7.5/10
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The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

A madman tells his tale of murder, and how a strange beating sound haunted him afterward.

Director:

Ted Parmelee

Writers:

Edgar Allan Poe (story), Bill Scott (story adaptation) | 1 more credit »

Star:

James Mason
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
James Mason ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

One of the most discussed and imaginative cartoons of any era. It tells the famous Edgar Allan Poe story of the deranged boarder who had to kill his landlord, not for greed, but because he possessed an "evil eye." The killer is never seen but his presence is felt by the use light-and-shadow to give the impression of impending disaster. According to UPA, the art style was derived from Eugene Berman, scenic designer and ballet designer of NYC's Metropolitan Opera. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Det skvallrande historia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rumors for years surrounding this film would have it being in 3-D. However, absolutely no trade magazines list the production as being in 3-D (even pre-filming announcements and in-production articles), and according to Grover Crisp, head of the restoration unit at Sony/Columbia, the original negative bears absolutely no markings that would indicate that the film had any 3-D origins. It is speculated, based on several collectors' memories, that the myth started when super8mm editions of the film were labeled with 3-D stickers by accident, around the same time that stickers were being put on the 3-D shorts that Columbia was releasing in that format. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: For seven days I waited. You think me mad, what madman would wait, could wait so patiently, so long? In the old house, with the old man, and the eye that... Then on the eight night I knew. Tonight! Still, I waited, while time slowed, stopped, ebbed out.
See more »

Connections

Version of Das verräterische Herz (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Makes You Very Nervous.
21 August 2016 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Whew. It's as spooky as ever, and James Mason's reading brings to it an hysterical drama that is absent from his movies.

Sometimes the stark images illustrate the events and sometimes they're surrealistic images of moons, branches, upright things draped in cloth.

I don't know how Poe could bring these stories off. Here, for instance, he begins with the otherwise nice old man whose filmy white eyeball the narrator simply can't stand and which eventually drives him to murder.

If I had written it, I'd have to have had to explain what the living arrangement was. Did they come to share a flat? How did they handle the rent? Who did the cooking and who washed the dishes? And how the hell did the unnamed narrator ever wind up in a situation like this? Poe dispenses with all this irrelevant details, a device in accord with his theory that everything could, and should, be thrown out the window in favor of effect.

Some effect!


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