This is a tough silent film to watch, as the print is very, very washed out and occasionally skips. It's desperately in need of restoration--DESPERATELY. Oddly, however, despite there being no apparent attempt to fix the quality of the print, the film has a really nice musical score--surprising since the film otherwise looks a mess.
As for the film itself, despite the title, it is NOT recreation of the Edgar Allen Poe tale, but a biography of Poe's life. Only later is the story of the raven recreated within the biopic. While this film is inferior when compared to biographies made in the following decades, for 1915 it's actually quite nice--with a run-time of almost one hour in its original form (very long for the time), decent acting, nice use of double-exposures and excellent costumes. It is noteworthy in the acting department that the film stars Henry B. Walthall. While not a common name today, in his time he was one of the stage's and screen's preeminent actors and he starred in a ton of films during the silent and sound era--the most notably being D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation". His performance was very nice and natural, though I should also praise the rest of the cast, as they acted quite realistically--especially compared to some of the wildly exaggerating done by many actors in their day. The only exceptions were the terribly overdone black actors in the film. Not only did they overdo it, but I suspect they were all white folks in black-face makeup. Some clearly were, but it was hard to tell about all since the print was THAT bad! Believe it or not, having white actors do this is films was very common at this time--though today it's bound to raise a few eyebrows!! My score of 7 takes into the account the craptastic print. Should a restoration occur and I see it, I'll be glad to consider adding a point or two for this.
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