6.9/10
169
4 user 1 critic

The Telltale Heart (1928)

| Drama, Short
An expressionistic film based on Poe's story, about a murderer and his mental breakdown.

Directors:

(as Charles F. Klein), (uncredited)

Writers:

, (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Darvas ...
Detective
Hans Fuerberg ...
Detective
William Herford ...
The Old Man
Otto Matieson ...
The Insane
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Storyline

An insane man first loves then grows to hate his neighbor, an old man whose penetrating gaze unnerves the insane man. He plans a perfect crime and executes it one night. The next day, two officers knock on the insane man's door, investigating a shriek heard in the night. The insane man invites them in, answers their questions, and submits to an examination of his eyes by one of the officers, who proclaims him innocent. The insane man invites them to stay and relax awhile, then regales them with his theories of crime. His heart begins to beat louder. Angles on the set are skewed to suggest the man's internal disarray. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

heartbeat | gold | madman | insanity | guilt | See All (6) »

Genres:

Drama | Short

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A print exists in the National Film and Television Archive of the British Film Institute film archive. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tell-Tale Heart (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spawn of Caligari
26 April 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is worth it for two scenes, impressionist points of view of a damaged mind experiencing the lust to kill and the guilt of apprehension. Superimpositions of screaming heads, letters, details of eyes and shadows, they all mesh in a swirl of temporal insanity. Having afforded us a glimpse of the fracture, the camera then dollies backwards to reveal the officers of law, two pillars of black silhouette standing at the edges of the frame and whose gullibility at the sight of money the film earlier made fun of, ready to accord justice. What I find that detracts from this is the expressionist element, the crooked doors of Caligari. Caligari being one of the first landmarks of cinema, I believe it's telling that we can find the German influence looming hard over these early American avantgardists, which is to say that the marginal, experimental art of cinema at 1928 looked back at Caligari, with the deviant aesthetic and subjective point of view, as a stepping stone. Ninety years later, impressionist technique continues to challenge us in truly grand works like Inland Empire, while the crooked doors of Caligari, now Tim Burton's shtick, signify nothing.


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