Is 'The Pale Blue Eye' based on a true story?

Is 'The Pale Blue Eye' based on a true story?
Christian Bale as Augustus Landor in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)

Who doesn’t love a movie based on a thrilling murder mystery? And if Christian Bale is in it, then it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Netflix is giving viewers a chance to live the dream and see Bale donning period costumes while investigating a gruesome murder case in the highly-anticipated ‘The Pale Blue Eye’. Set in 1830, a cadet is found dead at West Point and when his body is brought back to the morgue, it is found that his heart has been skilfully removed. The military believes that it will damage their academy and people will never be able to trust them. So, they plan to solve the mystery by calling a local detective named Augustus Landor (Bale).

However, it’s not easy for him to solve the mystery because all the other cadets in the military are not speaking to him as they are being stopped to do so because of their code of silence. When he finds out that he is not being able to move forward, he enlists the help of one of their own to pursue the case who knows a thing or two about the military, a man named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Meling).

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Christian Bale as Augustus Landor in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)
Christian Bale as Augustus Landor in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)

It’s quite interesting to see Bale in a period murder mystery and viewers love to see him in such gritty roles. However, after seeing the trailers of the movie, a lot of people have one question in their minds: Is ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ based on a true story? Well, let’s take a look at if it has some eerie similarities with a real-life murder case or not.

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Is ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ based on a true story?

First things first, Scott Cooper’s moody period mystery is not based on a true story, but it has taken inspiration from Louis Bayard’s novel of the same name. Released in 2003, the novel sees a young cadet getting killed in one of the most gruesome manners possible and left in the woods. When the cadet’s body is found and brought back to the morgue, it is found that his heart is missing and has been skilfully removed. The military academy feels that the entire case will damage its reputation so they take the services of a local detective named Augustus Landor to investigate the case. While investigating the case, the detective finds out that the young cadets are not talking to him because they are not allowed to break their code of silence.

Things get really weird when Landor believes that no one is helping him to solve the case. However, he soon takes some help from an eccentric military cadet who doesn’t feel good about some of the military protocols. A young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe, who loves reading or writing poetry, comes forward to help Landor in the case and they both embark on a journey that will take them to the extreme.

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Christian Bale as Augustus Landor, Harry Melling as Cadet Edgar Allen Poe in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)
Christian Bale as Augustus Landor, Harry Melling as Cadet Edgar Allen Poe in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)

The novel received positive reviews from critics as well as audiences. The New York Times gave ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ a positive review and wrote that it is “shockingly clever” and “reads like a lost classic.” On the other hand, USA Today gave this book a glaring review and said it “seamlessly blends Poe into an engrossing whodunit worthy of its inspiration.”

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The novel was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award and a Dagger Award (Crime Writers’ Association).

‘The Pale Blue Eye’ seems to be an engrossing murder mystery that would keep viewers at the edge of their seats. So, let’s get ready for a thrilling tale.

Gillian Anderson as Mrs. Julia Marquis and Toby Jones as Dr. Daniel Marquis in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)
Gillian Anderson as Mrs. Julia Marquis and Toby Jones as Dr. Daniel Marquis in 'The Pale Blue Eye' (Netflix)

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‘The Pale Blue Eye’ will be streaming exclusively on Netflix on January 6.

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