Film ID:
NEFA 22306

THE TELL TALE HEART

1960s

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur production adapted from the Edgar Allen Poe story, produced and directed by Doug Collender. This was an experiment in low light filmmaking, the darkened scenes bathed in red light.  

Title: Dumar

Title: The Tell Tale Heart – Adapted for the Screen from the Works of Edgar Allan Poe [Title appears over the picture of a corner house lit by a street lamp. A window in the house shows red curtains lit by light from the room.]

Credits: With Reg. Townsend, Jack Wrightson, Dave Watson & Walter Clark.

[Credits appear over a closer view of the corner house]

Credit: Narrator & Protagonist Norman Mason [Credit appears over a yet closer view of the corner house]

The film opens in a barely lit room, where a man is looking through some partially closed curtains. 

The man moves to a table where there is a single oil lamp. He muses about why he murdered an old man (whether a father figure or employer is unclear) when he isn't interested in his gold. He briefly picks up the old man's purse, and then strokes his beard. 

The man lights the smaller lamp, and walks away. Leaving the camera on a close up of the glass shade of the oil lamp on the table.

The next scene simulates the murder by use of suggestive low light and acting. A point of red light moves on the screen, then the man’s face appears bathed in red light with his hand holding onto the lamp. The narrator describes how he tries to open the light from the lantern a bit more, but a noise disturbs the victim he’s trying to pursue, who apparently suddenly sits bolt upright in bed. The man opens the lamp bit more, and when he does the light reveals the the old man staring at him. The man diverts his eyes from the penetrating gaze by momentarily looking downwards.

The sound follows the narrative with the beating of the old man’s heart. The camera fixes on the man with his lamp, seemingly transfixed by the old man’s stare. The man moves from the doorway to the bed, and apparently attacks the old man as he cries out.

The old man is dead and the film shows a knife lying on a cloth, which the killer then uses to dismember the body. The killer then goes to work hiding the remains beneath floorboards in the room. The man replaces some carpet over the floorboards.

The man goes downstairs to answer a knock at the door. He opens the door to three policemen. They explain a disturbance had been reported, and they were there to investigate. The killer invites them in and he takes them into the room where the murder was committed.

The murderer gives each them a glass of wine, and he sits down on a chair which he places on the exact spot where he has hidden the old man’s dismembered body. He and the policemen drink the wine, the killer convinced that they believe his alibi and that he is innocent of any misdeed.

However, the murderer / narrator feels guilty and becomes disturbed. He begins to hear thumping noises like the heartbeat of the dead man and starts to feel unwell. He drinks his wine and the policemen relax by removing their helmets. The killer become increasingly agitated, and stands up pacing the floor. The policemen sip at their wine while engaging him in conversation, all the while the killer becoming more disturbed, and in the end he pounds his fists on the floor where his victim lies hidden. 

Credit: Props and Make Up – Walter Clark

Credit: Graphics - Les Greaves

Credit: Produced and Directed by Doug Collender

Title: Dumar

Title: The Tell Tale Heart – Adapted for the Screen from the Works of Edgar Allan Poe