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The Raven (1963) Poster

(1963)

Trivia

Peter Lorre and Jack Nicholson were fond of ad-libbing their lines, much to the annoyance of Boris Karloff, who was working from the script.
Jack Nicholson always gave high praise to everyone he worked with on the set, except one - the Raven. He said the Raven pooped on everyone, but especially liked to poop on him; he later said: "I would look down when the Raven flew off my shoulder, and it would be covered in poop....I hated that bird."
In casting his spells, Dr. Bedlo uses several Latin phrases: Veni vidi vici: I came, I saw, I conquered. De mortuis nil nisi bonum: Do not speak ill of the dead. Cave canem: Beware of the dog. Si vis pacem parabellum: If you want peace, prepare for war. Ceterum censio Carthaginem esse delendam: Furthermore, I believe that Carthage must be destroyed.
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Boris Karloff is also in The Raven (1935). Both films are inspired by Poe's poem, but they each have their own story.
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Boris Karloff's first feature film since Corridors of Blood (1958), shot September-October 1962.
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The events in the film take place circa 1506 based on two clues offered early on. Dr. Craven states that his father has been dead 20 years, and when they show the plate on the coffin the date of death is given as 1486. Therefore, 1486 + 20 = 1506.
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Actress Hazel Court: "All I remember of Jack Nicholson is that he used to say, 'Oh, I must go home and write tonight.' I don't know what he wrote, but he was always saying he was going to write."
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Roger Corman and Richard Matheson had both enjoyed making the comic The Black Cat episode of Tales of Terror (1962) and wanted to try an entirely comic Poe feature.
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The movie was shot in 15 days.
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Roger Corman said that although they kept closely to the structure and story script "we did more improvisation on that film than any of the others." The improvisation was in terms of dialogue and bits of business from the actors.
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Peter Lorre ad-libbed a number of famous lines in the film including:

"How the hell should I know?", after Vincent Price asks "shall I ever see the rare and radiant Lenore again?" "Where else?" after Price says "My father was interred below." "Hard place to keep clean."
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According to Roger Corman, Peter Lorre's improvisations confused both Vincent Price and Boris Karloff, but Price adapted to it well while Karloff struggled.
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According to Roger Corman, the hostility between Jack Nicholson and Peter Lorre as father and son came from the actors rather than the script.
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Vincent Price later recalled about the final duel: "Boris hated being strung up in the air on those chairs. He was terribly crippled and we were both floating in the air on these wires. It wasn't a pleasant feeling! And I hated having that snake wrapped around my neck for two hours... I hate snakes".
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Boris Karloff later said he was annoyed at having to wear the heavy cape.
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Among the humorous touches Richard Matheson worked into the screenplay were the Latin incantations used to cast spells, which any student of the language would recognize as the adages: "I came, I saw, I conquered"; "Beware of the dog"; "If you want peace, prepare for war"; etc.
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Finnish censorship certificate register # 68020 delivered on 28-1-1964.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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