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The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

Stanley Baker enacts the classic Edgar Allan Poe story in this chilling short film, only recently rediscovered after being lost for 50 years.

Drama 1953 21 mins Not rated

Director: J.B. Williams

Overview

Directed by JB Williams and made at Carlton Kay Studios in London, The Tell-Tale Heart is a one man monologue starring the Welsh-born actor and producer Stanley Baker (The Guns of Navarone, Zulu, Accident), as Poe’s unnamed narrator with a haunted conscience. Like his friend and compatriot Richard Burton, Baker was recognised for his combination of smouldering intensity, surly strong spirit and fine speaking voice - a voice put to perfect use here narrating Poe’s creepy tale.

Listed on the Missing Films page of the Adelphi Films website, the film had not been seen for over 40 years. It was rediscovered in 2017 when Jeff Wells, a 16mm enthusiast living in Drunmore near Stranraer, Scotland, saw the Missing Films page online when he was clearing out his loft, and realised that he had a one reel 16mm print and contacted Adelphi to confirm the film find. This version of the film is not to be confused with Ted Parmelee’s animated version of the same time, narrated by James Mason, which was made in the same year. Two further versions, a Brian Desmond Hurst adaptation from 1934 and a 2004 version that's one of the final credits of the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff, are available to watch as Rentals on BFI Player.