October 9 – The Fall of the House of Usher – Book Vs. Film – Which Medium Wins? (Thirty-One Days of Halloween)

A long-standing mansion torn apart by the widening of a central fissure.  A family of long-linage down to two sole surviving members, pitted against each other in a death match.  And finally, the splitting of the psyche; madness and mental decay. All this one short story from Edgar Allen Poe. Themes of totality, dualism and a whole bunch of other “isms” for literary analysts to study for years and years. This has been a favorite of mine since I was a young reader. I’ve seen one or two movie portrayal over the years. Just the other night I rented what I hoped would be the best cinematic portrayal of this extensively themed story.  It was. Directed by Roger Corman , screenplay by Richard Matheson (this guy will appear on this list two more times) and starring  Vincent Price, how could it go wrong? It didn’t.  Unlike the story’s pitting of one thing against the other, I will not but the two mediums at odds in this case.

Winner: IT’S A TIE

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