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Behind the Scenes


Actor Denis O’Hare and American Masters Executive Producer Michael Kantor discuss the making of the film Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive.

Major support for Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support for this film is provided in part by National Endowment for the Arts, Joy Fishman, and Wallace S Wilson.


My name is Denis O'Hare and I play Edgar Allan Poe. Once Upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary. What will surprise the viewer is what a trailblazer he was.

He created the murder mystery. In the film, you better understand these horror tales when you sort of have background on Poe, the man. He was a vicious critic and took on the poets of the day and made lots of enemies.

I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down. Denis O'Hara channels this inner horror that Poe felt in American society. I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity. I've always liked complicated characters and I've always liked characters who are tragic. He was an alcoholic He never was out of financial ruin. He was abandoned, and the women he always chose to fall in love with died. It was a tortuous, dark, haunted path.

How melancholy an existence. What I think makes this film special is the way it mixes feature film biography and classic historical documentary. It'd be hard to figure out how to do it the best, and I think American Masters has the literary credentials to approach it. Eric Stange, the director, made a beautiful film.

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor. I think people are going to be surprised and shocked. Shall be lifted nevermore.


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