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


(as Louis Friedlander)


(poem), (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Edmond Bateman (as Karloff)
Lester Matthews ...
Dr. Jerry Halden (Credits) / Dr. Jerry Holden
Jean Thatcher
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Judge Thatcher
Spencer Charters ...
Geoffrey (Credits) / Col. Bertram Grant
Col. Bertram Grant (Credits) / Geoffrey 'Pinky'
Maidel Turner ...
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)


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 | Plot Synopsis


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




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Rabe  »

Box Office


$115,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Greg Mank's book "Karloff and Lugosi, Karloff received $10,000 for his work, Lugosi $5000, Irene Ware $625, Lester Matthews $1153.76, and Samuel S. Hinds $1333.35. See more »


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


Judge Thatcher: I'll pay you any amount of money, Dr. Vollin,
Dr. Richard Vollin: Money means nothing to me.
Judge Thatcher: But someone is dying! your obligation as a member of the medical profession...
Dr. Richard Vollin: I respect no obligation. I am a law unto himself!
Judge Thatcher: But you have no human feeling? My daughter is dying!
Dr. Richard Vollin: Death hasn't the same significance for me as it has for you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the film, The credits read: "A Good Cast Is Worth Repeating" (credits for the cast are also at the beginning of the film) See more »


Featured in House of Harrington (2008) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A mad doctor who also has an obsessive penchant for Edgar Allen Poe plans a grisly revenge
20 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Nice horror film suggested by Poe's immortal stories , thanks mainly to fortuitous teaming of terror kings as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi . A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her . But while this lunatic surgical genius chanted "The Raven," horrible screams rose up from his torture chamber below . The gloomy surgeon (Bela Lugosi) has a dungeon full of torture gadgets inspired by Edgar Allen Poe stories , then he is begged by a judge (Samuel Hinds) to save his daughter's life . The eccentric neurological surgeon does and then falls in love for the beautiful girl (Irene Ware) but she's already engaged . The nutty doctor recruits a wanted criminal (Boris Karloff), and turns him into a hideous monster . Meanwhile , the dull doctor invites a group of guests (Lester Matthews , Charters, Courtney , and eternal secondary Ian Wolfe) at his dismal mansion

The script has very little to do with Edgar Allen Poes's tales , though the screen-writers do manage to squeeze in his pendulum torture from : The pit and the pendulum and Poe's Raven . This is a quickie professionally realized by Lew Landers , an expert in rapid pictures that rarely ran longer than 70 minutes ; although here he stands out and it is among his most forceful and fastest works. Lew Landers began directing features in the mid-'30s under his real name of Louis Friedlander, but changed it to Lew Landers after several films , his first effort, The Raven , was probably his best. The movie belongs to a group of a few of the bargain-basement horrors that Lew Landers directed for Universal Pictures , including production designer Albert D'Agostino , all of them in low-budget , starred by terror stars and have a certain hypnotic fascination such as ¨Return of the vampire¨ , ¨The ghost that walks alone¨ ,¨The mask of Diijon¨ and of course this ¨The raven¨. Bela Lugosi is at his prime in this character as a mad doctor who when is rejected he plans vendetta in his chamber of horror and good acting by terror master Karloff as a criminal who winds up ruining the mad doctor's schemes . Several inconsistencies in the somewhat twisted screenplay can be overlooked because of their chilling acting by the classic horror duo , Lugosi and Karloff .

The motion picture was well directed by Lew Landers , rivaling Sam Newfield and William Beaudine as one of the American film industry's most prolific directors, The Raven was his first feature made under his real name . Landers galloped his way around 130 movies , called quickfire and almost none of them exceeding 80 minutes , they have nearly all vanished into the mists of time now . It would be nice to record that Lew's output as one of the most prolific filmmakers in the field is studded with undiscovered treasures . Lew Landers got into filming serials with Universal , the first of them ¨Tailspin Tommy¨ and ¨Parole¨ , then the studio moved him on to features and he began his long career . Landers spent a lot of time at RKO and Columbia turning out low-budget adventure epics, thrillers and westerns . Towards the final of his shooting days , Landers became involved with all types of frivolities in a variety of strange color process as SuperCinecolor , filming several adventure films such as ¨Last of the Bucaneers , Blue blood , Captain Kidd and the slave girl , Captain John Smith and Pochahontas¨ and his most important ¨California conquest¨ . In the 1950s he turned to series television, as many of his fellow B directors did, and alternated between that and features for the remainder of his career , for that reason Landers was extremely busy in TV episodes until his early death at 60 years old .

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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