Even though the movie “The Pit and the Pendulum” bore little resemblance to the story by Edgar Allen Poe, it still had many of the same elements as his work. “The Pit and the Pendulum” was so similar to Poe’s stories, that I almost mistook it to be a work of Poe. Poe’s stories shared many of the same elements with “The Pit and the Pendulum.”
There were many elements that the director used to make the “The Pit and the Pendulum” more Poe like.
One that really stood out was how the director used a deep sense of mourning. Nicholas mourned Elizabeth so much, he almost went crazy. It was very similar to how the narrator in “The Raven” mourned his beloved. They both thought mostly of their wives. Nicholas grieved to see Elizabeth like the narrator sought Lenore.
Furthermore, the stories share similar settings. “The Raven,” “Tell Tale Heart,” and “The Black Cat” all had either the climatic events or the whole story take place at night, just like “The Pit and the Pendulum”.
In the “The Pit and the Pendulum” Nicholas goes crazy, and attempt to kill everybody at night. In “The Raven” and “Tell Tale Heart” the whole story occurred at night. “The Black Cat” had the narrator get busted by the police at night, also. The night helped create a Poe mood. The night is dark, and darkness symbolizes evil in many cultures.
The “The Pit and the Pendulum” was made to be a “Poe” work.
The director explicitly states this “The method we adopted on The Pit and the Pendulum was to use the Poe short story as the climax for a third act to the motion picture, because a two-page short story is not about to give you a ninety-minute motion picture. We then constructed the first two acts in what we hoped was a manner faithful to Poe, as his climax would run only a short time on the screen.” I believe that they did a very good job, and there are few, if any noticeable differences.