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The Raven (1935)

 -  Horror  -  8 July 1935 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,774 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 43 critic

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director:

(as Louis Friedlander)

Writers:

(poem), (screenplay), 7 more credits »
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Title: The Raven (1935)

The Raven (1935) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Edmond Bateman (as Karloff)
...
Lester Matthews ...
Dr. Jerry Halden (Credits) / Dr. Jerry Holden
Irene Ware ...
Jean Thatcher
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Judge Thatcher
Spencer Charters ...
Geoffrey (Credits) / Col. Bertram Grant
...
...
Col. Bertram Grant (Credits) / Geoffrey 'Pinky'
Maidel Turner ...
Harriet
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anne Darling ...
Autograph Hound (scenes deleted)
June Gittelson ...
Autograph Hound (scenes deleted)
Joe Haworth ...
Drug Clerk (scenes deleted)
Mary Wallace ...
Autograph Hound (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

A wealthy judge coaxes the brilliant but eccentric neurological surgeon Dr. Vollin (Lugosi), who also has an obsessive penchant for Edgar Allen Poe, out of retirement to save the life of his daughter, a dancer crippled and brain damaged in an auto wreck. Vollin restores her completely, but also envisions her as his "Lenore," and cooks up a scheme to kidnap the woman and torture and kill her fiance' and father in his Poe-inspired dungeon. To do his dirty work, Vollin recruits a wanted criminal (Karloff), and turns him into a hideous monster to guarantee his subservience. Written by Kevin Rayburn <kprayb01@homer.Louisville.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

While this mad surgical genius chanted "The Raven," horrible screams rose up from his torture chamber below!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Rabe  »

Box Office

Budget:

$115,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting lasted from Mar. 20-Apr. 5, 1935, released July 4 in NYC, with Bela Lugosi in attendance, due to sail to England to begin Phantom Ship (1935). See more »

Goofs

The on-screen credits interchanged the character names for Ian Wolfe and Spencer Charters. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Richard Vollin: Poe, you are avenged!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of Spencer Charters and Ian Wolfe were accidentally reversed in the credits. See more »


Soundtracks

Music
(uncredited)
from The Black Cat (1934)
Original Music and Classical Music Arrangements by Heinz Roemheld
Played as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Madness begets madness.
15 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Horror legends Karloff and Lugosi return after the success of The Black Cat the previous year in this deliciously warped slice of horror. Lugosi is sublime as the unhinged Dr Vollin who is coaxed out of retirement to save the life of a pretty dancer {Irene Ware as Jean Thatcher}. He does but in the process becomes infatuated with her and sets about having her all to himself. This spells bad news for her father, Judge Thatcher {Samuel S. Hinds} and her fiancé, Dr. Jerry Holden {Lester Matthews}. Enlisting the help of wanted criminal Edmond Bateman {Karloff} whom has been disfigured by Vollin with the promise of restoring his face, he plots to do away with the men in Jean's life down in his Edgar Allen Poe inspired torture chamber basement.

Running at just over one hour, The Raven simmers nicely as the characters form, and then boils to the surface for the furious last quarter. In the build up we have been royally treated to some truly excellent scenes as Vollin steadily grows more deranged. The unmasking of Bateman post surgery is unnerving, and thanks to Karloff's ability at making a criminal sympathetic, heartfelt. This is followed by a mirror sequence that is a horror highlight of the 30s and puts us in no doubt that Vollin is a terrifying creation. The creepy house setting is naturally a horror staple but one can't help wondering what a better director than Lew Landers could have made with the simple but effective premise? It's solid enough from Landers, some nice shadow play etc, but what stops it breaking out into genre classic status is its lack of a creeping menace type atmosphere. Which is a shame as it has a potent score from Clifford Vaughan. Still, The Raven is a fine genre piece showcasing two genuine icons, and in spite of its obvious simplicity and little flaws, ends triumphantly in a blaze of insanity and ironic cruelty. 8/10


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