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Le Corbeau (1943)

Le Corbeau


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 20
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 4
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 2


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 2,716


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 … More

Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense , Classics
Directed By:
Written By:
Henri-Georges Clouzot
In Theaters:
Feb 17, 2004


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Critic Reviews for Le Corbeau

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

Suffocatingly corrosive and misanthropic.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 15, 2005
Village Voice
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A searching light on humanity's warts and pockmarks

Full Review… | November 17, 2009

A superb noir thriller.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
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.

Full Review… | November 28, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review… | August 29, 2006
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A masterful blend of dark misanthropy and small-town hysteria

Full Review… | March 12, 2005

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.

Full Review… | March 16, 2004

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

Full Review… | March 1, 2004

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

Full Review… | February 15, 2004

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.

Full Review… | November 20, 2003

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.

Full Review… | November 20, 2003

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

Full Review… | November 20, 2003

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

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.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


I thought it was boring..

Saskia D.

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.

familiar stranger

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.

danny d

Super Reviewer

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