7.6/10
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22 user 5 critic

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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(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

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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>

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

17 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det skvallrande historia  »

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

Included in the 3-disc DVD set "UPA: The Jolly Frolics Collection," released 15 March 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. See more »

Quotes

[first title card]
Title Card: The film you are about to see is based on a story told a hundred years ago by America's greatest master of drama and suspense.......
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Connections

Version of The Tell-Tale Heart (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant
28 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

A boarder becomes increasingly horrified by the nasty eye of his landlord, and plans to kill him. However, he hasn't taken the power of a guilty conscience into consideration. One is faced with a challenge when adapting something that is already impeccable in its original form. To make one's work worth producing and, for others, to take in, one must truly do justice to what made it so. Poe's short story has chilled countless people for more than a century, with its downright disgusting descriptions, how direct he is in the rendition of pure terror, and of the immersion into madness. Many of his words are used here, with a pristine performance by James Mason bringing them to life. The sound FX and eerie music further enhance this retelling, and completing the trifecta is the vivid, at times surreal animation. Never a tale of people but one of states of mind, of emotion and mood, this barely shows faces, it is not a clear, chronological narrative, no, rather, you feel what our narrator felt, and while you undoubtedly want to distance yourself from his actions, you can't look upon the situation from the outside, with judgment and clarity, you are pulled in, and drown in the insanity. The dark, dingy colors, the sparse detail, indeed, at one point, even... sheer black. Silence. This is how you adapt this magnificent author, R.I.P. There is disturbing content in this. I recommend this to any fan of Gothic horror. 8/10


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