Movie Critique - The Tell Tale Heart
Stars: 5 / 5
Recommendation: A brilliant adaptation of a tale by a master writer; with some haunting rendition by one of the classic villains; would make a perfect watch for Halloween time or for any fright night!
For my Quirky Day blog post, I picked this 1953 America animated psychological horror short film The Tell Tale Heart; based on the 1843 short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The film was narrated by James Mason, one of the frequent fixtures of the film noir era. Directed by Ted Pamelee, Produced by Stephen Bosustow; screenplay was adapted by Bill Scott and Fred Grable.
For the day of March 5th, the quirky part of the tag I picked was Reel Film Day. And since the day it falls is written as 3/5; it is only apt to celebrate the day watching a classic movie that used 35MM reel film. Among the suggestions that I got, this was the film that was available online for me to watch.
In this world of digital film, sometimes we forget that not so long ago we were still using reel films; be it for photography or motion picture. So on this Reel Film Day, here is my review of this classic short film on a 35MM reel.
If you are interested to watch the movie, you can check this video.
The film's plot is shown through the eyes of the narrator who focuses on a killer who is guilt-ridden of his crimes; slowly dragging him down to a world of madness. You actually don’t see the killer, but the light and shadow that the filmmakers use, makes his presence only more effective. Paul Julian was the designer and color artist of the film; while animation was done by Pat Matthews.
Narration by James Mason actually created so many chills in me in such a short time. I remember him for his role as Phillip Vandamm in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 American spy thriller North by Northwest.
It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film that year. It was added as a bonus feature on the DVD of 2004 American supernatural superhero film Hellboy.
Being an animation, sometimes it is hard to display the emotion of horror. But this movie showed it in 7 short minutes. A brilliant adaptation of a tale by a master writer; with some haunting rendition by one of the classic villains; would make a perfect watch for Halloween time or for any fright night!
1) Movie Trivia:
a. The British Board of Film Censors gave an X-certificate for this film when it was released in U.K.; the first animated film ever to receive such a rating.
b. The opening title sort of gives homage to the great writer Edgar Allan Poe.