The Tell-Tale Heart

DVD Release: August 10, 2004
The Tell-Tale Heart


“Madness, but will you say that I am mad? Murder, perhaps you judge too soon. For when you hear my story, you will certainly understand why, very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man.” True to the words of master storyteller Edgar Allen Poe, this stunning adaptation brings to life what is perhaps Poe’s best-known short story. Murder, madness and betrayal from within interweave in this fascinating study into the mind of one driven by his own demons to take the life of another.

Dove Review

“The Tell-Tale Heart” is the award-winning telling of this famous short story. It is narrated by Michael Sollazzo who also acts in the film, along with Robert E. Reynolds who plays the “old man.” Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story, this short film recreates the mood of the story and features the characters in period clothing and in an old fashioned setting. Sollazzo does a terrific job as he leads up to the point where he races into the old man’s room and suffocates him to death, although that part is not seen. The movie shows the old man’s “vulture” eye that Poe described in his classic work. The killer is a bit pleased with himself concerning the murder. However, the beating of the old man’s heart pounds his brain and, despite his confidence when the police arrive after being told of a scream coming from the house, his guilty conscience soon gives him away.

Scott Mansfield adapted the story for the screen as well as directed it, and he builds nicely to the climactic moment and gets a good performance from Sollazzo. This classic Poe story drives it home that a guilty conscience is a difficult thing to live with. The murder and hiding of the body is described and just a little blood is seen on the murderer’s hand. We are happy to award this dramatic performance of “The Tell-Tale Heart” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus, and five Doves, our best rating. This short movie brings Poe’s classic tale to life!

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: Man talks about planning and committing a murder and he says he cut up the corpse; he is shown with some blood on his hand.
Sex: None
Language: D-1; O/G-1; H (as a place)-1; man says he swore after the murder but no word is recorded.
Violence: Man talks about planning and committing a murder and he says he cut up the corpse; he is shown with some blood on his hand.
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: The narration of a plot to kill an old man.


Company: Monterey Media
Writer: Adapted for the Screen by Scott Mansfield (from the original Edgar Allan Poe story)
Director: Scott Mansfield
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 25 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter