Six of the Most Gorgeous Roger Corman Adaptations In The Poe Cycle

Get ready for six beautiful Edgar Allen Poe films directed by Roger Corman, only one doesn't star Vincent Price.

By Dolores Quintana · @doloresquintana · August 5, 2023, 3:30 PM PDT
Image Credit: IMDB

Roger Corman is considered a producer who gave a lot of great directors their start in film, particularly horror films. But Corman did direct his own horror films as part of American International Pictures (AIP). Several of them are part of a series based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe or the Poe Cycle. These are some of the most gorgeous ones in the series. You can read about the noir films that Vincent Price starred in here.

House of Usher (1960)


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House of Usher is the first in the series, directed by Roger Corman and written by Richard Matheson. Matheson wrote I Am Legend, Duel, and A Stir of Echoes. It stars Vincent Price as Roderick Usher, who would rather see his sister entombed than married. The result was much better than the two cheap black-and-white films that American International Pictures originally wanted him to make. This set the tone and quality for the series.

The Premature Burial (1962)


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Following along with the theme of premature burial, this is the only film in the Poe Cycle that didn't star Vincent Price. Instead, Ray Milland and Hazel Court are the leads in this tale of Guy Carrell, a nobleman who is terrified of being buried prematurely. It was written by Charles Beaumont and Ray Russell and features a remarkable recovery from death as you might imagine.

Tales of Terror (1962)


Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

In Tales of Terror, the fourth film in the Poe Cycle, you see the return of Vincent Price as the lead actor, along with Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, and Debra Paget. It is an anthology film that adapts three of Poe's stories, Morella, The Black Cat, and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. The film also is the return of Richard Matheson as a screenwriter and was filmed in Panavision.

The Raven (1963)

THE RAVEN (1963)

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The Raven, the fifth film in the Poe Cycle, is a gothic horror comedy based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem. Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Hazel Court, and Jack Nicholson star in the film. It is again directed by Roger Corman and written by Richard Matheson. The film is an attempt to change up the formula of the series to keep audiences riveted.

The Haunted Palace (1963)


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The Haunted Palace is where the series gets a little tricky. The sixth film in the Poe Cycle, the script is adapted by writer Charles Beaumont from H.P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. They justified calling it part of the Poe Cycle by including a portion of Poe's poem, The Haunted Palace, as part of the story. It stars Vincent Price, Debra Paget, and Lon Chaney Jr.

The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)


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The Tomb of Ligeia is the final film of the Poe Cycle, directed by Roger Corman. Richard Matheson wrote the screenplay, and Vincent Price and Elizabeth Shepard are the stars. Price plays Verden Fell, who is haunted by the spirit of his late wife, Ligeia. He marries Rowena, and the black cat in the home tries to harm Rowena multiple times leading Fell to believe it is inhabited by the angry spirit of his former wife.