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Dick Miller copy of "The Premature Burial" screenplay

 Collection — Box: BW 52, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16771

Content Description

This collection contains Dick Miller's working copy of the original screenplay for the 1962 film "The Premature Burial." Miller's only annotation to the script is blood dripping from the title in red holograph ink. Miller played the part of "Mole" in the film. This film was the director Roger Corman's third of seven Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, known collectively as the "Poe Cycle." Based on the 1844 short story by Edgar Allan Poe, and adapted to the screen by Charles Beaumont, noted horror novelist and screenwriter, and Ray Russell. The plot is about a British aristocrat in Victorian England who develops a paranoid fear of being buried alive. Typescript, 116 leaves, bound with a printed green portfolio cover and fastened with brads.


  • Creation: c. 1962


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

The Premature Burial, also known as Premature Burial, is a 1962 American horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Alan Napier, Heather Angel and Richard Ney. The screenplay by Charles Beaumont and Ray Russell is based upon the 1844 short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. It was the third in the series of eight Poe-themed pictures, known informally as the "Poe Cycle", directed by Corman for American International Pictures.

Richard Miller (December 25, 1928 – January 30, 2019) was an American character actor who played the Mole in the "Premature Burial." He also appeared in more than 180 films,[1] including many produced by Roger Corman. He later appeared in the films of directors who began their careers with Corman, including Joe Dante, James Cameron, and Martin Scorsese, with the distinction of appearing in every film directed by Dante. He was known for playing the beleaguered everyman, often in one-scene appearances.

During the early 1960's, American International Pictures produced a series of horror films inspired by Edgar Allan Poe called the "Poe Cycle." Of eight films, seven feature stories are based on the works of Poe. They were "House of Usher," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Premature Burial,", "Tales of Terror," "The Raven," "The Haunted Palace," "The Masque of the Red Death," and "The Tomb of Ligeia."

Sources: "Dick Miller" Wikipedia. Accessed 4/17/23

"American International Pictures" Accessed 4/17/23


.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter-sized folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Royal Books (from the estate of Dick Miller) by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on 10 January 2022.

Related Materials

Edgar Allan Poe collections MSS 1857

Genre / Form

Dick Miller copy of "The Premature Burial" screenplay
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States