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'American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe - Buried Alive'
(Denis O'Hare, et al / DVD / PG / 2017 / PBS)

Overview: 'Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive' draws on the rich palette of Poe's evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author. Featuring Tony Award-winning actor Denis O'Hare, the film explores the misrepresentations of Poe as an alcoholic madman.

DVD Verdict: For those not in the full know, and as always, it's best to start with the complete facts, Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, editor, and literary critic.

Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country's earliest practitioners of the short story.

Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.

He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. Poe died in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, at age 40; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Here in the truly fascinating 'Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive', one of my favorite character actors Denis O'Hare ('American Horror Story') takes on the persona of Poe quite like I've never seen anyone do it before (and yes, that includes you, John Cusack!)

With lots to tell about the real story of the notorious author, the Tony Award-winning actor helps the documentary explore the misrepresentations of Poe as an alcoholic madman. Was he just simply that persona, or was there more to his so-called "madness", perhaps?

This American Masters documentary from PBS reveals the way in which Poe tapped into what it means to be a human in our modern and sometimes frightening world. Through the incredible acting of O'Hare, we witness as Poe and his works continually influenced literature in the United States and around the world.

As well as in specialized fields such as cosmology and cryptography, Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television still today. Watch this documentary today if you even only have the slightest curiosity about Poe as it will be revealing and leave you with a much better sense of the man, that's for sure. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of 'Outtakes from the Film'.