Search - The Tell-Tale Heart on DVD

The Tell-Tale Heart
The Tell-Tale Heart
Actors: Laurence Payne, Adrienne Corri, Dermot Walsh, Selma Vaz Dias, John Scott
Director: Ernest Morris
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2004     1hr 18min


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Movie Details

Actors: Laurence Payne, Adrienne Corri, Dermot Walsh, Selma Vaz Dias, John Scott
Director: Ernest Morris
Creators: James Wilson, Derek Parsons, Edward J. Danziger, Harry Lee Danziger, Brian Clemens, Edgar Allan Poe, Eldon Howard
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2004
Original Release Date: 02/07/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 02/07/1962
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 18min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Tell-Tale Tart...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 03/19/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Edgar Marsh (Lawrence Payne) is a shy, backward sort when it comes to the ladies. He has no idea how to even approach a woman, let alone talk to one! One day, a beautiful brunette named Betty (Adrienne Corri) moves in across the street from poor Edgar, who is immediately swept away by his desire for her. Edgar's friend Carl (Dermot Walsh) is quite the ladies man and tries to disuade Edgar from getting so infatuated with one girl. Edgar doesn't listen, and gets increasingly obsessed with Betty. At the same time, Betty is totally ga-ga over Carl! Carl resists her at first, but eventually ends up in bed with her. This would be fine, if Betty had learned to draw the drapes in her bedroom, which is right across from Edgar's window! He watches the two have sex, and you can just about hear his heart and mind shatter! Edgar later invites Carl over and bludgeons him to death with a poker. He then stuffs Carl's body under the floorboards in his downstairs music room. The fun begins when Edgar starts hearing the thunderous beating of Carl's heart, pounding and rattling things around in the house! Unable to stand it, Edgar tears up the floor over his late friend, cuts out his heart, and buries it in the back yard. Of course, the vengeful organ keeps right on pulsating, ultimately driving Edgar completely bananas, right in front of the police. Loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story, TTTH is an enjoyable enough yarn. The acting is above average and the fear / dread-factor is high. Boom-boom... Boom-boom... Boom-boom..."
Alpha Video Gem
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | 03/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"If like me, you are a fan of older movies, you will want to add this one to your collection. Lawrence Payne and Dermot Walsh star in this interesting (though somewhat loose) adaptation of the Poe Classic. A shy librarian falls in love with a nieghbor who prefers the attentions of another. Edgar murders his rival then hids the remains under the floor boards of his apartment. Its the perfect crime until Edgar starts to hear the beating of his victims... well, you know the rest. Alpha Video offers many older titles that are difficult to find. Unfortunately, the sound and picture quality leave much to be desired."
(3.5 STARS) Very Loose Adaptaion of Poe's Short Story
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 03/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"FOREWORD: To those who are squeamish or react nervously to shock, we suggest that when you hear this sound ... (thump, thump., thump ... muffled sound of heartbeat) ... close your eyes and do not look at the screen again until it stops.

The feature-length adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe' short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" begins with the tongue-in-cheek warning to viewers. Or maybe it was meant serious. I know nothing about the production company of this film which was made in 1960, but whoever it is, the producer(s) must have got their inspiration from William Castle and his low-budget, but hugely enjoyable B thrillers. It was released one year after Castle's cult horror "The Tingler" and "The House on the Haunted Hill."

The melodramatic story of this version of "The Tell-Tale Heart" itself is very, very loosely based on Poe. The film's story revolves around a troubled librarian Edgar (Lawrence Payne) who falls in love at first sight with a newly moved-in girl Betty (Adrienne Corri) living across the street. Edgar asks Betty to have a dinner with him, and she accepts, but he later finds that she is really in love with Edgar's friend Carl (Dermot Walsh). Angry and in despair, Edgar does what you know he will do anyway in his desolate house where he lives alone.

[NOT POE, EXACTLY] Now how can you turn a 5-page short story into a feature film that runs 79 minutes? This film does it by adding many things to the original material, and they actually added a lot here - mostly things about a classic love triangle case that went awry. The script is not very original, but the acting is good with Lawrence Payne's tense portrait of the protagonist. (He sometimes looks like Anthony Perkins as Norman.)

The camera is also surprisingly stylish (though the image quality of Alpha DVD is not perfect, but acceptable). Interestingly, the film contains some sexual nuances in several scenes (that reminds us of the opening scene of a clandestine meeting in Hitchcock's "Psycho") and it even suggested voyeurism like "Rear Window." The influence from the latter is obvious (I don't say how).

Only a few elements are transferred into the film from the source material. This film could hardly be called a Poe adaptation, but is still an interesting low-budget thriller"
An average adaptation of a story you already know
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"There's not a whole lot of suspense in this one, as everyone over the age of five knows the story. The filmmakers do try to shake things up a bit with strange twists at both beginning and end, but the merits of an introductory warning to close your eyes and open them only after the beating heart stops beating is about as campy as they come - and the ending is somewhat annoying in its own right. Still, at least the effort was there to throw in something of the unexpected to an extremely familiar tale.

In this incarnation of Edgar Allen Poe's famous short story, a lovers' triangle leads to the tell-tale murder. It's never pretty when a shy librarian starts pitching woo, but hermit-like Edgar Marsh (Laurence Payne) works up the nerve to ask out a woman who just moved in across the street from him. Betty (Adrienne Corri) isn't much of a looker to my eyes, and she's sort of a strumpet, what with her disrobing nightly in front of an open window right there on a busy thoroughfare and all, but Edgar is quite hooked on her. His best friend Carl (Dermot Walsh) helped talk him into making his move, so Edgar can't wait to introduce him to Betty. The poor dope is quite blind to the fact that Carl and Betty (who wasn't exactly enamored with Edgar to start with) can't take their eyes off one another from the very start. Then comes a night when, from his vantage point across the street, he spies the two of them together in Betty's bedroom (the woman apparently doesn't own a curtain) - these two may dress like Victorians, but they certainly don't act like Victorians. Well, you know the rest: Edgar kills Carl, starts hearing that infernal heartbeat, etc.

It's a perfectly average film with decent heart-beating special effects, but it's just hard to get excited about a perfectly average film of a story universally imbedded in the minds of viewers (especially when it dates back to an era in which blood and gore were still kept to a minimum)."