The Raven (Universal Studios, 1935)

The Raven One SheetOne Sheet Poster

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The Raven was Universal’s second star pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, although they had cameo roles in 1934’s Gift of Gab. The film reunited Lugosi with his Chandu the Magician (1932) co-star Irene Ware. Supposedly combining elements of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Gold Bug, the finished film bore little resemblance to anything written by Poe. Bela Lugosi plays a doctor determined to possess a young female patient. He uses his obsession with Edgar Allan Poe and a criminal on the run (Karloff), who he has surgically disfigured to dispose of all who stand in the way of his goal. Although popular with audiences, the film added to an already growing moral backlash from religious and civic groups, the press and local authorities in the United Kingdom. The result was the introduction of a “horrific” category for films in the UK from January 1936, banning anyone under the age of 16 and causing a big loss of revenue for the Hollywood studios. This, coupled with the loss of control of Universal by the Laemmles in March 1936, resulted in a cessation of horror output in America, leaving an all but unemployed Lugosi facing financial ruin.

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Production Company: Universal Studios
Director: Louis Friedlander
Assistant Directors: Scott Beal, and Vic Noerdlinger
Screenplay: David Boehm
Original Story: The poem The Raven and The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe
Cinematography: Charles Stumar
Music: Clifford Vaughn
Choreography: Theodore Kosloff
Make-up: Jack P. Pierce and Otto Lederer
Art Director: Albert S. D’Agostino
Editor: Alfred Akst
Script Clerk: Moree Herring
Hairdresser: Hazel Rogers
Secretary to Mr. Diamond: E.M. Haskett
Running Time: 62 minutes
Copyright Number: LP5606
Cast:
Boris Karloff: Edmund Bateman
Bela Lugosi: Dr. Richard Vollin
Irene Ware: Jean Thatcher
Lester Matthews: Dr. Jerry Holden
Samuel S. Hinds: Judge Thatcher
Inez Courtney: Mary Burns
Ian Wolfe: “Pinky” Geoffrey
Spencer Charters: Colonel Bertram Grant
Arthur Hoyt: Chapman
Walter Miler
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 The Los Angeles Evening Herald Express, February 13, 1934

Here’s fair warning…Prepare your spines… ‘Dracula’ (Bela Lugosi) and ‘Frankenstein’ (Boris Karloff) are to be co-starred by Universal in The Black Cat, Edgar Allan Poe’s noted mystery…Can you imagine Dracula trying to outscare Frankenstein? Or vice versa? That will be just DUCKY!

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The Evening Independent, September 29, 1934
The Raven, The Evening Independent, September 29, 1934
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 The Evening Independent, March 19, 1935
The Raven, The Evening Independent, March 19, 1935
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The Film Daily, June 4, 1935
The Raven, The Film Daily, June 4, 1935
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 The Evening Independent,  June 12, 1935
The Raven, The Evening Independent, June 12, 1935
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Universal Weekly, July 21, 1934
Universal Weekly, July 21, 1934
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The Evening Independent, March 27, 1935
The Raven, The Evening Independent, March 27, 1935
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The Evening Independent, June 12, 1935
The Raven, The Evening Independent, June 12, 1935
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The Sunday Spartanburg Herald-Journal, June 30, 1935
The Raven, The Sunday Spartanburg Herald-Journal, June 30, 1935
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New York Times, July 5, 1935
The Screen
 ” The Raven,” With Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, Is a Horror Film in More Than One Sense.
Suddenly there came a tapping As of some one gently rapping —

But there will be no gentle rapping from this corner of the curious photoplay, “The Raven,” which Universal, with amazing effrontery, describes as having been inspired by two Edgar Allan Poe classics, “The Raven” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.”

A hybrid harder to describe than Boris Karloff’s newest make-up, the Roxy’s current tenant should have no difficulty in gaining the distinction of being the season’s worst horror film. Not even the presence of the screen’s Number One and Two Bogymen, Mr. Karloff and Bela (Dracula) Lugosi, can make the picture anything but a fatal mistake from beginning to end.

If you are as curious as we were to see how the movie makers would combine “The Raven” and “Pit and Pendulum”—using Karloff and Lugosi in the process—you may be interested to learn that what Poe suggested to the script boys was a story about a mad surgeon. The chap—Mr. Lugosi—had read Poe so thoroughly that he had gone whacky, kept a stuffed raven (no, Mr. Karloff does not play the raven) on his desk for luck and built a torture room in his cellar.

When the father of the young woman he would espouse refuses to give his blessing, the surgeon invites all the principals to a house party and then, cackling ghoulishly the while, tries out his torture machines. If it had not been for Mr. Karloff—this time with a dead eye, a slack mouth and few other cute touches—the death rate would have been terrific.

Of course, it must be said that Lugosi and Karloff try hard, even though, both being cultured men, they must have suffered at the indignity being visited upon the helpless Edgar Allan. But if “The Raven” is the best that Universal can do with one of the greatest horror story writers of all time, then it had better toss away the other two books in its library and stick to the pulpies for plot material.

The stage show presents Herman Timberg, Tip, Tap and Toe, a dancing trio; the Digatanos, the Gae Foster girls and Freddie Mack’s orchestra.

THE RAVEN, suggested by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem; screen play by David Boehm; directed by Louis Friedlander; a Universal production. At the Roxy.  Bateman . . . . . Boris Karloff  Dr. Vollin . . . . . Bela Lugosi  Jean Thatcher . . . . . Irene Ware  Jerry Halden . . . . . Lester Matthews  Judge Thatcher . . . . . Samuel Hinds  Mary . . . . . Inez Courtney  Geoffrey . . . . . Ian Wolfe  Colonel Grant . . . . . Spencer Charters  Harriet . . . . . Maidel Turner  Chapman . . . . . Arthur Hoyt

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The Film Daily, July 2, 1935

Coming and Going

BELA LUGOSI, who co-stars with Boris Karloff in “The Raven,” which opens Thursday at the Roxy, has arrived in New York and will attend the opening of his film before sailing for Europe at the end of this week.

