THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1928)
Article 3940 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-24-2012
Posting Date: 5-28-2012
Directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber
Featuring Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber
What it is: Arty Poe adaptation
A traveler arrives at the house of Usher to discover that Roderick’s sister has been buried alive.
This isn’t the only adaptation of this Poe story from 1928; I covered the striking Jean Epstein version some time ago. Yet this one is equally striking, and it uses some truly astonishing camera tricks. At only 13 minutes, it is an extremely condensed version of the story, and I suspect if you aren’t familiar with the story, you’ll have a pretty tough time figuring out what’s going on. Still, I would be hard pressed to pick between the two versions; both are highly effective and have compelling imagery, with this one using the image of a hammer quite effectively. It’s worth catching.