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The Tell-Tale Heart (I) (1953)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,141 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 4 critic

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

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(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) on IMDb 7.7/10

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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 more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det skvallrande hjärtat  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first animated short film to be rated X by the British Film Board of Censors. 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 The Tell-Tale Heart (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent animated short!

United Productions of America, one of the most original and ground-breaking animation studios of the U.S., achieved the peak of their "limited animation" style (an abstract style that champions symbolism over realism) with this short film based on Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story of the same name. With their minimalistic approach to animation and their total dedication to the art, this small company changed American animation forever and the magnitude of its influential was felt many decades after its creation.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is the story of a man (voiced by James Mason) consumed by a bizarre and sick obsession with his old landlord's "strange" eye. An obsession that will take the man to murder the old man and hide the body, but the horrors are not finished with that. It's a story of madness and obsession told from the point of view of the madman who calmly retells his story and how he reached that state of insanity.

In barely 8 minutes the short film captures the haunting atmosphere of the Gothic novel and Poe's tale of madness becomes vivid with fluid animation and frightening images of chaos reflecting the madman's mind. The limited animation technique used by UPA never found itself more at home that here, where its artistic conception can (and is) explored to its max creating the image of a real painting in movement. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is so beautifully conceived and so perfectly crafted that it feels as if one was truly watching the dark dreams of a psycho.

Now, James Mason's voice-work is what truly takes this film from high class art to masterpiece proportions, as basically the film revolves around his first person narrative. Every line is delivered with a deep emotion that conveys the narrator's frightful experience with amazing believability. Writers Bill Scott & Fred Grable, as well as director Ted Parmelee and the rest of UPA's team crafted one of animation's finest films when they did "The Tell-Tale Heart", a very different animated experience.

Maybe nowadays UPA's achievements have been overshadowed by the many other studios that had more commercial success, but their influence is not forgotten. This terrific short film is without a doubt a classic of animation and a masterpiece of the horror genre, a film that must be seen at least once. 10/10


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