carson ...
Arthur
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Andrew
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Wendy
John Rees ...
Clerk
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Inspector
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Storyline

An elderly con-man works a scam whereby he steals an umbrella from a rack in a public building and sells it to another person, who needs it to shield them from the rain. In the process, a mix-up with the umbrellas means that he exposes a couple who are cheating on the woman's husband and leads to fisticuffs. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Thriller

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Release Date:

10 May 1980 (UK)  »

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Decent Tales of the Unexpected episode.

Tales of the Unexpected: The Umbrella Man starts as a conman (John Mills) arrives in a small English town in preparation for his latest trick. A woman named Wendy (Jennifer Hilary) is caught in a torrential rain storm after just having had her hair done, she takes shelter in a shop doorway where she is approached by the man who sweet talks her into buying an umbrella which he had just stolen. A short time later while out & about Wendy sees him do the same thing to several other people as well as steal another umbrella from a busy pub, later she is then asked to identify him at a police station where she decides she could make the situation work in her own favour...

This Tales of the Unexpected story was episode 11 from season 2 & originally aired here in the UK during May 1980, the second of three Tales of the Unexpected episodes to be directed by Claude Whatham this is a pretty good story. The story by Roald Dahl was dramatised by Ronald Harwood & during his introduction Dahl states he got the idea for The Umbrella Man while in New York & after witnessing the exact same con, he also says that he hopes no-one will copy the trick! Anyway, this has an intriguing premise & a nicely thought out little con which one of it's victims uses to her own advantage & it makes for a perfectly watchable if slight 30 odd minutes of drama with a nice twist. It's nothing outstanding but it's a painless way to pass the time & one of the better stories from this largely forgettable show.

This one looks alright considering the low TV budget it must have had, there's no real scares suspense or tension but it's a neat enough story all the same. The stellar British cast is yet again impressive, the late Sir John Mills puts in a likable performance & Michael Gambon also makes an appearance.

The Umbrella Man is a decent little time waster, it won't change your life but it's a watchable piece of classic British TV drama.


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