The Fall of the House of Usher (1928 American film)

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For the 1928 Jean Epstein version of Fall of the House of Usher, see The Fall of the House of Usher (1928 French film)
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Fall of the House of Usher1928filmshot.png
A scene from the short film
Directed byJames Sibley Watson
Melville Webber
Written byEdgar Allan Poe
StarringHerbert Stern
Hildegarde Watson
Melville Webber
Music byAlec Wilder
CinematographyJames Sibley Watson
Melville Webber
Release date
  • 1928 (1928)
Running time
13 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles
The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) is a short silent horror film adaptation of the short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. It tells the story of a brother and sister who live under a family curse, it stars Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, and Melville Webber.

The movie was directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber. A music score was written in 1959 for the film by Watson and Webber's friend, composer Alec Wilder; this was his second attempt (after he abandoned his 1929 score for winds, brass and percussion), and he composed for a recording of the New York Woodwind Quintet and a percussionist, conducted by Leon Barzin. The film and music were later synched by James Sibley Watson, and this version was placed in the National Film Registry in 2000. Various new scores have been composed to accompany the film, including American composer Jean Hasse's version (2010) for the UK ensemble Counterpoise (violin, trumpet, saxophone, piano), available to view on YouTube.


An avant-garde experimental film, the visual element predominates, including shots through prisms to create optical distortion.[1] There is no dialogue, though one part features letters moving across the screen.


In 2000, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Don G. The Poe Cinema: A Critical Filmography. McFarland & Company, 1999. pp. 57–58 ISBN 0-7864-1703-X

External links[edit]