The Raven (1963)
Written By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Roger Corman
Producer: Roger Corman
Screenplay: Richard Matheson
Date Released: January 25, 1963
Vincent Price as Dr. Erasmus Craven
Peter Lorre as Dr. Adolphus Bedlo
Boris Karloff as Dr. Scarabus
Hazel Court as Lenore Craven
Olive Sturgess as Estelle Craven
Jack Nicholson as Rexford Bedlo
Rating = 3.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The Raven is an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem also entitled “The Raven.” The film follows Dr. Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price) who is a magician that lives in a castle. When he observes a raven pecking at his window, he discovers that the raven talks. The raven who provides instructions to Erasmus is in fact another magician and colleague, Dr. Adolphus Bedlo (Peter Lorre). Once human, Bedlo tells Erasmus that Dr. Scarabus turned him into a raven and that Eramus’ wife, Lenore (Hazel Court) who was thought to be dead is staying at Scarabus’ home. Together Eramus and Bedlo go to Scarabus’ house to discover the truth but become captured. Erasmus must battle his way by using magic to defeat the evil Dr. Scarabus.
There is no blood or gore in The Raven. Most of the special effects are fun and silly 3D effects when a character used magic. The film is more focused on comedy rather than horror.
The Grave Review
The Raven (1963) was an interesting adaptation of the poem. Although, not true to the raven, it indirectly touched upon segments of the poem. For example, in the beginning and ending of the film, various excerpts from the poem were read. Other than using excerpts, the story itself was a separate story all together. The story was not terrific but entertaining overall. What seemed unrealistic is the fact that Eramus’ wife, Lenore, lived with him for two years and then faked her death. It would have been easier to get a divorce.
What was nice about this film, is that it was a different genre for Vincent Price. The Raven (1963) is in fact a horror/comedy. Although, the film may even be classified as a pure comedy other than the fact that horror legends, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price are in the film. The humor is dry and subtle but very funny.
As for acting, this had a powerhouse cast. Other than the actors already mentioned, this was Jack Nicolson’s 7th film. Nicholson appeared to be somewhere in his 20s when he filmed this movie. Of the actors, Peter Lorre and Vincent Price had the best chemistry often playing off the scene from one another. Overall, it was pleasant to see a few legends in one film.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Raven (1963) three and one-half graves out of five graves.
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You may also like our review of The House on Haunted Hill.