Netflix ‘The Pale Blue Eye’: The Real Story Behind You Don’t Know

The mystery thriller film “The Pale Blue Eye,” has the whole gothic touch and aesthetic in its visuals. The plot, concerning an experienced detective appointed to investigate a strange death at the still-new United States Military Academy, also has enough grim and dark matters. Both of these, combined with the period that is being portrayed and the characters who are involved, make for a great watch. Yet, “The Pale Blue Eye” ultimately stops at being just mediocre, with a somewhat predictable plot bringing it down.

After debuting in select theaters  The Pale Blue Eye, a gothic murder mystery featuring Edgar Allen Poe as one of the detectives on the case, is now streaming on Netflix. Is The Pale Blue Eye based on a true story?


1. What is The Pale Blue Eye about?

The Pale Blue Eye true story Source: Time Out

The Pale Blue Eye is a 2022 American mystery thriller film written and directed by Scott Cooper, adapted from the 2003 novel of the same name by Louis Bayard.[1] It tells the story of veteran detective Augustus Landor who, in 1830 West Point, New York, investigates a series of murders at the United States Military Academy with the aid of Edgar Allan Poe, a young military cadet. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Christian Bale and Harry Melling as Landor and Poe respectively, along with Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney, Timothy Spall, and Robert Duvall.

Related: Netflix ‘The Pale Blue Eye’: The Real Story Behind You Don’t Know

2. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Louis Bayard.

The Pale Blue Eye true story Source: louis bayard

Based on Louis Bayard’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Pale Blue Eye transports viewers to snow-swept upstate New York in 1830. The period thriller, directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Hostiles), opens with veteran detective Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) being called in to investigate the gruesome murder of a cadet at the then-fledgling United States Military Academy at West Point. The cadet, Leroy Fry (Steven Meier), was hanged and, in an even more disturbing turn of events, had his heart cut out and stolen while his body sat inside the school’s hospital.

Bayard writes in an afterword, “There have been a fair number of books with Poe as a character. I chose to catch him at an early stage in his development—when he’s a cadet at West Point. He’s only twenty. He’s published a couple volumes of poetry, but he’s largely unknown to the reading public, still struggling to find his voice, still trying to consolidate this very troubled relationship with his foster father, John Allan.” As the New York Times Book Review wrote at the time of its publication, “The regimented, gloomy world of West Point, with all its staring eyes and missing hearts, forms a perfectly plausible back story to the real-life Poe’s penchant for tintinnabulation, morbidity and pale young women, first initial L.”

Related: The Pale Blue Eye: Are Landor And Poe Dead? What Happens To Them?

3. The Pale Blue Eye: The real facts behind

The Pale Blue Eye true story Source: Haiku Deck

Edgar Allen Poe did attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. Poe enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1827, claiming he was 22 years old but he was just 18. He matriculated at West Point in March 1830, but quit the following January. Poe was officially dismissed in March 1831.

“Of course this is a work of fiction, although Poe was at West Point,” writer-director Scott Cooper told Tudum. “What I’m saying is that it’s these events that occur in our film that shaped his worldview and helped him become the writer that he became—with the recurring themes that deal with the questions of death and the effects of decomposition and reanimation of the dead and mourning; all those are considered part of his dark romanticism.”

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