The Tell-Tale Heart (1941)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Mystery, Short


The Tell-Tale Heart (1941) Poster

In this classic Edgar Allan Poe story, a man commits a murder, but afterward the victim's beating heart torments the murderer's mind.

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5 April 2001 | edwartell
7
| Awesome obscure short; catch this on TCM
Trying to find a translation to the screen of Edgar Allen Poe's work that doesn't involve Roger Corman? Try this short film, made by Jules Dassin, a director who was highly regarded in his time, and is nowadays mainly remembered for Rififi. It's pretty simple: 30-year old apprentice Joseph Schildkraut kills his cruel master. But the heartbeat of the dying body will be his downfall when the police come over. What's that rhythmic ticking sound: the clock? Dripping water? Or is it...(bum bum bum) the HEARTBEAT OF A DEAD MAN?

It's a pretty slim story. The 20 minutes are just right; Dassin concentrates on atmosphere; every shot contributes to the story and mood. It's totally absorbing and gripping, depending greatly on shots from a subjective POV. Schildkraut is hypnotic as the nervous killer; it's really his movie. It might sound corny, but, as done, it's a grippingly serious short; it can be seen in between features on TCM sometimes. That, at least, is how I saw it.

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Genres

Crime | Mystery | Short | Horror

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