7.8/10
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Le Corbeau (1943)

Le corbeau (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 28 September 1943 (France)
French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion.

Director:

(as Henri Georges Clouzot)

Writers:

(scenario), (adaptation) (as Henri Georges Clouzot) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Denise Saillens
Micheline Francey ...
Laura Vorzet
Héléna Manson ...
Marie Corbin - l'infirmière
Jeanne Fusier-Gir ...
La mercière
...
La mère du cancéreux
Liliane Maigné ...
Rolande Saillens
...
Michel Vorzet
Noël Roquevert ...
Saillens - la maître d'école
Bernard Lancret ...
Le substitut
...
Le docteur Delorme (as Antoine Balpétré)
...
Bonnevie - le trésorier de l'hôpital
Pierre Bertin ...
Le sous-préfet
Louis Seigner ...
Bertrand
Roger Blin ...
François - le cancéreux du 13
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Storyline

A vicious series of poison-pen letters spreads rumours, suspicion and fear among the inhabitants of a small French town, and one after another, they turn on each other as their hidden secrets are unveiled - but the one secret that no-one can uncover is the identity of the letters' author... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Une petite ville comme il en est tant en France. [Original Version] See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1943 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le Corbeau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the real story, the letters were signed "The Eye of the Tiger" and not "The Raven". The director chose the latter signature after the description of the accused made by a journalist during the 1922 trial: "She looks like a small bird who folded its wings." Interestingly after this movie the word "raven" stayed in the French language ("corbeau") to designate someone who sends anonymous letters. It is a very rare example of a movie expression influencing language. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Le docteur Rémy Germain: [washes blood off his arms] I saved the mother.
Grand-mother: And the baby?
Le docteur Rémy Germain: No.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Delicatessen (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A little-known gem
10 July 2004 | by (Columbia, South Carolina, USA) – See all my reviews

Although I pride myself on my knowledge of fine films, I must admit with a trace of embarrassment that I had never heard of this film before yesterday, when a brief blurb on the Turner Classic Movies schedule prompted me to watch it. My principal motivation for watching it was that it was directed by Clouzot, whose "Diabolique" and "Wages of Fear" are favorites of mine. What a find! While not quite the equal of "Diabolique," it comes very close, and it is the equal of anything by Hitchcock. Viewed simply as a thriller, it is marvelous, but it is much more than that. It is a profound character study and a howl of rage at the small-mindedness and pettiness of small town bourgeois communities. Considering that it was made during the German occupation, it can also be viewed as about as scathing a critique of Gestapo methods as a director could be expected to make without risking his life.

After I saw "The Sorrow and The Pity" in 1971, I held the belief that any French artist who continued to work during the occupation was a legitimate target for criticism. Since then I have moderated this view somewhat. After all, who among us can honestly say what we would do in a similar situation? While there is no excuse for collaboration, can an artist be criticized for staying in his country and making a protest in the only way he can? I think that is what Clouzot did here, and the result is a masterwork. I only wish this were more widely known and publicized. 10/10


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