Watch Vincent Price Turn Into Edgar Allan Poe & Read Four Classic Poe Stories (1970)

Can you have a Hal­loween with­out Edgar Allan Poe? Sure you can — but here at Open Cul­ture, we don’t rec­om­mend it. So that you need not go Poe-less on this, or any, Hal­loween night, we’ve fea­tured not just his com­plete works free to down­load, but oth­er mate­r­i­al like the ani­mat­ed adap­ta­tion of “The Tell-Tale Heart” as well as ani­ma­tions of his oth­er sto­ries; Poe read­ings by the likes of Christo­pher Lee, James Earl Jones, and Iggy Pop; and Orson Welles’ inter­pre­ta­tion of his work on an Alan Par­sons Project album.

We also believe that you should­n’t have to endure a Price­less Hal­loween — that is to say, a Hal­loween with­out Vin­cent Price. Though he proved his ver­sa­til­i­ty in a wide vari­ety of gen­res through­out his long act­ing career, his­to­ry has remem­bered Price first and fore­most for his work in hor­ror, no doubt thanks in large part to his pos­ses­sion of a voice per­fect­ly suit­ed to the ele­gant­ly sin­is­ter. It also made him an ide­al teller of Poe’s inge­nious­ly macabre tales, which you can expe­ri­ence for your­self in the record­ings we’ve post­ed of Price read­ing Poe, a playlist which also includes read­ings by Price’s equal­ly ver­sa­tile Basil Rath­bone.

Rath­bone may also have got to read Poe, the work, but despite his huge num­ber of roles on stage and screen, he nev­er actu­al­ly played Poe, the man. But Price did, in the spe­cial An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, the clos­est any of us will get to an audi­ence with the trou­bled, bril­liant, and ter­ri­fy­ing­ly inven­tive writer him­self. In it, Price-as-Poe takes the stage and, over the course of an hour, weaves into his per­for­mance four of his most endur­ing sto­ries: “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Sphinx,” “The Cask of Amon­til­la­do,” and “The Pit and the Pen­du­lum.” Go on, join Edgar Allan Poe in his draw­ing room this Hal­loween by hav­ing Price bring him to life on your screen — it will guar­an­tee you a mem­o­rable hol­i­day evening.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load The Com­plete Works of Edgar Allan Poe on His Birth­day

Watch the 1953 Ani­ma­tion of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Nar­rat­ed by James Mason

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christo­pher Walken, Vin­cent Price, and Christo­pher Lee

Christo­pher Lee (R.I.P.) Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and From “The Fall of the House of Ush­er”

Iggy Pop Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s Clas­sic Hor­ror Sto­ry, “The Tell-Tale Heart”

5 Hours of Edgar Allan Poe Sto­ries Read by Vin­cent Price & Basil Rath­bone

James Earl Jones Reads Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”

Hear Orson Welles Read Edgar Allan Poe on a Cult Clas­sic Album by The Alan Par­sons Project

Edgar Allan Poe Ani­mat­ed: Watch Four Ani­ma­tions of Clas­sic Poe Sto­ries

The Fall of the House of Ush­er: Poe’s Clas­sic Tale Turned Into 1928 Avant Garde Film, Script­ed by e.e. cum­mings

Col­in Mar­shall writes else­where on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­maand the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future? Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Paul Day Clemens says:

    Price does not actu­al­ly por­tray Poe him­self in his Evening With Edgar Allan Poe. Rather, Price por­trays the var­i­ous nar­ra­tor of each tale and, indeed, looks quite dif­fer­ent in each episode. Hair col­or and styles change marked­ly, includ­ing sil­ver gray hair in Casque of Amon­til­la­do. Poe died at the age of 40 and nev­er had gray hair. Nei­ther did he ever sport a beard, which Price does in this Poe-pour­ri.

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