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The Raven (1963)

A magician, who has been turned into a raven, turns to a former sorcerer for help.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Richard Matheson (screenplay), Edgar Allan Poe (poem)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Erasmus Craven
Peter Lorre ... Dr. Adolphus Bedlo
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Scarabus
Hazel Court ... Lenore Craven
Olive Sturgess ... Estelle Craven
Jack Nicholson ... Rexford Bedlo
Connie Wallace Connie Wallace ... Maid
William Baskin William Baskin ... Grimes
Aaron Saxon Aaron Saxon ... Gort
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Storyline

In this tongue-in-cheek movie inspired by Poe's poem, Dr. Craven is the son of a great sorcerer (now dead) who was once himself quite skilled at that profession, but has since abandoned it. One evening, a cowardly fool of a magician named Bedlo comes to Craven for help - the evil Scarabus has turned him into a raven and he needs someone to change him back. He also tells the reluctant wizard that Craven's long-lost wife Lenore, whom he loved greatly and thought dead, is living with the despised Scarabus. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The supreme adventure in terror! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cuervo See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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", et cetera. See more »

Goofs

The amount of milk in Dr. Craven's glass increases from one shot to another. See more »

Quotes

[Craven and Bedloe toast each other with wine after Bedloe's complete transformation back to human]
Dr. Bedloe: A little unexpected what happened down there, huh?
Dr. Craven: Yes, it was most unexpected. I-I just don't understand why should my father return from the dead and then tell me to beware... of what?
Dr. Bedloe: I wish I knew, I-I-I-I wish I knew.
[Bedloe mistakenly picks up a glass of milk and drinks]
Dr. Bedloe: Uh, that milk!
Dr. Craven: Oh I am sorry.
Dr. Bedloe: In any case I have to return to the castle of Dr. Scarabus tonight.
Dr. Craven: Oh no, sir, please, I ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

One version has the climactic wizard duel without the rotoscoped bolts of magic. See more »

Connections

Edited into Not of This Earth (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A deliciously absurd comedy from the one and only Roger Corman!
30 December 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

This movie is loosely based around the famous Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name. However, I don't think this is what the great literary genius had in mind when he originally wrote it; as Corman has turned the great Gothic poem into an absurd adventure styled comedy! Well, Edgar Allen Poe may be turning in his grave; but the rest of us get to have fun as we see horror gods Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre, not to mention Jack Nicholson ham it up in style as the weird and wonderful cast of this absurd story of wizards and hocus pocus. Vincent Price is Dr. Erasmus Craven, and the film starts out with a reading of the famous Poe poem by the one and only Mr Price, and we're in familiar Corman-Poe territory. However, things take a turn in a totally different direction when, nearly napping, suddenly there comes a tapping, as someone gently rapping, rapping at Craven's chamber door. 'Tis a raven...or rather, Dr Bedlo (Peter Lorre), a fellow magician that has been turned into a raven by the rather nasty Dr Scarabus (Boris Karloff). After turning Bedlo back into a man, Craven is convinced by Bedlo, after hearing Scarabus has his beloved Lenore, to accompany him to his castle. And that is where the fun starts.

Peter Lorre and Vincent Price make a delicious comedy pairing; their two unique personalities blend together brilliantly and it's great to see these two legends on screen together. As mentioned, these two are joined by fellow legend; Boris Karloff. Karloff is a vastly underrated actor that has played lots of important characters and turned his hand to many different aspects of horror; comedy being one that he does well at also. Like the rest of the cast, he delivers his one-liners with the utmost skill and has many fine comedy moments. Not all of the jokes in the film work, but some parts of the film are laugh-out loud funny. Seeing Jack Nicholson in a film like this is rather bizarre when you consider what he has gone on to achieve, but his presence serves in giving it even more cult appeal. Although if you'd heard someone say that he would go on to achieve these things after only seeing him here, you'd probably think whoever told you was having a laugh...

Whether or not Corman should have turned 'The Raven' into a comedy is debatable. On one hand, I love the film, but I'm not sure if a serious version better would have been better. Still, the debate is irrelevant because he did and this is the result. The film is loyal to the poem in some ways (including the lovely wrap up), but basically; this is completely different. But pay the similarities and differences no mind, as 'enjoy!' is my advice.


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