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Man from the South 

In a Las Vegas casino, an unpleasant little man hopes to use a young man's wish to impress the young woman he has just met to pressure the young fellow into accepting a macabre bet.


Norman Lloyd


William Fay (teleplay by), Roald Dahl (story by)




Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Steve McQueen ... Gambler
Peter Lorre ... Carlos
Neile Adams ... Woman
Katherine Squire Katherine Squire ... Carlos' Wife
Tyler McVey Tyler McVey ... Referee
Marc Cavell ... Bellhop
Phil Gordon ... Bartender


Carlos (Peter Lorre) makes a bet with a gambler (Steve McQueen) that the gambler can't light his cigarette lighter ten times in a row. If he does, he wins Carlos' new car. if he doesn't, Carlos gets to chop off the gambler's little pinky. Written by John Adams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

3 January 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode was remade as one of the segments in the film Four Rooms (1995), which was directed by Quentin Tarantino. See more »


Moving shadow of boom mic is visible on curtain behind McQueen right after he is asked "You ready?" by the referee. See more »


Carlos: I need four things for it. I need some uh, some nails.
Bellhop: Some nails yes sir.
Carlos: A hammer.
Bellhop: A hammer?
Carlos: And I need a length of good strong cord. And uh, a chopping knife.
Bellhop: A what sir?
Carlos: A chopping knife that you can borrow from the kitchen.
See more »


Referenced in Inside No. 9: The Bill (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Deadly Gamble
19 January 2019 | by hellraiser7See all my reviews

This is my favorite episode of the series, I just love it from beginning to end. I always like suspense tales about gambling which is fitting since in gambling there is always a high degree of risk involved as it is based on the fifty-fifty chance of winning or losing. These kinds of tales are the most suspenseful as every gambler even non-gamblers always carry the fear of losing because whose to say whenever you play any kind of game you never do.

There have been plenty over the years in that subcategory of suspense, like the "Chopping Cards" episode from "Tales from the Crypt" and even "The Ledge" story from Steven King's Night Shift and the film "Cat's Eye". This one was one of the first and still one of the best in my book and of course this was based on one of the suspense stories from Roald Dahl which is awesome as he's one of my suspense thriller writers.

I remember being on the edge of my seat when I watched this episode. When it came time for Steve to light that sucker once more, I thought, "Oh God, please light up." It was so nerve racking because there are so many ways things could go south, like may 'be his thumb wouldn't slide across the knob right, he would fail to press the gas button at the right time, the gas in the lighter would go dry.

But also, what makes this episode is the main character play well by legendary actor Steve McQueen, this episode was his acting debut and I'll just say it was one hell of a good start, you can say also one hell of a combo of both a legendary episode and actor. Along with veteran actor Peter Lorre whom as usual plays the shady character that contains quiet menace, or in his case a cleaver. The girl Neile Adams was decent, there is good chemistry between Steve and her, which is ironic as both were married.

Can Steve make that perfect succession, you'll just have to wait and see?

Rating: 4 stars

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