An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (1972)

Article #402 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-21-2002
Posting date: 9-14-2002

Vincent Price narrates four of Poe’s stories; “The Telltale Heart”, “The Sphinx”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, and “The Pit and the Pendulum”.

A movie which consists entirely of recitations of prose can’t help but flirt with tediousness, even if the prose is written by Poe and the reciter is Vincent Price. Fortunately, there is solid editing, a nice well-used score, wonderful sets and great costumes for Vincent Price to keep things moving along, and this production (made for television by AIP and lasting only 52 minutes) is a model of how such an idea can be brought to life. In all honesty, I have to admit my favorite segment was “The Sphinx”, not because Vincent Price does a better job with it than the others, but rather because it’s the least familiar of the stories included; the other stories I have read so many times that there is no surprise to them. I would especially recommend this show to those not familiar with the original stories; it’s a wonderful way to be introduced to the world of Poe. And by using the stories as they were originally written, one certainly can’t complain about liberties having been taken with his work this time around.

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