Tales of Terror (1962)

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Three stories from Edgar Allen Poe.


Horror, Anthology



Locke - Vincent Price

Lenora - Maggie Pierce

Morella - Leona Gage

Coachman - Ed Cobb

The Black Cat

Fortunato - Vincent Price

Montresor - Peter Lorre

Annabel - Joyce Jameson

Policeman - Lennie Weinrib

Bartender - Wally Campo

Wine Society Chairman - Alan DeWit

Policeman - John Hackett

The Black Cat

The Case of M. Valdemar

Valdemar - Vincent Price

Carmichael - Basil Rathbone

Helene - Debra Paget

Dr. James - David Frankham

Servant - Scott Brown

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis


A Coachman takes Lenora from Boston to Locke's house. He brings her her luggage and then tells Lenora that he must return to Boston. Lenora goes inside and finds the home full of cobwebs. She calls for Locke, but he doesn't answer. She continues to search the house and sees a portrait of Morella. Locke finds her and asks her who she is. She tells him who she is and when she goes to hug him, he moves away. She tells him that she wanted to see him one time before she left his life forever and asks if she can stay. He tells her that she can and then walks off. Locke goes into the bedroom and tells the portrait of Morella that her murderer has returned. Lenora continues to search the house and finds the mummified body of Morella lying in a bed. Lenora screams and Locke grabs her and tells her to get away from Morella's body. He tells her that when Morella died, he died too and it left him a shell of a man. He continues that Morella blamed Lenora for her death. He tells Lorena that he hated her and almost threw her out of the window when she was a baby. Lenora coughs and tells Locke that she only has a few months left to live. Locke asks her to forgive him and they eat dinner together and Lenora tells Locke about her life. He tells her that Morella died after a party and swore to avenge herself on Lenora. He says that he tried to commit suicide a dozen times, and could not stand to bury Morella. During the night, the ghost of Morella goes to Lenora's room and strangles her and Lenora starts to scream. Locke goes to her room and Lenora dies. Locke cries over her body and Lenora suddenly takes a breath, but then collapses again and Locke covers her face with the bed sheet. She starts to breathe again and when Locke pulls the sheet away, she has changed into Morella. Locke runs away and goes to the bed where Morella's mummified body used to be, and in its place is Lenora's mummified body. Morella follows him into the room and he drops the candlestick he is holding, which causes a fire to break out. Morella then starts to choke Locke as the house quickly burns down.

The Black Cat

Montresor walks home drunk. He enters his house and starts breaking things and Annabel hears him and calls to him. He tells her to come to him and The Black Cat walks over to him and Montresor threatens to kick in The Black Cat's head. Annabel picks up the fruit Montresor knocked over and he immediately throws it back onto the ground. He asks her for money and she tells him that they don't have anymore money. He accuses her of lying and as he is looking for money, he throws a vase at The Black Cat. Montresor passes out and finds The Black Cat on him and throws it. He asks Annabel for money again and she reminds him that he hasn't worked in seventeen years and he asks her for her sewing money. Montresor grabs Annabel and demands she give him her money and she tells him that now they won't be able to buy food. Montresor goes to the Red Lion Tavern, but is eventually thrown out by the Bartender. He starts begging people for money and comes across a building hosting the Wine Merchants Convention. He walks inside the building and the Wine Society Chairman tells the merchants that Fortunato will be giving a demonstration in expert wine tasting. The Wine Society Chairman calls Fortunato the foremost wine taster in the world and Montresor challenges him to a wine tasting competition. Fortunato accepts the challenge and goes first and accurately guesses the wine. Montresor goes next and also correctly guesses the wine. The wine tasting continues until Montresor passes out on the table. Fortunato helps walk Montresor to Montresor's house and Montresor introduces Annabel to Fortunato. The Black Cat goes to Fortunato and he pets it and tells Annabel that he adores cats. Fortunato and Annabel carry Montresor to bed and then hug each other. Later, Montresor is at the bar bragging to the Bartender how he asserted himself and now Annabel gives him money whenever he asks and the Bartender points out that she has been giving him money since the day he introduced Fortunato to Annabel. Montresor goes home and sees Fortunato leaving his house. Montresor goes inside and notices his bed is disheveled. He accuses Annabel of cheating on him and she tells him that she is leaving him for Fortunato. The next day, Fortunato goes to Montresor's house and Montresor invites him in. Montresor offers Fortunato some amontillado and after drinking it, Fortunato starts to get drowsy and collapses. He wakes up in the cellar as Montresor bricks him, along with the body of Annabel, up. Montresor finishes bricking up Fortunato and Annabel and then goes to the bar. He buys everyone a round of liquor and then gives a toast to Annabel and then mentions how she won't need her money anymore. He goes home drunk and passes out on his bed and has a dream that Fortunato and Annabel stole his head. The next morning he is woken up by a Policeman and another Policeman. They tell him that the Bartender told them that Montresor spent a lot of money and said Annabel wouldn't need the money. They ask where Annabel is and he tells them that she left with Fortunato. The Policemen ask to search his house and he takes them to the cellar. Montresor starts to have hallucinations of Annabel and Fortunato and starts to taunt the Policemen and hits the wall he made. The Black Cat starts to meow and the Policemen break the wall down and find The Black Cat and the bodies of Annabel and Fortunato.

The Case of M. Valdemar

Valdemar is sitting in bed while Carmichael mesmerizes him. Carmichael then makes Valdemar's pain go away. Helene asks Valdemar if he is okay and Dr. James looks over Valdemar and says that Valdemar seems okay. They toast, but James says his reservations of the bad side effects of mesmerist control. Valdemar tells Helene and James that Carmichael has taken away his pain and all Carmichael asks is for a slight favor before Valdemar dies. Carmichael tells them that Valdemar has agreed to be mesmerized at the point of death to see how long death can be stalled. James asks Valdemar to refuse Carmichael's offer, but Valdemar refuses. Before leaving, James asks Helene to try and dissuade Valdemar from going through with Carmichael's experiment. Helene asks Valdemar to change his mind and tells him that she is afraid of Carmichael and that while Valdemar is mesmerized, Carmichael gives him orders. Valdemar again refuses and tells Helene that after he dies, he wishes her to marry James. On Valdemar's death bed, Carmichael arrives and mesmerizes Valdemar. Carmichael speaks to Valdemar and Valdemar asks to not be awoken. James examines Valdemar and Carmichael flirts with Helene. Valdemar starts to moan and says that he is dead. Carmichael realizes that Valdemar is dead, but still able to hear and Carmichael asks him to describe his surroundings. Valdemar describes darkness and James begs Carmichael to let Valdemar truly die. Valdemar says that he sees darkness and multitudes of people and starts to moan again. Some time later, a Servant brings Carmichael a whiskey and the Servant stops when he hears Valdemar moaning and Carmichael yells at the Servant to leave. Carmichael goes into Valdemar's room and Valdemar begs Carmichael to release him. Helene and James return to the house and James orders Carmichael to release Valdemar. James pulls out a gun and Carmichael has Valdemar tell Helene that he wants her to marry Carmichael. Helene asks James to leave and he does. Helene offers to marry Carmichael if she sets Valdemar free. He tells her that he is in command and then starts to sexually assault her. She screams and the body of Valdemar rises from the bed and starts to rot and attacks Carmichael. James hears Carmichael scream and runs back to the room and carries Helene out of the room after seeing the melted corpse of Valdemar on top of the now dead Carmichael.