Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. David Anshen

Second Advisor

Dr. Shawn Thomson

Third Advisor

Dr. Marci R. McMahon


The relationship of Edgar Allan Poe’s works, their respective adaptations, and their place in film history remains underappreciated in contemporary scholarship. Additionally, many of the most significant director/auteurs in cinema history have Poe inspired films. This project explores the filmic legacy Poe and his stories share across a survey of significant filmmakers, who have created memorable interpretations of Poe’s works. This thesis seeks to consider connections between several well-known Poe film adaptations and what I consider to be their significance in the development of film as a medium over its history. My investigation compares a range of films inspired by and adapted from Poe to discover recurring patterns, tropes, and motifs to contribute to a director’s auteur status. Through this work, I propose that what connects these filmic works are their utilization of Poe’s themes and his literary celebrity status.


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