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Tell Tale (2009)

Tell-Tale (original title)
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A man's newly transplanted heart leads him on a dangerous journey to find out who murdered its donor.

Director:

Michael Cuesta

Writers:

Dave Callaham (screenplay) (as David Callaham), Edgar Allan Poe (short story "The Tell-Tale Heart") (as Edgar Allen Poe)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Lucas ... Terry Bernard
Lena Headey ... Elizabeth Clemson
Brian Cox ... Phillip Van Doren
Bea Miller ... Angela Bernard (as Beatrice Miller)
Jamie Harrold ... Kevin Stanovich
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Acherton
Pablo Schreiber ... Bernard Cochius
Tom Riis Farrell ... Legethon
Ulrich Thomsen ... Doctor Lethe
Dallas Roberts ... The Surgeon
Cassandre Fiering ... Frances Vieillard
Peg Holzemer ... Elderly Woman In Wheelchair (as Peg Saurman Holzemer)
Scott Winters Scott Winters ... Doctor Averman
Kara Lund Kara Lund ... Nurse
John Timothy Botka John Timothy Botka ... Police Officer
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Storyline

In Providence, a husband and wife die in a botched robbery; we see flickers of his last memories. His heart goes to Terry Bernard, a single father raising a girl with a rare degenerative disease. After the operation, Terry has flashes of memory from the last moments of the dead donor's life. Then, he recognizes one of the donor's killers and follows him into an alley. Within days, Terry becomes an unwilling avenger, with a police detective on his trail. Meanwhile, he begins a romance with his daughter's doctor, his moods complicated by memory flashes, the donor's deepening presence in both Terry's mind and body, and the unexplained bond among the donor's killers. Can this end well? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The pieces are coming together. His life is falling apart. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content, language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 2009 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Tell Tale See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (FotoKem)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When lead character meets Acherton in bathroom his name-tag says Michael Acherton after he is called the detective refers to him as Paul Acherton. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paramedic: [over radio] Dispatch this is Rescue 3. I have a 55 year old white male named Lyar, John. He has massive blunt trauma to the skull. Glasgow Coma Score is 1, Henry 3. Patient has ID in his wallet identifying him as an organ donor. Alert trauma and transport team.
Dispatcher: Copy that.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Telltale Heart (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

The Torture
Written by Leslie Stevens
Performed by Leslie and the Badgers
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User Reviews

 
A Contemporary Vision Of Poe
15 March 2016 | by kdavies-69347See all my reviews

'Tell Tale' pays homage to one of American history's greatest horror authors, editors, and literary critics; Edgar Allan Poe. Most of us have read 'The tell-tale heart' at some point in school, and tells the tale of an unnamed narrator who slowly, and without much remorse, confesses to the murder of his employer - the man with the 'evil eye'. It was (and is) considered one of the most horrifying tales of the macabre at that point, as the speaker describes the reasons, methods, and means of murdering his master, and the madness that eventually causes him to confess.

Although 'Tell Tale' is an interesting movie to watch, it is only loosely based on the original Poe story. They are completely different in every way, as this film is more of a strange, psychological ghost story. It is an interesting film nevertheless, but it bears no resemblance to Poe's famous short story.

The film centers on Terry Bernard, a young father, and a man who receives a much needed heart transplant just in the nick of time. Slowly his life returns to normal, he is a man in love, and a very dutiful father... but it all begins to change rapidly when he suffers from a supernatural assault on his memory. Remembrances of a man murdered, and a life not his own.

There is some really wonderful casting in this movie, especially the renowned Brian Cox, who plays a retired detective who views the whole thing so skeptically, that it's hard to understand why he would become involved until much later in the film. Josh Lucas as the lead, does a fantastic job of portraying a man who is very much being tortured, mind, body, and soul. His love interest played by Lena Heady (of Game Of Thrones fame), is a very welcome addition. Her devotion to him wavers at times due the subsequent changes in the man she loves, but she carries an immense secret throughout the movie.

Overall, it's a very unique take on Poe's work, yet I would say only mildly influenced by it. It could be rather predictable at times, but it is well acted throughout.

6/10


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