Tales from the Dark Side episode 2: “I’ll Give You a Million”

Duncan Williams (Keenan Wynn) and Jack Blaine (George Petrie) are both businessmen who have destroyed lives to get where they are. As they grow older, they rely on one another to have someone to argue with. Their latest issue? Duncan has offered one million dollars for the soul of Jack.

Oh what a contract! Within 24 hours of death, all rights to Jack’s soul go to Duncan. If Duncan dies before taking the soul, the contract is null and void. The only exception? If Duncan dies of foul play, the million has to be paid back with interest because Jack may have previously been involved with killing someone.

Seeing as how Jack is an atheist, he takes the wager, but when he learns that he has a short time to live, he tries to cancel the contract. Except that Jack learns that his liver is giving out and that he’ll soon die, so in a panic, he buys his soul back and Duncan makes a million dollars on the deal.

The next day, Duncan learns that Jack died and his telegram was not sent until after he died, which fulfills Jack’s end of the contract. Because 24 hours have passed, Duncan is now the official owner of Jack’s soul and unable to profit on the deal. But what if someone who is an expert on signing away souls wants them both?

Director John Harrison, who also directed the movie for the series, also wrote the story, which was turned into a screenplay by David Spiel and Mark Durand.

This may be a humorous story, but it uses the time well and doesn’t seem like it ever gets slow.  There’s nothing like rich and evil people getting destroyed by their own schemes.

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