THE TELL-TALE HEART (1960) Reviews and overview

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The Tell-Tale Heart  aka Hidden Room of a 1000 Horrors is a 1960 British horror feature film directed by Ernest Morris. The screenplay by Brian Clemens (Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter) and Eldon Howard is a loose adaptation of the 1843 short story of the same title by Edgar Allan Poe.


Edgar Marsh, a shy librarian becomes infatuated with his neighbour Betty Clare when he sees her undressing in her bedroom. He invites her to dinner, and although she clearly is uncomfortable with the attention he pays her, he showers her with jewellery and dreams about their future together.

Complications arise when he introduces her to his friend Carl Loomis, whom Betty finds far more attractive and appealing. In order to eliminate the competition, Edgar bludgeons Carl to death with a poker and buries him beneath the floorboards in his piano room. His overwhelming guilt leads him to believe a ticking metronome and the incessant dripping of a faucet actually are the sound of his victim’s heart still beating.


‘Downbeat and sleazy — the population of this version of Victorian London has homely prostitutes baiting our hero every spare moment, its understandable why this Edgar Allen Poe adaptation has remained obscure. It’s far too graphic, both in terms of violence and sexual content to have been shown regularly on television… That being said, this British adaptation of the classic tale remains compelling and still packs a wallop today.’ Cinema Head Cheese

x-cert british independent horror film 1951-1970 john hamilton hemlock film

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