Monday, March 8, 2010

Poe's Tell-Tale Heart (1960)

Being a huge fan of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, it was just natural that when growing up I enjoyed the Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price. So many of those movies left such a lasting impression on me, and I am sure a lot of horror fans. Those are not the only Poe related movies that have crossed my DVD collection though. In fact, I am always on the lookout for different films and show that I have not seen to add to my ever-growing bookcase of horror.

This weekend I stumbled upon an adaptation I had never seen at the flea market, and for a quarter I did not hesitate to grab it. This one was the 1960 British rendition of The Tell-Tale Heart, starring Laurence Payne. To be honest, this melodramatic story is only loosely based on Poe, revolving around a troubled librarian Edgar (Lawrence Payne) who falls in love at first sight with a newly moved-in girl Betty (Adrienne Corri) living across the street. Edgar asks Betty to have a dinner with him, and she accepts, but he later finds that she is really in love with Edgar's friend Carl (Dermot Walsh). Angry and in despair, Edgar does what you know he will do anyway in his desolate house where he lives alone.

While the script is not very original, the acting is good with Lawrence Payne's performance being on par with some of the better movies of the day. The movie also has a great deal of stylish cinematography for its age (although the transfer of the film to DVD could be a better). In all, this moody and at times risqué film is one of the better interpretations of a Poe tale. This interesting movie has somehow survived untouched by the corporate cinemas that are ruining film.


  1. Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe. Just the names alone are enough to give me chicken skin...