The Raven (1935) Poster



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  • Brilliant but eccentric brain surgeon, Doctor Richard Vollin (Bela Lugosi) is implored by his friend, Judge Thatcher (Samuel S. Hinds) to save the life of his daughter Jean (Irene Ware) after she is injured and brain damaged in a car accident. The operation is successful, and Vollin falls in love with the girl. When Vollin admits his growing love for Jean to her father, the Judge discourages the affair. Vollin, along with his disfigured servant Edmund Bateman (Boris Karloff), a murderer on the run, cooks up a plan to kidnap Jean and torture her fiancé, Doctor Jerry Halden (Lester Matthews), in his Poe-inspired dungeon. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Based on is perhaps too strong of a term. Suggested by would be more accurate, as the film uses the title of Poe's1845 poem, and the poem is recited several times during the movie, but the actual plot of the movie has little or nothing to do with the content of the poem. In fact, it seems more closely related to another of Poe's stories, 'The Pit and the Pendulum' (1842). The screenplay for the movie is credited to American screenwriter David Boehm. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. 'The Raven', first published in January 1845, is in the public domain and may be read and/or downloaded on numerous websites, e.g., here, here, here, and here. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • While the Judge lies shackled to the pendulum table, Vollin lowers Jean's entire bedroom (which is on an elevator) into the dungeon, then seals her inside the room. Her screams alert Jerry, who wakes up Pinky (Ian Wolfe) and his wife Mary (Inez Courtney), and they search for the way into the dungeon. Vollin turns off the telephones and lowers a shutter that seals them in the library. Vollin sends Bateman to stop Jean's screams, and Bateman tells her that it was Vollin who made him ugly. Jean promises to help him, but Bateman declines the offer. Back in the library, a door to the dungeon opens, and Jerry, Pinky, and Mary go through it, even knowing that it's a trap. Vollin orders Jerry and Jean to go into a tiny room in which he seals them, while laughing maniacally and telling them that they will be together in that room 'forever and ever.' Inside the room, the walls begin to close in, revealing it to be a shrinking room. When Bateman finds out that Jean will be crushed, he goes against Vollin's orders and stops the walls from shrinking, so Bateman shoots him. As the doors open, allowing Jerry and Jean to escape, Bateman headbutts Vollin and drags him into the shrinking room, leaving him to suffer the same fate. Jerry, Jean, Pinky, and Mary rush to the pendulum room and release the Judge. Suddenly, Mary remembers that Colonel Grant (Spencer Charters) and his wife (Maidel Turner) are still upstairs in bed, snoring away. In the final scene, Jerry and Jean are driving home. Jean sadly remarks how Bateman gave his life to save them. Jerry puts his arm around Jean and offers to 'crush' her albeit more gently. 'So you're the big, bad raven, huh?' Jean replies. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • You can see Lugosi and Karloff together again in The Black Cat (1934) (1934), Gift of Gab (1934) (1934), The Invisible Ray (1936) (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939) (1939), Black Friday (1940) (1940), and You'll Find Out (1940) (1940). Edit (Coming Soon)


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