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December 20, 2010

Edgar Allan Poe movie stars John Cusack, not Baltimore

edgar allan poe movie john cusack

Filmmakers are shooting "The Raven," a new movie about Baltimore's most celebrated author, Edgar Allan Poe, but don't expect to see star John Cusack wandering around the city. To cut costs, the movie is being filmed in Europe, notable Belgrade and Budapest. Nothing at Baltimore's Poe House, the neighborhood where he died, or his gravesite? Heresy!

Baltimore Sun reporters Mary Carole McCauley and Michael Sragow note that the fictionalized movie, scheduled for a 2011 release, is set during the last five days of Poe's life — a period when he disappeared before turning up dazed and incoherent. He died shortly thereafter.

The film begins with Poe's return to Baltimore for the second and final time, according to the Sun article. A serial killer is terrorizing the local citizens, and it is apparent that he is being inspired by Poe's stories. Initially, the novelist is a suspect. After he clears his name — and after his fiancee is kidnapped — the author works with a Baltimore police inspector to solve the crimes.

The circumstances surrounding Poe's death in Baltimore have always been unclear. He died Oct. 7, 1849, at Church Hospital, a building that has been converted to housing for the Washington Hill neighborhood. Here's how the Sun wrote about the event: DEATH OF EDGAR A. POE -- We regret to learn that Edgar A. Poe, Esq., the distinguished American poet, scholar and critic, died in this city yesterday morning, after an illness of four or five days. This announcement, coming so sudden and unexpected, will cause poignant regret among all who admire genius, and have sympathies for the frailties too often attending it. Mr. Poe, we believe, was a native of this state, though reared by a foster father at Richmond, Va., where he lately spent some time on a visit. He was in the 38th year of his age.

For more Read Street postings, including those marking the 200th anniversary of his birth, check out our Edgar Allan Poe section.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 12:56 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Edgar Allan Poe


Well, let's face it, considering that the movie evidently has no resemblance whatsoever to the real Poe, it probably doesn't matter where they film it.

According to the Internet Movie Database, the female lead plays Virginia Clemm Poe, for crying out loud!

Ooh, I hate it when filmmakers switch locations like that. People in Baltimore should boycott the movie.

Last night I was watching a 1970 episode of the OLD "Hawaii Five-0" TV show. It was terrific. Martin Sheen and Diane Muldaur were guest stars. I think one of the things that made this TV show so good was Jack Lord's insistence that it be filmed in Hawaii. Smart man!

Glad to see you getting the facts out there.
Hopefully the film will stimulate people to visit Baltimore and investigate Poe for themselves. We are working on a documentary about him that will be factual. You can access our website at

Europe. Honestly. Aren't the unwashed masses, teeming streets and decaying structures here good enough for this flick? A Poe fan here but always imagined him a tad scruffier and more frail than Cusak.

Perhaps after 161 years, the Sun should print a correction. Mr. Poe was a native of Boston, Mass.

Sonnet: At the Tomb of Poe- david eberhardt
(to read st. readers) what site in baltimore, other than his tomb- brings poe best to mind?
let me think- the old cemetery at Baltimore and M L King? you shld go in there some time)...or... (maybe a tour in the claustrophobic super max prison-madison at falls way) a truly scary, oppressive place)

He sinks beneath the surface like a stone,

Sidling crab wise down ‘til buried in mud,

A gold bug thread wise through vacant skull eye down

Into maelstroms of stars. Less and less the thud,

Of shovelfuls above him .... into sidereal time, the tunnel back to light obscured.....

Buried alive as he thought ! As if to keep him down, the green

Block from some ancient , obscure disaster - Vermont marble dug ,b

Ripton quarried, dark green, not jadeite green, an intenser, darker green -

As absinthe, but blacker, still, like “Nevermore” , its dense sheen

Like shiny hair : black hair, Ligea's, Virginia's, Helen's or Lenore's.

Bury the critics alive, I say, Poe careens

Down corridors of light, more drunk than before!!

Upon the stone a raven carved, the words blur, but it's not the end.

Buried alive in our imaginations , he rises eerily, again!

gail farrelly...just what the hell does hawaii 5 0 have to do with this upcoming movie about poe?? listening and reading to your inane quip..i quote the raven: NEVERMORE!!!!!!!

Found a great Poe video on You Tube:

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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Edgar Allan Poe is 200!
All you need to know about the macabre master including Poe-themed events, photos, video and a trivia quiz.

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