Le Corbeau 1948

The Raven

Critics Consensus

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90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 29

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,793
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Movie Info

Remy Germain (Pierre Fresnay) is a doctor in a French town who becomes the focus of a vicious smear campaign, as letters accusing him of having an affair and performing unlawful abortions are mailed to village leaders. The mysterious writer, who signs each letter as "Le Corbeau" (The Raven) soon targets the whole town, exposing everyone's dark secrets. This allegorical film was highly controversial at the time of its release, and was banned in France after the Liberation.

Cast

Pierre Fresnay
as Le docteur Rémy Germain
Ginette Leclerc
as Denise Saillens
Micheline Francey
as Laura Vorzet
Pierre Larquey
as Michel Vorzet
Louis Seigner
as Bertrand
Palau
as Mail Superintendent
Héléna Manson
as Marie Corbin
Sylvie
as Mother of `No. 13'
Bernard Lancret
as Magistrate
Antoine Balpêtré
as Dr. Delorme
Pierre Bertin
as The Sub-Prefect
Roger Blin
as Francois, the cancer patient
View All

Critic Reviews for Le Corbeau

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (3)

  • Clouzot, always a painstaking filmmaker, has constructed a plot of fiendish intricacy whose wild twists implicate one character after another until justice is finally served.

    May 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The movie squirms with mistrust, and burrows deep.

    April 23, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Suffocatingly corrosive and misanthropic.

    January 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Polished, impersonal work, it puts forward little more than a spirit of free-floating misanthropy.

    January 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • This expos 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…
    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.

    February 15, 2005

Audience Reviews for Le Corbeau

  • Oct 17, 2014
    An absorbing thriller that surprises us with the way its mystery becomes always more gripping and with its pessimistic view of mankind and the rottenness hidden inside all of us - and it came out in a perfect time for that sort of discussion during the German occupation of France.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2012
    A little dated now, but a nice early piece by master Clouzot.
    Wu C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2011
    A controversial mystery masterpiece of superb craft which thrilling atmosphere is exceptionally highlighted by its religious subcontext and an ending of Gothical proportions. It's wonderful how the opening, lit scene of the film contrasts the "dark angel of vengeance" of the final shot. Clouzot was a genius. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2011
    Perhaps most interesting for being produced during the Nazi occupation of France, Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Le Corbeau" ("The Raven") is chock full of topical secrecy, conspiracy and paranoia. Its themes were controversial enough that Clouzot wasn't able to direct another film until almost four years later. Some wicked person begins sending anonymous, poison-pen letters around a small French town. They are inked in a distinctive style and signed "Le Corbeau." The notes' main target is Dr. Rémy Germain, whose vulnerable spots are his dalliances with women and a willingness to give abortions (a daring ingredient for a 1943 film). At least initially, the slanderous accusations greatly damage his stature in the community. The town becomes more and more agitated as the taunts continue to arrive in mailboxes, and the uproar reaches a frenzy after one note causes a suicide. The tricky script sets up multiple plausible suspects and remains suspenseful, but scene after scene of misplaced suspicions and aghast letter readings threatens to turn repetitive. And the final act is gimmicky to the point of stretching credibility -- suddenly, the reality of this world fades and we're only watching someone's flashy screenplay. Clouzot's direction fails to excite beyond one scene lit by a swinging light bulb -- this is workmanlike storytelling. And unfortunately, the idea of "poison-pen letters" seems a bit dated in this age of email and blogs. Fans hoping for the thrills of "Diabolique" and "The Wages of Fear" may be disappointed.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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