Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Poe 1963, Pt. 4

(Continued from Poe 1963, Pt. 3)

Poe's TALES OF TERROR

"MORELLA"
     (A Movie Classic)

Dell Comics were, for many years, the single BIGGEST comics publisher in the country.  Their material was so aggressively family-oriented, that they never even got involved with the Comics Code (and had no problems with distribution, apparently).  Much of their output was in "licensed" characters and series, as well as movie adaptations.  Which brings us to this one.

Having skipped the first 3 Corman Poe films, Dell finally got into doing adaptations of them with the 4th-- TALES OF TERROR.  As the title suggests, this was an "anthology" film that featured 3 short stories.  All 3 had Vincent Price playing different roles.

Inexplicably, the Dell comic reversed the order of the stories from the film.  So be it.  I've decided to simply run them in the order of the comic, even if it's backwards from what everyone is used to.  Thus, we finish off with what had been the opening section of the film...

     "MORELLA".

A slightly-less known Poe story, this was the 1st time it had been adapted in the comics.  2 years after "TALES OF TERROR", elements of it would be reused in Roger Corman's final Poe film...  "THE TOMB OF LIEGEIA".

Poe's TALES OF TERROR
photo cover   (Dell  /  February 1963)
"MORELLA"  /  Version 1
Adaptation by ??  /  Art by GEORGE EVANS with Jack Lehti (?)  /  Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Again, it makes no sense to me to reverse the order of the stories from the film.

I thought I'd add something from the IMDB message board.  There's a thread there, "What was your favorite part of "TALES OF TERROR" (1962) ?"  Here was my reply...

DodgersRule:
"I have to go with Valdemar for pure scares and drama, despite the somewhat hammy performance by Rathbone (who I actually do like a lot). It also has a very sweet scene with Price and Padget that stays with me, he acknowledging that he will die soon and he does not want her to be alone. I just felt these two actors did well together. And how often do we see two attractive people, she and the doctor, admitting their feelings but respecting her husband enough to openly say NOTHING will happen between them. Old fashioned and lovely."

YES. Also, note the wonderful contrast between this story and the preceding one, where a man is so awful to his wife he drives her into the arms of someone else-- then, gets homicidal when he finds out, and kills the man who had begun supplying him with his DRINKING MONEY (the only thing he really wanted before). Montressor did not really think through the murders in this adaptation.

Since none of the original stories involved had these romantic entanglements, I have to credit Richard Matheson for not only coming up with them, but making the two stories back-to-back such a stark contrast.

Incidentally, when I read "THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO", in my mind, I pictured Vincent Price as the deadly serious murderer, and Basil Rathbone as his egotistical, then terrified, victim!

As for the film, MY favorite moment is when Carmichael arrogantly reveals his TRUE nature to Helene-- and then, a moment later, when SHEER TERROR overcomes him! Great finale to the picture.

Copyright (C) 1962 by Alta Vista Productions.

Scan of TALES OF TERROR cover from the GCD site.
Scans of TALES OF TERROR interiors from The Horrors Of It All blog  /
     Special thanks to Karswell !

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about American International Pictures at Wikipedia.
Read about Roger Corman at Wikipedia.
Read about Richard Matheson at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Price at Wikipedia.

Read about Dell Comics at Wikipedia.
Read about George Evans at Wikipedia.
Read an interview with George Evans at the Words And Pictures blog.
Read about George Wunder at Wikipedia.
Read about George Wunder at the Words And Pictures blog.
See more of George Wunder's work at the Comic Art Fans site.

Read about MORELLA at Wikipedia.
Read the complete story at the Classic Literature site.

Hear the Vincent Price recording!

Read the George Evans MORELLA adaptation!
Read the Eugenio Colonnese MORELLA adaptation!
Read the Flavio Colin MORELLA adaptation!
Read the Dan & David Day MORELLA adaptation!   (coming soon!)
Read the Richard Corben MORELLA adaptation!   (coming soon!)

     Misc.:
Read the George Evans USHER / PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the George Evans TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the George Evans SPACE CONQUERORS! run starting in 1953!
Read the George Evans MORELLA adaptation!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

(Continued in Poe 1963, Pt. 5)

2 comments:

  1. Not sure how the credit for George Wunder got in here, but I'm pretty sure it's in error. In a letter to me many years ago Evans wrote of having inking help on this story and he named the inker. Unfortunately I've lost the original letter and after forty-some years I don't remember the guy's name. However being a big Wunder fan I know I'd have remembered if he were the one. Also the loose brushwork here is at odds with Wunder's meticulous inking style. Whoever it was, it's a nice-looking story.

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