Le Corbeau (1943)
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A small French village is plagued by a poison-pen writer, whose principal target is Doctor Germain (Pierre Fresnay). The vitriolic letters wreak so much havoc that soon neighbor turns upon neighbor. Eventually, even the doctor himself becomes one of the suspects, as the townspeople are driven to commit paranoia-fueled crimes and suicides. The actual culprit is revealed to be one of the least likely candidates. Though it can now be seen to be a subliminal indictment of the paranoia fomented by the Nazi occupation of France, Le Corbeau (aka The Raven) was condemned as unpatriotic after the liberation, and director Henri-Georges Clouzot was banned from filmmaking until 1947. Based on a story by Clouzot and Louis Chavance, Le Corbeau was remade in Hollywood by Otto Preminger as The 13th Letter (1951). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Le Corbeau
Polished, impersonal work, it puts forward little more than a spirit of free-floating misanthropy.
This exposé of a malicious small town in France must be one of the most depressed films to emerge from the period of the German Occupation.
Clouzot, often called the French Hitchcock, is not just a master of suspense but is also most adroit at implicating his audience.
Very shrewdly designed to work as a mystery thriller -- complete with red herrings -- and it undeniably holds the viewer's interest throughout with the mystery.
It's the kind of seriously offensive in-your-face psychological thriller that would make a hell of a double-feature with Dreyer's Day of Wrath.
Good performances, a fitting atmosphere, and some truly unique characterizations give a lift to an otherwise worn idea.
It's so deftly made, superbly acted and relentlessly bitter that it manages to condemn repression, hypocrisy and those eager to be judgmental on a universal level.
A sophisticated and morally complex look at the things that damaged people living in a dangerous time will do
An intense mystery and a dead-on satire of small-town morals
An engrossing suspense film that was directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot in 1943 during the Nazi Occupation of France.
It's a subversive work and masterful suspense thriller that's the equal of anything Hitchcock ever put his name to.
Unfairly dismissed in the 1940s as pro-Nazi propaganda, this electrifying work represents a singularly pessimistic vision of the human condition from one of cinema's most bracingly misanthropic directors.
A shrewd glimpse into the heart and mind of Vichy France, disclosing a kind of 20-century Salem.
Single images in Le Corbeau are freighted with a more accurate sense of malevolence and dread than can be mustered by the Lord of the Rings movies.
Audience Reviews for Le Corbeau
An absorbing thriller that surprises us not only for the way its mystery becomes more and more gripping but also for its pessimistic view of mankind and of the rottenness hidden inside of us - and it came out in a perfect time for that sort of discussion during the German occupation of France.More
This was quite a spooky flick. The mystery keeps you guessing even after the movie is over, if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, it's quite entertaining. A little bit of editing would have made it even better.More
one of the most controversial films of all time, clouzot could have lost his career for some of this films undertones were it not for support from philosophers and other film makers with some influence. the film is marvelous, tangling a very interesting web of sub plots and philosophies into a thriller that delivers incredible suspense despite the fact the chaos was delivered more through menacing words than acts of violence. i thought i had the culprit, infamously dubbed "the raven", pegged early on, but clouzot through me a few solid curve balls in the end to leave me doubting until the reveal, which i got wrong. a great thriller and a must see from early french cinema.More
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