In 2000 I received an e-mail from B. Baker, a “long-time member of the cult of Mr. Willy Wonka.” He pointed out some interesting facts about other possible filmed versions of this story…
“For instance – and I don’t know how this will help or matter or what-have-you – there are at least three other dramatizations in English of the MAN FROM THE SOUTH short story.
It was adapted for a now mostly forgotten 1973 syndicated anthology program, ORSON WELLES’ GREAT MYSTERIES – try as I may, I can’t recall the two stars of the episode. This program was produced very cheaply in England on videotape, but it did generally feature at least one “name” performer per episode; regrettably, Welles’ involvement with the show was restricted to lending his name and a brief on-camera introduction of the week’s story.
In the mid-‘eighties, when Universal decided to revive the ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS concept – complete with colorized Hitch intros from the old show – it first produced a two-hour tv film featuring four stories, all (if memory serves) remakes of classic AHP episodes. This MAN FROM THE SOUTH starred Steven Bauer as the young man with the lighter, Melanie Griffith – then Bauer’s wife – as his wife and John Huston, perfectly cast as the gambler. This had some creepy Hitchcock echoes… ‘Tippi’ Hedren appeared in a brief cameo at the beginning of the story, Griffith, of course, is Hedren’s daughter, and Huston’s long-suffering wife turned out to be Kim Novak!
[It is entirely possible that the ‘eighties AHP remade LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER, but I’m not certain about that.]
The most recent adaptation of the story… well, it isn’t an official adaptation, as current rules seem to indicate that if you actually acknowledge, say, that the story “is just like” an old episode of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, [as a character basically states aloud in the picture], then you can do whatever you want and call it your own… The Quentin Tarantino sequence in the feature anthology FOUR ROOMS is essentially a free-wheeling riff on MAN FROM THE SOUTH. There is a vague acknowledgement of Dahl in the credits of the film — and, one would think, there was almost certainly a financial arrangement of some kind with his estate. But Tarantino takes full credit for writing this segment, titled THE MAN FROM HOLLYWOOD.“