Thwarted by his despotic uncle from continuing his love affair, a young man turns to thoughts of murder. Experiencing a series of visions, he sees murder as a normal course of events in life and kills his uncle. Tortured by his conscience, his future sanity is uncertain as he is assailed by nightmarish visions of what he has done.Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
MOST MYSTERIOUS, MASTERFUL AND SENSATIONAL MOTION DRAMA EVER DEVISED- SUGGESTED BY EDGAR ALLEN POE'S STORY OF "THE TELLTALE HEART" AND BY CERTAIN OF POE'S POEMS OF THE AFFECTIONS-INTERPRETED BY SUCH STARS AS HENRY B. WALTHALL, BLANCHE SWEET, SPOTTISWOODE AITKEN, GEORGE SEIGMANN AND RALPH LEWIS. (Print ad- Albany Evening News, ((Albany NY)) 23 July 1915)
This D. W. Griffith film is an early effort by the director and shows his developing skill on the lead up to epics such as Intolerance. It's about a young man who falls in love with a girl. This love drives a wedge between him and his uncle who has set a path for him that does not allow for such frivolous distractions. This situation drives the man to murder his overbearing uncle. This event leads to madness and psychological breakdown.
The story is based on Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart' with elements of 'Annabel Lee' and 'The Black Cat' thrown in for good measure. It's a rare horror outing for Griffiths. Indeed it is one of the very first fully form horror films at all. As such it is of interest. It contains several eerie and macabre details like the ghostly spectre of the uncle back from the dead and thoughts of murder represented by a spider on web and ants attacking a larger insect en mass. It's very primitive stuff overall but that is to be expected considering its age. Worth a look if you are interested in the genesis of the horror film though.
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