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Edgar Allan Poe (1909)

The story, while not biographical, is founded on incidents in his life, showing his devotion for his sick wife, Virginia. Desperate from his utter helplessness to ameliorate his dying ... See full summary »

Director:

D.W. Griffith
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Cast

Credited cast:
Barry O'Moore ... Edgar Allan Poe (as Herbert Yost)
Linda Arvidson ... Virginia Poe
Arthur V. Johnson ... First Publisher
Charles Perley ... Resident Poet
David Miles ... Second Publisher
Anita Hendrie Anita Hendrie ... Second Publisher's Wife
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clara T. Bracy
James Kirkwood
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Storyline

The story, while not biographical, is founded on incidents in his life, showing his devotion for his sick wife, Virginia. Desperate from his utter helplessness to ameliorate his dying wife's suffering, owing to extreme destitution, he is in a frenzy of grief, when a raven is seen to perch on a bust of Pallas above the door of their cold, cheerless apartment. An inspiration! He sets to work, and that masterpiece. "The Raven," is the fruit. During his work he has divested himself of his coat, putting it over his wife to protect her from the cold. The poem finished, he rushes coatless and hatless to the publisher, where he meets with scant attention. One editor, however, thinks the work possesses some merit and offers ten dollars for it. Ten dollars for the greatest jewel in the diadem of fame - think of it! Poe thinks of the comforts, meager though they needs must be, for his poor wife and accepts the offer. Hastening to the store, he procures food, a heavy comfortable for the cot, and ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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poet | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Biography | Drama

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Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1999) See more »

User Reviews

 
interesting early griffith short
13 December 2016 | by framptonhollisSee all my reviews

D.W. Griffith is among the finest filmmakers of all time. Despite being the director of the most racist film ever made (the infamous and influential masterpiece "The Birth of a Nation"), he impacted cinema so heavily that it is impossible to deny his importance to the art! The same can also be said about Edgar Allan Poe, one of, if not the, greatest authors ever. His writings contained what I call a "dark beauty" to them. They were normally very disturbing, creepy, and weird, but they were also written in a powerful and atmospheric way. A way that was oddly beautiful.

Griffith was a huge fan of Poe, and ended up adapting some of his works in a feature length film called "the Avenging Conscience". According to IMDb, it adapts the short stories "the Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", as well as the poem "Annabel Lee". I have yet to see the film, but since I've read the stories it's very hard for me to imagine how they can all be stuffed together in the same film.

Anyway, on to my actual review of THIS film, "Edgar Allan Poe". It's a very early short film by D.W. Griffith that focuses on a small section of Poe's life in which he sells the famous poem "The Raven" and then his wife tragically dies. It's an interesting little film with one major issue: the acting! Even for a silent film made in the 1900's, the acting is bad and over the top. Since it was made during the silent era, over the top acting is expected, but the acting in this film is especially over the top to the point in which this drama becomes a comedy!

However, I'm not really angry about the acting and it didn't completely ruin the movie or anything, it just felt weird and unnatural. Overall, this film is definitely worth seeing if you have some interest in Griffith and Poe. It's in no way spectacular but it is interesting and short.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1909 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allen Poe See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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