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Le Corbeau

Le Corbeau (1943)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 2,714

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Feb 17, 2004


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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (3) | DVD (11)

Suffocatingly corrosive and misanthropic.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Polished, impersonal work, it puts forward little more than a spirit of free-floating misanthropy.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Clouzot, often called the French Hitchcock, is not just a master of suspense but is also most adroit at implicating his audience.

February 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A searching light on humanity's warts and pockmarks

November 17, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

A superb noir thriller.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

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.

November 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Good performances, a fitting atmosphere, and some truly unique characterizations give a lift to an otherwise worn idea.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A masterful blend of dark misanthropy and small-town hysteria

March 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Gazette

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.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source:

A sophisticated and morally complex look at the things that damaged people living in a dangerous time will do

March 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinemania

either way you want to look at the film, Clouzot was right

February 15, 2004 Full Review Source:

An intense mystery and a dead-on satire of small-town morals

December 22, 2003

An engrossing suspense film that was directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot in 1943 during the Nazi Occupation of France.

November 20, 2003
Boxoffice Magazine

It's a subversive work and masterful suspense thriller that's the equal of anything Hitchcock ever put his name to.

November 20, 2003 Full Review Source:

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.

November 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

A shrewd glimpse into the heart and mind of Vichy France, disclosing a kind of 20-century Salem.

November 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Guardian

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.

August 27, 2003
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

Audience Reviews for Le Corbeau

I thought it was boring..
February 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

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.
December 20, 2010

Super Reviewer

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.
July 12, 2010
danny d

Super Reviewer

superior french thriller made during the nazi occupation. a small town becomes infected by vicious gossip via 'poison pen' letters casting suspicion on everyone; a thinly veiled critique of gestapo tactics that encouraged informers altho it's based on events that happened in the 20's. banned in france and germany during the war and still powerful.
September 24, 2008
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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