The Raven Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 3, 2010
A brilliant old horror movie with the great old horror actors! A must see.
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2010
Lugosi is a mad surgeon who saves a beautiful dancer's life and falls in love with her; Karloff is an escaped criminal who comes to the doctor begging for plastic surgery to change his appearance. Lugosi's campy villainy is in top form ("I like to torture!"), and there's more than a bit of Frankenstein's monster in Karloff's Bateman; the two icons make this tons of fun.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2008
i don't think it gets much campier than this. so bad it's good? it's actually funny. there is a raven but this bears little relation to anything written by poe. lugosi hams it up as a mad doctor who has a poe obssession. karloff is an escaped criminal who wants a new face; instead lugosi disfigures him. this is part of the dotor's evil plan to possess a woman he's convinced is his 'lost lenore.' it's all pretty silly
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2007
So atmospheric and creepy--an aesthetic delight. In the minus column it's gimmicky as all hell. Riding Poe's coat tails for the sole purpose of sticking Dracula and Frankenstein in the same movie. It's silly, it's horrible, it's overacted and by today's standards it's more hilarious than scary. But I saw it when I was a kid and I loved it. And I still do.
November 2, 2010
Lugosi as an obsessed surgeon who lures a patient , her father and beau to his home where he plans to dispatch the two men in an Edgar Allen Poe themed dungeon beneath his house. Boris Karloff is a criminal he forces to help enact this plan, horribly disfigured in a surgery to ensure his loyalty.

The set pieces are fun, Lugosi is evil as hell and it's interesting to see Karloff as the criminal trying to turn his life around only to be screwed over by the cruel surgeon.

Give it a look.
April 28, 2010
Line ?there came a tapping as if someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door? He sounds like the voice in my mind when I read that poem. The cast is great, didn?t care for the first story though (& have yet to read it in the book) There is a part where the girl does a dance in it, which she interprets a Raven & thought was quite well. However not 100% sure if the movie actually follows the raven poem but the Title shot says ?suggested? I think I like Karloff better in the ?monster? makeup. Rather than looking like a regular joe like in Black Cat. The ending is kinda cool (but I won?t say why cause I think I?d ruin it) Suspense, drama, thrill B
½ July 3, 2009
I would have never expected The Raven to be this good. Even when I was watching it, I was not expecting much. Maybe that was the key? Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff (of course) gave awesomely creepy performances. The last half of this film was incredible! Basically what a b&w Horror film should be like. I loved it! The first half was a bit slow and lame which is why my rating is lowered.
October 30, 2007
this old movie is obviously AN OLD MOVIE! i didnt live in that era so maybe this wud of been the dlightest creeepy if i had.....there were SOOOOO many flaws in this film! like how the girls screamed at the sight of their own shadows and the swinging knife still swinging up high after like 30min and then coming so close a sec after and staying for like 15min.....and there was no blood at all...this movie felt like an hour long and i thot it was incredibly stupid how the deformed guy wsa shot but then the Doctor ended up fainting (STUPID!!!) and how all the girls always screamed at the ugly guy cuz they were "scared".....and i dont get it how when Dr.Vollin was telling the "scary story" all of a sudden it gets windy INSIDE! ive seen A LOT of old movies and there have been much, much btr than this cud be just the genre that has changed in interest but was VERY flawed!!!!!
January 13, 2015
Short by today's standards yet fast-paced, both Lugosi and Karloff combine to bring us a tale laced with subtle references, brilliant and believable acting, and a well-made movie overall despite a questionable plot that can be complex to pay attention to. The best Raven movie by a squeaker against the Corman version, while the best by a mile compared to the 2012 remake.
January 4, 2015
Inventive, macabre and delightful grandaddy of the "torture porn" horror film. Features thick, gothic cinematography and a nasty-good dual performance by Karloff and Lugosi.
July 31, 2014
The Raven is a bit of a downgrade from The Black Cat. Lugosi plays a looney toon and Karloff is seemingly typecast. Not to mention the constant talk of Poe is grinding on the nerves. But you should still be highly entertained by a Poe-worthy story, good music and a short runtime.
December 9, 2012
1931's Frankenstein And 1931's Dracula Are Two Of My Favorite Films.
½ August 30, 2012
I would be remiss if I didn't include at least one film based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. However, "based on" is a strong way to describe this movie; the story has pretty much nothing to do with Poe's story. In this film, Béla Lugosi plays a surgeon named Dr. Vollin obsessed with the works of Poe; he saves a young woman's life and falls in love with her. She's engaged, however, and her father tells him to stay away. Driven mad by hopeless longing, he plots his revenge against the family.

This is where Boris Karloff enters the picture. He plays a murderer named Edmund Bateman that's escaped from prison. He goes to Vollin and asks him to change his face so he can hide from the police. But Vollin wants help exacting his revenge schemes, so instead of helping Bateman, he ruins half of his face, and only promises to fix him if he assists him.

