The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

Animated Short
Article 2271 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-10-2007
Posting Date: 10-31-2007
Directed by Ted Parmelee
Narrated by James Mason

A madman, haunted by a deformed eye and the sound of a beating heart, kills an old man.

UPA developed a unique and striking visual style for the cartoons they made in the fifties. and this may well be their masterpiece. The excellent narration by James Mason uses an abbreviated version of the story that manages to capture its essence; I particularly like a brief but effective coda that uses lines from the beginning of the story after the point where the story usually ends. The non-realistic animation uses abstract imagery in a powerful way, and it also makes wonderful use of sound and music as well. I’ve seen several versions of this story to date, and, along with the expressionistic short version from 1928 , this is one of my favorites.


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