Edgar Allan Poe was arguably one of the greatest writers of the 19th century, his works spanning a wide range from gothic horror to tragic poetry to slapstick humour, while also including possibly the first ever detective fiction.

While I'm a great fan of his writing in the form of short stories and poetry, I'd like to be able to introduce his work to people who prefer screen adaptations rather than sitting down with a book. So, have any of Poe's stories ever been adapted to films or TV shows? If so, which ones?

(My preference is for adaptations to be as faithful as possible; I'm less interested in anything that's inspired by Poe's work rather than a direct adaptation. After all, Sherlock Holmes and by extension all detective fiction was arguably inspired by Poe, and I'm not asking for a list of all detective dramas!)

Dramatisations of Poe's actual life, if such exist - he had a rather exciting and dramatisable life, including marrying his cousin when he was 26 and she was 13, and dying under mysterious circumstances after a several-day disappearance - don't count. I'm only looking for adaptations of his fiction.

  • 2
    Quick answer would be more than 330.
    – Davidenko
    Jun 19, 2016 at 16:29
  • 1
  • Somewhat recently I watched The Raven with John Cusak, which was interesting, if for nothing else than it was like Edgar Allen Poe fanfiction. He was helping police track a killer and suggested a reason for his mysterious death.
    – jwatts1980
    Jun 19, 2016 at 19:44
  • Look up most anything from the 1950's starring Vincent Price.
    – PMar
    Jun 22, 2016 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Surely the most faithful adaptations have been of The Murders In The Rue Morgue.

The most faithful of those I believe is the 1986 version with George C Scott as Dupin.. There are earlier, less faithful versions.

There are a number of Poe adaptations by Roger Corman in the 1960s, mostly with Vincent Price. However, most of these films are named after one Poe story but consist of two short stories merged together. They are still worth seeing as they retain the style of Poe. They include:

The Tomb of Ligeia
The Masque of the Red Death
The Pit and the Pendulum
The House of Usher

The oddity in that list is The Raven from 1963. This is famously Jack Nicholson's first appearance in film but bears no resemblance to the poem. It is more of a vehicle for Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff.

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