That's the basic gist of the movie. There's honestly not a great deal to talk about as far as the story, partly because of its runtime; it's only 61 minutes long. But even though it's short, there's always something pivotal happening. Throughout the first part of the movie, we watch as Vollin genuinely seems to fall in love with the dancer Jean Thatcher (Irene Ware) after he saves her life. She's smitten and grateful, but her father Judge (Samuel S. Hinds) sees nothing but trouble in this. I don't disagree with him. We've seen that Vollin has been a tad edgy since we first see him, obsessed with Poe to the point of having a whole room filled with torture devices inspired by his stories, such as a pit, a pendulum with a scythe and a shrinking room. Remember that.

Most of the other characters aren't really worth mentioning. Lugosi is at the center of the story, and the best part is watching just how maniacal he gets. It's not like "Dracula" where he's just pure evil; there's more realism in his performance because he's just someone who can't deal with what's happened. He feels betrayed, and this is the only way he feels justice can be served. And during the scenes where he's torturing the other characters, it's just great to see how much he enjoys it. He holds nothing back in how he acts; when he makes a big speech or laughs at his victims, we believe it.

Now, the movie is almost just worth it because of the novelty of having both Boris Karloff and Béla Lugosi; it wasn't the first or last time this happened. They united for another Poe film, 1934's "The Black Cat," and in the 1939 film "Son of Frankenstein." They're usually talked about as rivals; I'm not sure if they were, or if they were actually friends. But very often Karloff got top-billing; however, he doesn't have nearly as much to do in "The Raven," but he makes his scenes work really well. It's interesting that even though he's a convicted killer, we don't quite see him as an evil guy. He's just caught up in a desperate situation, and he feels like there's nothing he can do but help Vollin; and in the end, he's able to see how it isn't worth it. I also like how both Karloff and Lugosi use their best trademarks. Lugosi has the facial expressions that he's well known for, and there are instances were Karloff growls just like the Frankenstein monster.

I wouldn't quite go so far as call this movie a classic. Like I said, most of the supporting characters are relatively forgettable and underdeveloped, and yeah, it's only mildly inspired by the Poe story rather than being a real adaptation. But regardless, it's a great story about revenge, obsession and betrayal, and it's one of Karloff and Lugosi's finest collaborations.
September 2, 2013
A well-acted melodrama/horror. The raven features two of horror's all time greats - Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. How can you not appreciate the actors who play Dracula and Frankenstein side by side? Fans of Poe's work will especially enjoy this one.
January 16, 2013
A great classic horror which was highly controversial at the time of its release due to its dealings with elements such as sexual obsession and bodily deformities. Bela Lugosi is quite haunting as the mad doctor who has a genuine love for torturing people, while the whole final sequence is quite suspenseful.
½ November 13, 2012
Although Karloff was top billed, it was Lugosi who dominated this picture. Watching Lugosi playing unhinged is always a delight!
May 28, 2012
Lugosi and Karloff are both amazing in this. Karloff is a sympathetic character, while Lugosi is just simply a madman. With the title of the film, and being based on Edgar Allan Poe's works, the dialogue was always going to be brilliant, and Lugosi executes the famous words from the author flawlessly. Really enjoyed this one, you can't go wrong with Lugosi & Karloff, never.
½ May 1, 2012
This is neither Lugosi nor Karloff peak, still it's an entertaining movie.
February 18, 2012
one of the best karloff and lugosi films aver
½ August 30, 2010
Here we have yet another Boris Karloff and Edgar Allen Poe movie from Universal. Despite the title the movie isn't about the Edgar Allen Poe story. Instead the movie is about a doctor that is obsessed with the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe and a young girl.

Through out the movie characters recite lines from various Poe stories and poems including The Raven and Pit & The Pendulum. As for the fright factor the movie moderately provides none; Bela's performance is creepy, while Karloff's is hilarious. Karloff's make-up is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in an old horror movie.

Some of the performances are really hard to watch and the premise makes me cringe. I enjoyed this movie but I really wouldn't recomend it unless you are a die hard Lugosi or Karloff fan. The coolest thing about this movie would have to be the doctor's torture room; He devised a pretty incredible torture chamber with some awesome devices like a shrinking room.

I am going to go ahead and give this movie a 5 out of 10. I think it was only made for the soul purpose of getting Karloff and Lugosi back into another film as they are both the horror movie icons of this time period. All in all it seemed like it was a rushed affair.

"Poe you are avenged!" or are you?


Bela Lugosi didn't attend the premier
Filmed in Los Angeles
Universal suggested that cinema owners write letters to high schools and colleges, so their teachers would suggest the film to students.
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