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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 <email@example.com>
When France was liberated from the German occupation, some crew and cast members of the film were suspended from working in the film industry because they had worked for Continental Films, a German company: actor Noël Roquevert was suspended for 3 months, production designer Andrej Andrejew for 9 months, actress Micheline Francey for a year, and the director Henri-Georges Clouzot for two years. See more »
"Beware! I see all and tell all." So quoth the Raven, the pen name of the mysterious writer of poison pen letters that has plagued a small town in France with suspicion, fear and anxiety. Since this film was made by a Frenchman under a German controlled studio during Nazi occupied France in 1943, there is a subtext not necessarily explicit in the film itself, but nonetheless pervades its very essence. In Le Corbeau, Dr. Remy Germain becomes a victim when letters start circulating that accuse him of having an affair with a married woman and of being an abortionist. Both of these accusations are false but do contain half-truths, and it is the unfortunate tendency for groups of people, usually motivated by fear, to assume the worst. Furthermore, Germain is an outsider, in that he refuses to participate in gossip and avoids social clicks, which ironically makes him a target. Soon he will find himself under suspicion and alienated. Since virtually every member of the community has some skeleton in their closet, they would much rather turn their ire on the accused than risk having their own affairs aired by The Raven. And so the drama escalates to a crisis where Clouzot does not even spare the victim of blame. By assuming a position of detachment, Germain has turned a blind eye and thereby contributing to ignorance which only provides fuel for the Raven and the lies and deceit spread like a plague.
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