Review: ‘The Raven’

Edgar Allan Poe might turn over in his crypt at this nonsensical adaptation of his immortal poem, but audiences will find the spooky goings-on of a flock of 15th century English sorcerers a corn-pop of considerable comedic dimensions.

Edgar Allan Poe might turn over in his crypt at this nonsensical adaptation of his immortal poem, but audiences will find the spooky goings-on of a flock of 15th century English sorcerers a corn-pop of considerable comedic dimensions.

The screenplay is a skillful, imaginative narrative of what comes to pass when there comes a rapping at magician Vincent Price’s chamber-door by a raven – who else but Peter Lorre, a fellow magician, transformed by another sorcerer (Boris Karloff).

Roger Corman as producer-director takes this premise and develops it expertly as a horror-comedy climaxing with Price and Karloff engaging in a duel to the death in the black arts, each a master of the craft. Special effects figure prominently.

Hazel Court as Price’s sexy and conniving spouse, Olive Sturgess, his daughter, and Jack Nicholson, Lorre’s son, lend effective support.

The Raven

Production

American International. Director Roger Corman; Producer Roger Corman; Screenplay Richard Matheson; Camera Floyd Crosby; Editor Ronald Sinclair; Music Les Baxter; Art Director Daniel Haller

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1963. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Vincent Price Peter Lorre Boris Karloff Hazel Court Olive Sturgess Jack Nicholson

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