The Poe Cinema: A Critical Filmography of Theatrical Releases Based on the Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Overview

The hypnotic intrigue of his works has long placed Edgar Allan Poe among America's most darkly irresistible writers. Inventor of the detective story, master of the macabre, pioneer of science fiction, Poe exerts a force even today upon filmmakers. Since 1908, no fewer than 80 films from 13 countries have been based on or inspired by Poe's writings. This critical filmography examines them all, providing cast, credits and technical data; a plot synopsis; background information about the films and filmmakers; ...
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About the Book Who can forget haunting tales like "The Oblong Box," "Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and "Torture Garden"? This is a critical filmography ... of the 81 features from 13 countries that have adapted the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe. Each entry includes the title of the work, year of release, studio, full cast and credits, running time and a detailed plot synopsis. Production and marketing notes first examine the degree to which the film is faithful to Poe’s original work. Pertinent career information for the primary actors and filmmakers, anecdotes and perspectives from the principals, and an overview of the marketing of the movie are next provided. A thorough critical analysis, including contemporary reviews of the film, completes each entry. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The hypnotic intrigue of his works has long placed Edgar Allan Poe among America's most darkly irresistible writers. Inventor of the detective story, master of the macabre, pioneer of science fiction, Poe exerts a force even today upon filmmakers. Since 1908, no fewer than 80 films from 13 countries have been based on or inspired by Poe's writings. This critical filmography examines them all, providing cast, credits and technical data; a plot synopsis; background information about the films and filmmakers; appraisals of each film's quality and its faithfulness as an adaptation; and summaries of previous criticism.
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Editorial Reviews

Alan J. Couture
The reader with an interest in Poe, horror films or the history of cinema will want to consult this book. -- ForeWord Magazine
Library Journal
Smith's second foray into horror (following Lon Chaney, Jr., McFarland, 1996) examines 81 Poe-based theatrical features released between 1908 and 1992 from 31 countries. Nontheatrical productions are not addressed, although select made-for-TV productions receive mention. Each entry includes production information, credits and cast, story synopsis, production and marketing history, and excellent multipage critiques longer than those normally found in horror guides. Good illustrations, particularly from pre-World War II films, add to the overall quality. However, as Smith limits commentary to films personally viewed, some films (e.g., D.W. Griffith's The Sealed Room) are shortchanged. In general, however, this is a fine companion volume to Ronald Smith's Poe in the Media (Garland, 1990). Recommended for all horror film collections.--Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., Houston
Booknews
The quality of cinematic adaptations of Poe's works has largely fallen far short of that of their literary antecedents; nonetheless, Smith (history, education, Eastern Illinois U.) exhaustively examines the making, marketing, and critical reactions to 81 such films. He analyzes the degree to which each film is faithful to Poe's original work, and refers to both contemporary reviews and later appraisals in his critical analyses. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786417032
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/8/2003
  • Edition description: ALT
  • Pages: 315
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Don G. Smith is an associate professor in history and philosophy of education at Eastern Illinois University. He has written for numerous publications, including Filmfax, Scarlet Street, Movie Collector's World and Midnight Marquee. He lives in Riverview Florida.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
The Films 7
Afterword 277
Notes 281
App. A Poe-Inspired Films in Chronological Order 287
App. B Poe Films by Country of Origin 289
Appendix C Poe Titles and Films Adapted from Them 291
Annotated Selected Bibliography 293
Index 301
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