Is ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ Based on a True Story? – Scott Cooper is the author and director of the 2022 American mystery-thriller The Pale Blue Eye. It relates the tale of seasoned detective Augustus Landor, who enlists the help of young military cadet Edgar Allan Poe in 1830 West Point, New York, to look into a string of deaths at the United States Military Academy. Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney, Timothy Spall, and Robert Duvall are among the ensemble cast members that play Landor and Poe, respectively, in the movie.
Before Netflix’s streaming debut of The Pale Blue Eye on January 6, 2023, The Pale Blue Eye was shown in a few select theatres on December 23, 2022. Critics gave the movie largely favourable reviews.
Is ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ Movie a True Story?
The Pale Blue Eye is a fictional story based on the novel of the 2003 Louis Bayard book of the same name, “the pale blue eye,” which served as the basis for the film. At the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, many killings were reported in 1830, and veteran detective Augustus Landor was called in to look into them.
The military hired Augustus to investigate a horrific case in which a cadet had his heart torn out. The murder victim’s hands include a tiny piece of a message. He asks Edgar Allan Poe, a student at the academy, to assist with the investigation by looking into the case’s specifics. They finally realise that sorcery magic may be connected to the crime. Then, a second incident is discovered in which a different cadet was abandoned in the forest and had his heart brutally torn out. Then, a third cadet who was related to the first two vanished, perhaps believing he was the next to perish.
The family of Dr. Daniel Marquis, who was first involved in the investigation by assisting with the autopsy, is where Augustus and Edgar end themselves after following the clues. His daughter Lea, who had unpredictably occurring seizures, and son Artemus were singled out for suspicion in particular. She had engaged in sorcery magic, and it is later revealed. Also discovered in their home is an antique officer uniform that has been worn for impersonation in the past.
Edgar offers to do whatever Lea requests after being seduced by her. When Edgar wakes up, he discovers that Lea and Artemus attempted to cut out his heart as part of a ceremony to cure Lea of her seizures, leaving him to bleed. While the falling beams crush Lea and Artemus in the burning house, Augustus arrives in time to save Edgar. The military thanks Augustus for his service, believing that the case is finally closed.
Edgar discovers that Augustus’ handwriting is identical to that on the note fragment found in the first deceased cadet after he has recovered from his near-death experience. By connecting all the dots in the evidence he obtained, it becomes clear that Augustus was responsible for the deaths of cadets. Then Edgar confronts Augustus and informs him of the decision he has made. The three cadets were responsible for the kidnapping and rape of Augustus’ daughter two years before. She jumped off a cliff to end her life after being traumatised by the incident.
Devastated, Augustus decided to exact revenge on his daughter. He tricked the first cadet into going out into the night by leaving him a phoney note before hanging him. He was compelled to leave the body there as a patrol just so happened to pass by. As part of the rite, Lea and Artemus, who discovered the body and took it, tore out its heart. Then Augustus took advantage of the situation to assign blame. Then, using similar techniques, he killed the second cadet who had violated his daughter and pretended it was a ceremony. Edgar informs Augustus that he has a note that connects Augustus specifically to the murders. But Edgar burns it before leaving. Then, Augustus is pictured standing at the cliff from which his daughter died by jumping.
However, as filmmaker Scott Cooper explained to Netflix’s Tudum, the absence of historical evidence was quite liberating. With the recurring themes that deal with the questions of death, the effects of decomposition and reanimation of the dead, and mourning – all those things that are considered part of his dark romanticism – these events that occur in our film shaped [Poe’s] worldview and helped him become the writer that he became.
But it is evident that Poe was not suited for a long career in the military. The aspiring poet deliberately intended to be court-martialed after only six months, pleading not guilty to the accusations of disobedience and gross dereliction of duty, confident that a guilty conviction would result in his discharge.
It appears that Poe’s time at West Point had a more surprising and direct impact on his career as a poet, in addition to helping to establish a career that would frequently address themes of death, regret, and loss. Poe published his third poetry collection after graduating from West Point, aptly titled Poems. His fellow West Point cadets donated $170 to fund the book by contributing 75 cents each, which allowed him to publish the tome.
The poet was well known for his hilarious, sarcastic verse while he was a student at West Point, so it’s possible that he was a little let down to discover that his copies were filled with poems honouring the mothers of his boyhood friends and fanciful singing angels.
Netflix will start streaming The Pale Blue Eye on January 6, 2023.