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Edgar Allan Poe Anniversary x The Animated Tell-Tale Heart

Juxtapoz // Friday, 08 Oct 2010

In case you don’t recall, Poe passed away after he was discovered unconscious and/or delirious outside a tavern wearing tattered clothes that did not belong to him.


He was subsequently taken to a hospital where he remained unable to convey what had happened and unexpectedly died (according to Wikipedia, the cause of his death remains unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents). Guess you could argue it was a better way to go than his life-long fear of being buried alive.



The Tell-Tale Heart is a 1953 American animated short film directed by Ted Parmelee and narrated by James Mason. The screenplay by Bill Scott and Fred Grable is based on the 1843 short story of the same title by Edgar Allan Poe.


The plot focuses on a murderer whose increasing guilt leads him to believe he can hear his victim's heart still beating beneath the floorboards where he buried him. Seen through the eyes of the nameless narrator, the surrealistic images in the film help convey his descent into madness.


Paul Julian served as both designer and color artist for film, and Pat Matthews was the principal animator.


In May 1953, pre-production started on The Tell-Tale Heart, which originally was intended to be a 3-D film. However, it is not known whether or not the film was animated in this fashion, and it was not released in 3D if it was. There is no reference to 3D in a technical trade review. Furthermore, the leaders on original prints of the film do not indicate it ever was part of a pair of 3D prints, typical of all other 3D pictures.




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