Sunday, October 7, 2012

Poe on Screen: Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of Terro and The Pit and the Pendulum

Quick!  Name 3 of the top 4 Edgar Allan Poe movies according to the American Movie Channel.  During this year's Big Read, several locations will be showing those very films: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher, and Tales of Terror all featuring Vincent Price.

The Pit and Pendulum rates #1 on the AMC list.  The story is about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition.  In the movie, Poe effectively engages the watcher's senses such as sound to inspire fear.

The Fall of the House of Usher ranks #2 on the AMC list. The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help.

Tales of Terror ranks 4th but nevertheless serves up more classic Poe. According to Turner Classic Movies, the three-part film consists of "Morella," the story of a woman's vengeful spirit which returns from the grave to possess her daughter; "The Black Cat," a tale of a wine connoisseur who walls up his wife and her lover alive only to be betrayed to the police by the wailing cat he sealed up with them (a plot device from Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"); and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," in which a terminally ill man is kept alive in a hypnotic state by a devious doctor.   

Interested?  These and other movies are being show at a variety of locations throughout the state during Big Read, check the calendar of events for details.

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