The Raven (1935)

THE RAVEN (1935)
Article #212 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-14-2001
Posting date: 2-27-2002

A surgeon is denied the love of the woman he desires and gets revenge by devising horrible tortures for his victims.

This is something of a companion piece to the earlier THE BLACK CAT, also featuring both Karloff and Lugosi. For the most part, it lacks that movie’s style, wit, and sense of poetry, though it does a nice job of defining some common horror themes. Karloff certainly has a less interesting role, though it doesn’t start out that way; unfortunately, after the operation, the character just becomes rather predictable, and if you took away his dialogue, Tor Johnson could have played him. Lugosi’s Dr. Vollin is better, but still not as interesting as his Vitus Verdegast in THE BLACK CAT. In fact, I find THE RAVEN to be rather humdrum and immemorable, though it actually has more to do with Poe than THE BLACK CAT. There is, however, one really great moment for Lugosi when he tries to explain what Poe means to him; this soliloquy is one of Lugosi’s finest moments and shows just how wonderful an actor this man could be.

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