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The Tell-Tale Heart

UK 1960
produced by
Edward J.Danziger, Harry Lee Danziger for Danziger Productions
directed by Ernest Morris
starring Laurence Payne, Adrienne Corri, Dermot Walsh, Selma Vaz Dias, John Scott, John Martin, Annette Carell, David Lander, Rosemary Rotheray, Suzanne Fuller, Yvonne Buckingham, David Courtney, Richard Bennett, Joan Peart, Elizabeth Paget, Nade Beall, Pamela Plant, Graham Ashley, Patsy Smart
screenplay by Brian Clemens, Eldon Howard, based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe, music by Tom Crombie, Bill LeSage

Tell-Tale Heart

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Librarian Edgar Walsh (Laurence Payne) is a tad on the shy side and mostly invokes pity in women, nevertheless, he somehow manages to ask hid across-the-street neighbour Betty Clare (Adrienne Corri) out ... and gradually opens up to her and falls in love with her, always encouraged by the fact that she respects and likes him.

Everything could be so beautiful, but then Edgar introduces Betty to his best friend, the extroverted, open-minded womanizer Carl (Dermot Walsh), because "everybody likes Carl", and for Betty it is love at first sight. First Carl tries to push her back, but pushing a woman back for too long is against his nature, and eventually, on the exact night Edgar planned to propose to Betty (but didn't), she manages to take Carl home with her, and they make love in her bed ... in full view of Edgar, who watches everything from across the street.

The next day, Edgar invites Carl over ... and hits him over the head with a poker, killing him. Then he hides Carl's body under the living room floor. However, soon his conscience plays tricks on him, and he starts to hear Carl's heart beating with everything he hears, be it a clock ticking or a fawcett dripping. Ultimately, he opens up Carl's hiding place again, cuts ou this heart and buries it in the garden. To no avail, it just continues beating - or so Edgar thinks ...

Meanwhile, Betty, worried because Carl seems to have disappeared, goes to the police, but since Carl has a reputation as a womanizer they think he has just made himself scarce because of lady problems. it is only when Betty breaks into Edgar's house and discovers the poker with still traces of blood on it that the cops think they have something ... and when they come to question Edgar, he suddenly breaks down, still hearing the heart beating in his head ...


A far cry stylisticall from the gothic Edgar Allan Poe adaptations Roger Corman started to make for AIP the same year, The Tell-Tale Heart nevertheless turns out to be a very tense thriller in period settings that brings the (well-known) story to life thanks to a tight script, good actors and a bare-to.-the-bone yet inventive directorial effort.

Definitely recommended.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD