The movie “The pit and the Pendulum” was nothing at all like the book. The movie started out as a man walked along the ocean to enter a huge castle. His sister had moved there when she married Dom Madena, but now she was dead. The castle was used to torture Catholics during the Inquisition. Dom Madena believes that the castle has an atmosphere of torture thick with death, and that led to the death of his sister. The doctor said she died of fright. They buried her in a tomb below the castle. As child Dom Madena saw his father torture and kill his father’s brother and his own wife. He accused them of adultery.

His father didn’t torture his mother to death, he buried her alive. Dom Madena thought that he buried his wife alive. Then one night someone was playing the harpsichord just like his wife did. Another time a servant heard his wife whispering to her. Then one night someone trashed her room. Dom Madena, also called Nicholas, heard his wife calling him. He went through a secret passageway until he entered the room of all the torturing devices. He goes to his wife grave, which they dug up to prove she was dead, and she popped out of her grave. She chased him through the dungeon until they met with the doctor. Then Nicholas fainted, and his wife, who never really died, told him that it was all scheme. She and the doctor were having an affair. He chased the doctor and he fell into a pit and died. He stuck his wife in a torture machine out of sight and gagged her. Then her brother came down. Nicholas seized him and put him on table below a razor sharp pendulum. Right as it was cutting his shirt two servants busted in and threw Nicholas into the pit with the doctor and saved him.

This movie, I think anyway, was a very poor interpretation of the short story. In the story none every commits adultery or is buried alive. A man, or woman for all I know, was stuck in a dungeon which he was tortured in many ways. None died in the book, but in the movie three people died. The book had one character where the movie had seven or eight. The story line in the book of a suffering catholic being tortured to death was altered to make a script for a movie. The only likeness was when the two men were almost killed by the falling pendulum, but saved at the last minute either by others or themselves. In the end of the book the walls of iron are heated and start to push together.

But right before the person dies a French general grabs him because Toledo was just taken by the French. The pit in the book was a hole in the middle of the cell. The captive almost fell in it when the room was pitch black. When the walls were caving in he could of chose the pit or the hot iron walls. The pit is supposed to be the ultimate death in the dungeon and the captive doesn’t want to die in it.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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