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Tell Tale (2009)

Tell-Tale (original title)
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A man's newly transplanted heart leads him on a dangerous journey to find out who murdered its donor.



(screenplay) (as David Callaham), (short story "The Tell-Tale Heart") (as Edgar Allen Poe)
1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry Bernard
Elizabeth Clemson
Phillip Van Doren
Angela Bernard (as Beatrice Miller)
Kevin Stanovich
Bernard Cochius
Doctor Lethe
The Surgeon
Frances Vieillard
Elderly Woman In Wheelchair (as Peg Saurman Holzemer)
Scott Winters ...
Doctor Averman
Kara Lund ...
John Timothy Botka ...
Police Officer


In Providence, a husband and wife die in a botched robbery; we see flickers of his last memories. His heart goes to Terry Bernard, a single father raising a girl with a rare degenerative disease. After the operation, Terry has flashes of memory from the last moments of the dead donor's life. Then, he recognizes one of the donor's killers and follows him into an alley. Within days, Terry becomes an unwilling avenger, with a police detective on his trail. Meanwhile, he begins a romance with his daughter's doctor, his moods complicated by memory flashes, the donor's deepening presence in both Terry's mind and body, and the unexplained bond among the donor's killers. Can this end well? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Truth Lies a Heartbeat Away. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content, language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

31 December 2009 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Tell Tale  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When lead character meets Acherton in bathroom his name-tag says Michael Acherton after he is called the detective refers to him as Paul Acherton. See more »


[first lines]
Paramedic: [over radio] Dispatch this is Rescue 3. I have a 55 year old white male named Lyar, John. He has massive blunt trauma to the skull. Glasgow Coma Score is 1, Henry 3. Patient has ID in his wallet identifying him as an organ donor. Alert trauma and transport team.
Dispatcher: Copy that.
See more »


Version of The Tell-Tale Heart (2006) See more »


The Torture
Written by Leslie Stevens
Performed by Leslie and the Badgers
See more »

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User Reviews

A Tad of Poe Goes a Long Way
24 May 2010 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

After receiving a heart transplant, genuinely nice guy Lucas encounters both the very attractive female doctor who cares for his seriously ill daughter and visions of murder and mayhem he has to make sense of. Very loosely based on Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," which is at its core an inner monologue of a mad man that lasts only a few pages, scribe Dave Callaham expanded, embellished and embroidered the story for the modern age. In the gifted hands of helmer Michael Cuesta ("L.I.E.," "Twelve and Holding," TV's "Dexter") the so-so plot gets elevated to art-house standards with Lena Headley and Josh Lucas oozing believable chemistry, and the always exceptional Brian Cox making a lasting impression as a cop with an agenda of his own. Ends as abruptly as a punch in the guts, but it's definitely worth a glimpse

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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