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The Raven (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Horror | 8 July 1935 (USA)
A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director:

Lew Landers (as Louis Friedlander)

Writers:

Edgar Allan Poe (poem), David Boehm (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Edmond Bateman (as Karloff)
Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Richard Vollin
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
Inez Courtney ... Mary Burns
Ian Wolfe ... 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 Joe Haworth ... Drug Clerk (scenes deleted)
Mary Wallace Mary Wallace ... Autograph Hound (scenes deleted)
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The uncanny master of make-up in a new amazing shocker See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Rabe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The on-screen billing switches the character names played by Spencer Charters and Ian Wolfe. Charters actually portrays Colonel Bertram Grant, while Wolfe appears as Geoffrey "Pinky" Burns. See more »

Goofs

When Judge Thatcher goes to Vollin's home to plead his case, the shadow of Vollin's stuffed raven changes position. First, it is in front of Thatcher's shadow, then behind, then in front again. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Richard Vollin: Death is my talisman!
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 »

Connections

Version of The Raven (1912) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonic Poem No. 3: Les préludes
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Liszt
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great fun with Lugosi stealing the spotlight as mad surgeon...
29 October 2003 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

BELA LUGOSI never had a role that made better use of his stylized ham emoting than his mad surgeon here. The camera holds him in close-ups that emphasize the penetrating gaze and knitted eyebrows as he obsesses about an attractive woman he wishes to marry.

He steals every scene he's in with his heavy emphasis on certain words and his inflection that has menace in every syllable. By comparison, Boris Karloff (top-billed) has a cameo role that he plays with his usual skill, managing to get some sympathy for a basically unsympathetic character--a man who served time as a killer. Between the two of them, they create a minor thriller that is the kind of horror film Universal was famous for in the '30s.

Lugosi being a man obsessed by Edgar Allen Poe's torture devices in stories like 'The Pit and the Pendulum', approaches every scene with relish, obviously delighted with his role as a surgeon who declares: "I love torture!" The plot, of course, is outrageously preposterous but just try to turn away as he puts into place his plan for the girl, her father and her fiance--as well as his servant Karloff.

None of it is believable, but it's all great fun in the tradition of Universal thrillers. Perfect for Halloween!!


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