A year before his masterpiece The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith made The Avenging Conscience, his first – and only – horror film. For the film’s scenario, Griffith took inspiration from the works of Edgar Allan Poe, weaving in elements of the stories “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Black Cat”, and the poem “Annabel Lee”. Star Henry B. Walthall played the “Little Colonel” in The Birth of a Nation (1915).
THE RAVEN (1915): After The Avenging Conscience proved to be a success, star Henry B. Walthall took the obvious next step – playing Edgar Allan Poe himself. The Raven is not based on Poe’s poem of the same name, but the autobiographical play The Raven: The Love Story of Edgar Allan Poe by George C. Hazelton instead. It tells the harrowing story of Poe’s life, from the tragic loss of his parents at an early age, to his marriage to the doomed Virginia Clemm. Director Charles Brabin was married to original Hollywood ‘vamp’ Theda Bara from 1921 to her death in 1955.Both films feature additional AUDIO COMMENTARY by Mark Redfield.
Note: Due to the age and rarity of these films, some picture anomalies exist.