7.1/10
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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 thriller! 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

During the gallery of mirrors reveal, when Bateman yells "NO!" that is not Boris Karloff's voice but a post production dub-over. See more »

Goofs

When Bateman shoots at the mirrors, there is an obvious time lag before each one breaks. See more »

Quotes

Jean Thatcher: [after Vollin finishes playing the organ] You're not only a great surgeon, but a great musician, too! Extraordinary man... You're almost not a man! Almost...
Dr. Richard Vollin: A god?
Jean Thatcher: Yes!
Dr. Richard Vollin: A god... with the pains of human emotions.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The names of Spencer Charters and Ian Wolfe were accidentally reversed in the credits. See more »


Soundtracks

Music
(uncredited)
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

 
Madness begets madness.
15 October 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Horror legends Karloff and Lugosi return after the success of The Black Cat the previous year in this deliciously warped slice of horror. Lugosi is sublime as the unhinged Dr Vollin who is coaxed out of retirement to save the life of a pretty dancer {Irene Ware as Jean Thatcher}. He does but in the process becomes infatuated with her and sets about having her all to himself. This spells bad news for her father, Judge Thatcher {Samuel S. Hinds} and her fiancé, Dr. Jerry Holden {Lester Matthews}. Enlisting the help of wanted criminal Edmond Bateman {Karloff} whom has been disfigured by Vollin with the promise of restoring his face, he plots to do away with the men in Jean's life down in his Edgar Allen Poe inspired torture chamber basement.

Running at just over one hour, The Raven simmers nicely as the characters form, and then boils to the surface for the furious last quarter. In the build up we have been royally treated to some truly excellent scenes as Vollin steadily grows more deranged. The unmasking of Bateman post surgery is unnerving, and thanks to Karloff's ability at making a criminal sympathetic, heartfelt. This is followed by a mirror sequence that is a horror highlight of the 30s and puts us in no doubt that Vollin is a terrifying creation. The creepy house setting is naturally a horror staple but one can't help wondering what a better director than Lew Landers could have made with the simple but effective premise? It's solid enough from Landers, some nice shadow play etc, but what stops it breaking out into genre classic status is its lack of a creeping menace type atmosphere. Which is a shame as it has a potent score from Clifford Vaughan. Still, The Raven is a fine genre piece showcasing two genuine icons, and in spite of its obvious simplicity and little flaws, ends triumphantly in a blaze of insanity and ironic cruelty. 8/10


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