The Tell-Tale Heart (1960)

  |  Horror

The Tell-Tale Heart (1960) Poster

While called the Tell Tale Heart, the plot differs significantly from Poe's short story of the same name.


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30 August 2010 | Red-Barracuda
| A pretty decent Poe adaption
This low budget Gothic movie is an adaption of an Edgar Allan Poe short story. I'm not sure if I ever read this one but other reviewers have stated that it isn't the most faithful adaption in any case. Going by what I know of Poe, this isn't exactly surprising as most of his stories were very sparse and to-the-point. The basic premise has a man murdering his best friend through a fit of jealousy due to the said friend copping off with his girlfriend. The murderer is then haunted by the sound of the dead man's beating heart, leading him to madness. While the story is very simple and the cast is very small, I thought the film as a whole was well handled. Laurence Payne is good as the central character Edgar. He seemed to be a somewhat troubled character even before the murder and Payne depicts the man well. I was also pleasantly surprised to see some scenes of gore and violence in such an old movie – the central murder is quite vicious, Edgar later cuts out the dead man's heart and we even have a character fall from a balcony onto a spike! This all adds a welcome schlock factor to proceedings.

While The Tell-Tale Heart may not be anything overly special, it does entertain and it has a fairly effective atmosphere at times. For anyone who doesn't mind cheap Gothic productions or who is a Poe completist then this is a film you may enjoy.

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