When Edgar sees his girlfriend Betty getting up close and personal with his best friend Carl, he murders Carl in a jealous rage and hides the corpse under the floor of his piano room. Comes... See full summary »
Adapted from the story by Edgar Allan Poe: A young man is being dominated, insulted, and mistreated by the older man whose lodgings he shares. Finally, one night he enters the older man's room and kills him. Afterwards, the young man grows increasingly nervous, and he becomes convinced that he can still hear the dead man's heart beating. Written by
This is a very good adaptation of Poe's classic story "The Tell-Tale Heart", with a good, tense atmosphere and a fine leading performance by Joseph Schildkraut. It does very well in capturing the psychology and suspense of the original.
The story is adapted just slightly from Poe's story, in redefining the relationship between the two main characters at the beginning. It was probably a good decision to do so, in that it makes the characters' motivations work better for a screen version of the story. The rest of the story sticks closely to the original, and it relies heavily on Schildkraut, who does an excellent job even while barely speaking. Roman Bohnen also does a good job in portraying the other main character.
The sound effects and visuals are used resourcefully and, in combination with Schildkraut's performance, they make for a memorable portrayal of a very troubled man. Jules Dassin deserves praise for bringing it all together so well.
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