Brain Pickings

1953 Animated Adaptation of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” The First X-Rated Cartoon in Britain

A beautifully haunting animated adaptation of the Poe classic.

Last week, we marveled at Harry Clarke’s haunting 1919 illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. That same year, Clarke also illustrated Poe’s beloved short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” — but as darkly beautiful as his artwork was, this imaginative 1953 animated adaptation gives Clarke more than a run for his money. Narrated by legendary English actor James Mason, it was the first cartoon to be X-rated in Great Britain under the British Board of Film Censors classification system.

Published May 14, 2012




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