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Harry Pope is lying in bed and discovers that there is a sleeping snake on his stomach.


Alfred Hitchcock


Roald Dahl (story), Casey Robinson (teleplay)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Self - Host
Wendell Corey ... Timber Woods
James Donald ... Harry Pope
Arnold Moss ... Dr. Ganderbay
Weaver Levy Weaver Levy ... Dr. Ganderbay's assistant


Harry Pope is lying in bed and discovers that there is a sleeping snake on his stomach.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

5 October 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[introduction, Hitchcock is sitting on a park bench reading a newspaper]
Himself - Host: Good evening. Here we are in orbit once again. Most of tonight's program will taken up with a story called 'Poison'.
[a hissing is heard and the camera cuts to Hitchcock's back pocket that happens to be... ]
Himself - Host: A rattlesnake. It's a new warning device I've instituted to sound an alarm when a pickpocket is at work. He comes in several sizes, including very small ones for ladies' purses.
See more »


Version of Uit de wereld van Roald Dahl: Vergif (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic Short Story Brought to the Screen
18 June 2013 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This episode is based on a short story by Roald Dahl, the author of such classics as Matilda, Charley and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. I first read this in an anthology in junior high. The story is fraught with suspense, and though it is different than the screenplay, they both play very well. I think that we are drawn into this by our wondering what we would do if a venomous krait were sleeping on our stomach and we couldn't move. Throw in the insensitive adversary who blocks efforts at every turn, who admits to his own evil. He makes the poor man, confined to his bed and sweating profusely, dance to his tune. Instead of doing everything he can to save his "friend," he reacts slowly and makes tortuous comments. He even says things about they way it will change when the man is dead. This is a really good episode, showing that a good story is first and foremost in drawing in the audience.

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