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The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

A madman tells his tale of murder, and how a strange beating sound haunted him afterward.

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Writers:

(story), (story adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

One of the most discussed and imaginative cartoons of any era. It tells the famous Edgar Allan Poe story of the deranged boarder who had to kill his landlord, not for greed, but because he possessed an "evil eye." The killer is never seen but his presence is felt by the use light-and-shadow to give the impression of impending disaster. According to UPA, the art style was derived from Eugene Berman, scenic designer and ballet designer of NYC's Metropolitan Opera. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

landlord | eye | murder | killer | police | See All (25) »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det skvallrande hjärtat  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rumors for years surrounding this film would have it being in 3-D. However, absolutely no trade magazines list the production as being in 3-D (even pre-filming announcements and in-production articles), and according to Grover Crisp, head of the restoration unit at Sony/Columbia, the original negative bears absolutely no markings that would indicate that the film had any 3-D origins. It is speculated, based on several collectors' memories, that the myth started when super8mm editions of the film were labeled with 3-D stickers by accident, around the same time that stickers were being put on the 3-D shorts that Columbia was releasing in that format. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: True, I'm nervous. Very, very dreadfully nervous. But why would you say that I'm mad? See how calmly, how precisely I can tell the story to you. Listen. It starts with the old man. And old man in an old house. A good man, I suppose. He didn't harm me, I didn't want his gold, if gold there was. Then what was it? I think... I think it was... his eye. Yes, that eye, the eye. That. His eye staring. Milky white film. The eye, everywhere, in everything! Of course I had to get rid of the eye.
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Connections

Version of Obras maestras del terror (1959) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Oh, James Mason, So Perfect
22 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A madman (voiced by James Mason) tells his tale of murder, and how a strange beating sound haunted him afterward.

The animation of this short is pretty decent and fits the material well without being too grisly. But, of course, the real joy is in the narration. When it comes to telling a story so well-known and often repeated, it pays to get just the right voice. And James Mason is the one for that (though Vincent Price would also work).

I remember this story being longer. Now, that might be my memory or it might be that they abridged it. But I have fond memories of the first time I ever heard the story in an elementary class. (I don't believe I actually read Poe's work until later.) The tape I heard was not Mason, but I wish it had been.


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