Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The French silent film La Chute de la Maison Usher is adapted from Edgar Allan Poe's Fall of the House of Usher. Director Jean Epstein studiously avoids cheap shocks in this tale of hereditary madness, choosing instead a tightly controlled, spookily subtle technique. The hero, having indirectly caused the death of his beloved, stubbornly tries to resurrect her spirit by devoting himself to painting and sculpture. Epstein conveys the twilight zone between life and death with lingering dissolves and brilliant utilization of slow motion. The production design of La Chute de la Maison Usher, together with the earlier Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, obviously inspired the "look" of Robert Florey's 1932 Poe derivation Murders in the Rue Morgue.
madness, heredity, mansion, family, haunted-house
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance