The Raven

  • 1935
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

The second teaming of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff finds the horror greats in fine form in this film inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Dr. Richard Vollin (Lugosi) is a demented brain surgeon whose admiration for Poe has led him to construct a dungeon filled with devices right out of the author's stories. At the behest of Judge Thatcher (Samuel S....read more

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The second teaming of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff finds the horror greats in fine form in this film inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Dr. Richard Vollin (Lugosi) is a demented brain surgeon whose admiration for Poe has led him to construct a dungeon filled with devices right out

of the author's stories. At the behest of Judge Thatcher (Samuel S. Hinds), Vollin agrees to save the life of the judge's beautiful daughter, Jean (Irene Ware), a dancer. Having fallen in love with the girl--her interpretive dance to a recitation of Poe's "The Raven" mere icing on the cake--Vollin

asks for her hand in marriage, but is scoffed at by the judge. It seems Jean is already engaged to be married to another doctor, Jerry Holden (Lester Mathews). To get revenge, Vollin invites the judge, his daughter, and her fiance to a dinner party, at which he offers to show them his collection

of Poe artifacts, intending to use them on his guests. But his plans are upset by Bateman (Boris Karloff), an escaped criminal who had begged Vollin to perform plastic surgery on him, only to be transformed into a monster by the evil surgeon. Held in check by Vollin, who promises to make him

handsome again, Bateman reluctantly has done the doctor's bidding to this point, but he has a change of heart and helps foil Vollin's revenge. Whereas Karloff dominated his previous film with Lugosi, THE BLACK CAT (1934), Lugosi is definitely the star of THE RAVEN, in one of his best roles. First

seen reciting some lines from Poe's famous poem, Lugosi's Dr. Vollin is a bit arrogant and cruel, but it is the pain of unrequited love that drives him completely insane. Karloff, who does not make his appearance until well into the film, is also excellent, sporting two Jack Pierce makeup

creations--first seen with a heavy beard and then with half his face horribly contorted. The scene in which Lugosi reveals what he has done to Karloff--in an operating room full of mirrors--is the highlight of the film. While not as poetic or haunting as Edgar Ulmer's THE BLACK CAT (with which it

is available as a videocassette double-bill), THE RAVEN is a remarkable tale of revenge, and memorable in its own right.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The second teaming of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff finds the horror greats in fine form in this film inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Dr. Richard Vollin (Lugosi) is a demented brain surgeon whose admiration for Poe has led him to construct a dunge… (more)

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