Friday, March 29, 2019

Dahl Study: Lamb to the Slaughter

My author study of Roald Dahl started with a reading of his Collected Stories while watching the accompanying episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Each Friday I'll recap a story and show (with spoilers, just so you know), but I encourage you to read and watch them on your own if you're interested!

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"Lamb to the Slaughter" from Collected Stories (read 12/28/18)

A woman who was always serving her husband - drinks, homemade dinners, etc. - is told that he's leaving her. On autopilot, she goes to get some meat from the freezer to prepare dinner for him. Before putting the huge leg of lamb in the oven, she clubs him with it, then runs to the grocery (for vegetable sides) to have an alibi. She comes home to "find" her husband dead and calls the cops. Her alibi checks out with the grocer. The cops can tell her husband was hit with a heavy object, so they are looking for it, but agree to take a break when she offers them some of the lamb that's been cooking, since it's way too much food and she's not hungry, anyway. 

"Lamb to the Slaughter" from Tales of the Unexpected (viewed 12/31/18)

The film was BEAUTIFUL. I actually loved it more than the story. To be fair, if the story had been done the same way, it would seem like the author was withholding information, so I guess it's fine as it is. The film, though, starts with showing the wife coming in from the store and seeing the body. We're in the dark, but the pieces are revealed to us through flashbacks as the cops question her. So well done (no lamb pun intended!). I would love to see this as a play.

There are a few nit-picky spoilers I noticed in the film, particularly since I'd read the story and knew the outcome. When the wife comes in from the grocery store, she is already/automatically looking at the floor where her husband's body fell after she bludgeoned him. Also, she sees her husband dead on the floor and stays in the house to wait on the cops, not worried that whoever killed her husband might also come after her.

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