With Turner Classic Movies honoring the legendary Vincent Price all this month, there is no doubt most of you have watched at least one Price film or have plans to spend Halloween glued to the tube. Following up on my recognition of greats like Cushing, Chaney Jr., Karloff and Lugosi, cinematic respect must be now given to Vincent Price. Instead of going with any number of his classics, I’ve opted for one that doesn’t get enough love. It’s time for An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (1970).
Vincent Price and Roger Corman worked together on numerous movies based on the works of the literary master Edgar Allan Poe. So it’s only fitting that Price would eventually go to the original material. In this short (53 minute) presentation recorded live in front of a studio audience, Price recites four of Poe’s classics: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado and The Pit and the Pendulum. Here, Price shows everyone just how well he could actually act. His movies did not always allow him the room to breathe theatrically. However, here he embraces it with such veracity that one feels hypnotized by the natural combination of the voice of Price and the words of Poe. Despite a minimalistic presentation and short running time, you’ll walk away satisfied for the experience and craving more (which sadly never came).
If you’ve never taken the time to watch An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, then Halloween 2013 must be the year. It’s available on YouTube as well as DVD (paired with The Tomb of Ligeia). Top it off by finding a comfy chair, lighting a fire in the fireplace and embracing the original written word. All of it is highly recommended!