“The Tell-Tale Heart”: Animated Edgar Allan Poe Short Film Narrated By James Mason Directed By Ted Parmelee (1953)

The Tell-Tale Heart is a 1953 American animated short film directed by Ted Parmelee and narrated by James Mason. The screenplay by Bill Scott and Fred Grable is based on the 1843 short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

Directed by:  Ted Parmelee

Produced by:  Stephen Bosustow

Written by: Bill Scott and Fred Grable

Narrated by:  James Mason

Music by:  Boris Kremenliev

Produced at:  United Productions of America

the-tell-tale-heart-cinematic-poem-animated-short-film-directed-by-ted-parmelee-1953

The plot focuses on a murderer whose increasing guilt leads him to believe he can hear his victim’s heart still beating beneath the floorboards where he buried him. Seen through the eyes of the nameless narrator, the surrealistic images in the film help convey his descent into madness.

Paul Julian served as both designer and color artist for film, and Pat Matthews was the principal animator.

In May 1953, pre-production started on The Tell-Tale Heart, which originally was intended to be a 3-D film. It is not known if the film was animated in this fashion, but it was not released in 3D. There is no reference to 3D in a technical trade review.

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