The Pit and the Pendulum (1964)
"Le puits et le pendule" (original title)

TV Short  |   |  Short, Horror
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 59 users  
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Title: The Pit and the Pendulum (1964– )

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Le condamné à mort
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9 January 1964 (France)  »

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The Pit and the Pendulum  »

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Camera-Stylo
5 August 2009 | by See all my reviews

In this short based on the famous Poe Novel "the pit and the pendulum" ,Alexandre Astruc applies his "the camera is a pen" theory as he perhaps never did in his feature films .Unlike Roger Corman's contemporary version ,it's the short novel and only the short-novel.Apart from the wardens,in the first five minutes,there is only one actor on the screen:Maurice Ronet with his voice over.

The "political" "historical" context is very vague probably because Poe knew that the word " Inquisition" meant "torture" "horror" and "terror" for the readers who could imagine anything when man's cruelty knew no bounds:hence the improbable cell with two different tortures :the waiting is the hardest thing.The prisoner tied to his straw mattress who sees the pendulum getting closer to his heart is filmed with a great virtuosity.One can regret that the noise of the swinging should be spoiled by a female choir for a short while.

Maurice Ronet's voice is perfect and conveys despair,exhaustion,terror or hope with conviction.The actor loved Edgar Allan Poe:short before his death he transferred to the screen (MTV) several of his short stories including "the gold-bug" .


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