Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bradbury 31, Day 23: "The Jar"

"The Jar" is from the "weird" era of Ray Bradbury's writing career, appearing in short story form in 1944. It's not entirely a horror story, though the climax certainly points the way. The tale concerns a man who buys a jar from a carnival. No two people can agree on what's inside the jar and he becomes a leading member of the community as folks gather and speculate. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour adapted "The Jar" in 1964 and although the hour-long format didn't usually suit the show, "The Jar" is one of those tales which absolutely works.

In 1992 The Ray Bradbury Theater took a jab at the jar. Although the half-hour format seems better for a short story, especially one as simple as "The Jar," but this episode is a bit of a misfire. It futzes the climax just a tad by making the contents of the jar too obvious. If you're interested in seeing the tale adapted, stick with the Hitch.

Another Bradbury tale tomorrow!

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