The Raven (1935)

60 or 62 mins | Horror | 8 July 1935

Director:

Lew Landers

Writer:

David Boehm

Cinematographer:

Charles Stumar

Editor:

Albert Akst

Production Designer:

Albert D'Agostino

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" first appeared in book form in The Raven and Other Poems (Nov 1845). Contemporary reviews claimed that the film was based not only on the title source, but also on Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Buried Alive," "The Gold Bug" and other tales. The NYT review remarked, however, that it took "amazing effrontery" for Universal to claim that the film was inspired by Poe's classic short stories, as the plot resembled none. Louis Friedlander, who shortly after the release of this film changed his name to Lew Landers, made his feature directing debut with The Raven , after having made five serials. "The Raven" was adapted in 1963 by American International Pictures, with Roger Corman directing Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; ... More Less

Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" first appeared in book form in The Raven and Other Poems (Nov 1845). Contemporary reviews claimed that the film was based not only on the title source, but also on Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Buried Alive," "The Gold Bug" and other tales. The NYT review remarked, however, that it took "amazing effrontery" for Universal to claim that the film was inspired by Poe's classic short stories, as the plot resembled none. Louis Friedlander, who shortly after the release of this film changed his name to Lew Landers, made his feature directing debut with The Raven , after having made five serials. "The Raven" was adapted in 1963 by American International Pictures, with Roger Corman directing Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.4029). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Nov 34
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Jun 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Jun 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
3 Jun 35
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Apr 35
p. 68.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Jun 35
p. 78, 83
New York Times
5 Jul 35
p. 9.
Time
17 Jan 35
p. 40.
Variety
10 Jul 35
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Carl Laemmle, President
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Ed supv
SOUND
Sd supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr clerk
Supv secy
STAND INS
Double for Karloff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe in the New York Evening Mirror (29 Jan 1845).
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 July 1935
Production Date:
20 March--5 April 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 June 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5606
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60 or 62
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
790
SYNOPSIS

When Jean Thatcher is severely injured in an automobile wreck, her father, a judge, and her fiancé, Dr. Jerry Halden, request the eccentric but brilliant Dr. Richard Vollin to operate. Although retired to Hillview Heights, Vollin finally agrees to perform the surgery and falls in love with Jean. Vollin's hobby is the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and for him, Poe's poem "The Raven" is a talisman, symbolizing death, which for Vollin is the only certain part of life. Judge Thatcher realizes Vollin's infatuation with his daughter when, after she is recovered, she performs a dance interpretation of Poe's poem. The two men quarrel when the judge forbids Vollin to see his daughter, and Vollin argues that he needs her. Edmond Bateman, a murderer and thief who is trying to reform, demands that Vollin change his facial structure. Bateman is not only trying to escape the police, but he also believes that his ugly appearance causes him to do ugly deeds. Vollin cruelly alters Bateman's facial muscles to make him blind in one eye and truly hideous, then demands that Bateman serve him and promises to repair the damage in a later operation. Jean and Jerry accept Vollin's invitation to a weekend party, despite the judge's opposition. The guests, including Colonel Bertram Grant and his wife, are horrified at the sight of Bateman, who is introduced as a victim of Arab torture. During the party, Vollin shares his interpretation of "The Raven." According to Vollin, Poe, a man of genius like himself, decided to impress on others the torture he was feeling when deprived of his beloved "Lenore." Later, Jean apologizes to Bateman for ... +


When Jean Thatcher is severely injured in an automobile wreck, her father, a judge, and her fiancé, Dr. Jerry Halden, request the eccentric but brilliant Dr. Richard Vollin to operate. Although retired to Hillview Heights, Vollin finally agrees to perform the surgery and falls in love with Jean. Vollin's hobby is the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and for him, Poe's poem "The Raven" is a talisman, symbolizing death, which for Vollin is the only certain part of life. Judge Thatcher realizes Vollin's infatuation with his daughter when, after she is recovered, she performs a dance interpretation of Poe's poem. The two men quarrel when the judge forbids Vollin to see his daughter, and Vollin argues that he needs her. Edmond Bateman, a murderer and thief who is trying to reform, demands that Vollin change his facial structure. Bateman is not only trying to escape the police, but he also believes that his ugly appearance causes him to do ugly deeds. Vollin cruelly alters Bateman's facial muscles to make him blind in one eye and truly hideous, then demands that Bateman serve him and promises to repair the damage in a later operation. Jean and Jerry accept Vollin's invitation to a weekend party, despite the judge's opposition. The guests, including Colonel Bertram Grant and his wife, are horrified at the sight of Bateman, who is introduced as a victim of Arab torture. During the party, Vollin shares his interpretation of "The Raven." According to Vollin, Poe, a man of genius like himself, decided to impress on others the torture he was feeling when deprived of his beloved "Lenore." Later, Jean apologizes to Bateman for being afraid of him, and Bateman tries to warn her of Vollin's evil intent. Vollin tells Bateman to take the sleeping judge into the basement and place him on a full-size model based on Poe's story "The Pit and the Pendulum." An elevator then lowers Jean's room into the torture chamber. When Jerry discovers that her room has disappeared, he awakens one of the other guests, Geoffrey, and his girl friend to assist him. Vollin closes metal shutters over the windows, however, and locks them in. Vollin then places Jean and Jerry into a shrinking room, so that in death they will be inseparable. This cruelty is more than Bateman will allow, and though shot by Vollin, he saves Jean and Jerry and Vollin dies in the shrinking room. After escaping, the others release the judge before the swinging pendulum blade can strike him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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