The Pit And The Pendulum Film Analysis

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Is there such a thing as a dangerous clock? Apparently so. The 1961 Roger Corman film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Pit and the Pendulum" is not artistically valid because the film's storyline bears little resemblance to the original work. The Pit and the Pendulum is a gothic story, which is a horror genre that mainly uses the themes and ideas of death, gloom, fear, and death as well as some romantic era ideas such as nature, individuality, and high emotions. Edgar Allan Poe was a famous author of many novels of this time who became known as the "Father of the Detective Story," a pioneer of science fiction, and the first honest literary critic. He wrote mainly because his stories sold well. After his death, Rufus Griswold wrote…show more content…
Overall, the film and the story have two very different plots that make each of them into their own tale.
Secondly, the film veers away from Poe's ideas for his short story. In the story, Poe did not use any themes or ideas other than the basic essence of horror and some mystery. The main character is obviously very afraid and although he does not know where he is, the reader does. In Roger Corman's film, there is romance, much more mystery, an even greater essence of horror, and even a bit of sadness. Romance is a very big component of the film because without it, there would be no plot to follow. There is also a greater mystery in the film adaptation. The entire movie is mainly about the mystery of the castle that could be possibly haunted and the major discovery of the true reasoning behind the haunting. One of the biggest additions to the tale was the addition of even more horror. In Poe's original story, the only device of torture was the swinging pendulum. In Corman's film, there are many more torture devices that Nicholas Medina uses, which most definitely adds a greater element of horror. Finally, this film adds an element of sadness to the story. In the beginning, it gives the impression that Elizabeth Medina is dead and later on, it makes the viewer think that she had been buried alive. Also, Nicholas' reaction to all of these thinks instinctively makes the viewer just as sad as him. All in all, Corman's
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Three points that prove this are: the major plot change due to the transition from paper to screen, the addition of more themes and ideas rather than just horror, and the many more characters that were added and removed in the story to aid in the new plot. The most significant thing about this film as an adaptation of this story is its ability to still draw itself back to the Poe's tale at the end of the film, even though it had a very different way of getting there. This is significant because some films tend to change the plot and not tie itself back to the original work in anyway in order to become its own tale. In conclusion, this film is very different from its original work but still manages to reign itself in to make it one story about a dangerous
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