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The Milwaukee Journal, July 2, 1935

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Photoplay Magazine, July, 1935

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The Sunday Spartanburg Herald, July 5, 1935

The Raven, The Sunday Spartanburg Herald, July 5, 1935

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Sarasota, Herald-Tribune, July 11, 1935

The Raven, Sarasota, Herald-Tribune, July 11, 1935

The Raven, Sarasota, Herald-Tribune, July 11, 1935 b

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Daily Film Renter July 13, 1935

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 The Telegraph, July 13, 1935

The Raven, The Telegraph, July 13, 1935

The Raven, The Telegraph, July 13, 1935 b

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UK Trade Show Advertisement

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To-Day’s Cinema News And Property Gazette (UK), July 18, 1935

Lugosi in Person

At the Universal trade show of “The Raven” on Tuesday evening at the Prince Edward, Bela Lugosi, a starred player, made a personal appearance. Introduced on the stage, he spoke a few words of gratitude for his reception – which was certainly hearty – and expressed a hope that the picture that followed would be enjoyed and make money.

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Property Gazette and Cinema News Daily (UK), July 18, 1935

Lugosi personally

Universal trade show “Raven”, I showed face personal on Tuesday night at the player who won Prince Edward, Bella Lugosi, stars. Was generous indeed – it has been introduced on the stage, he is the hope that would be to talk a few words of appreciation for the reception of his, to make money image enjoyed then expressed.

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The Daily Film Renter, July 18, 1935

Wardour Street Gossip

by

“Tatler”

FILM salesmen apart, one rarely sees persons with uncanny powers at trade shows, so Universal can claim something of an achievement in the personal appearance of Bela Lugosi at “The Raven” screening at the Prince Edward, Tuesday evening. Lugosi, of course, has made our blood curdle on frequent occasions in previous thrillers. A generous “hand” as he came on testified to his popularity with exhibitors, and he said his piece very nicely before withdrawing behind the tabs.

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Film Pictorial, July 20, 1935

VILLAINS SOMETIMES SLEEP!

Villians Sometimes Sleep

Our cameraman caught these two napping – Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, appearing together in “The Raven,” just completed at Universal. Lugosi recently arrived in England to star in “The Mystery of the Marie Celeste” for Hammer Productions. (Personally, we prefer our villains like this, they’re safe this way!) Also in the “Marie Celeste,” which is being made at Ealing, is the lovely Shirley Grey, one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood, who is paying her first visit to England. She is the only woman in the cast.

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Universal Weekly, July 27, 1935

Universal Weekly, July 27, 1935 1

Universal Weekly, July 27, 1935 2*

Spokane Daily Chronicle, August 6, 1935

The Raven, Spokane Daily Chronicle, August 6, 1935

 The Raven, Spokane Daily Chronicle, August 6, 1935*

Daily Journal, Evansville, Indiana, August 1935

The Raven - Daily Journal, EvansvilThe Raven - Daily Journal, Evansville, Indiana August 1935

The Raven - Daily Journal, Evansville, Indiana August 1935

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Spokane Daily Chronicle, August 9, 1935

The Raven, Spokane Daily Chronicle, August 9, 1935

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The Evening Independent, August 24, 1935

The Raven, The Evening Independent, August 24, 1935

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The Miami News, August 25, 1935

The Raven, The Miami News, August 25, 1935

The Raven, The Miami News, August 25, 1935 b

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The Miami News, August 26, 1935

The Raven, The Miami News, August 26, 1935

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Photoplay Magazine, September, 1935

The Shadow Stage

The Raven, Photoplay Magazine, September, 1935

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Unknown newspaper

The Raven unknown newspaper

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Modern Screen, September, 1935

Modern Screen, September, 1935

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Lawrence Journal-World, October, 14, 1935

The Raven, Lawrence Journal-World, October, 14, 1935

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The Sydney Morning Herlad, November 18, 1935

FILM REVIEWS

“THE RAVEN.”

“The Raven” is a thriller if ever there was one. The tales of Edgar Allen Poe have been ransacked for their grimmest horrors. Both Boris (“Frankenstein”) Karloff and Bela (“Dracula”) Lugosi (as the posters describe them) have been engaged to play the leading roles. The film reaches its climax when.worried Judge Thatcher lies on a monolith, being subjected to the torture described by Poe in “The Pit and the Pendulum,” while, elsewhere, a loving couple occupy a room whose walls are slowly moving inwards. This room is described in another of Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” The raven’s duty is only to provide some of the atmospheric background of this grim story. Dr.Vollin (Bela Lugosi) is the fiend who fills his cellars with instruments of torture. Bateman (Boris Karlofl), a fleeing criminal, comes to the doctor with a demand that he operate on his face so as to make him un-recognisable by the police. Vollin plays a trick already made familiar in an earlier film; and when Bateman wakes from the anaesthetic he is a monster, with a twisted mouth and a wall-eye and a cheek stained with scars. But Bateman turns up trumps in the end. Even he, murderer and monster though he be, could not bear to sec Dr. Vollin inflict horrible tortures upon an entire house-party. This film may excite a few picture-goers, whose tastes are abnormal, but to ordinary, matter-of-fact people it will all seen some-what ridiculous. Poe’s strange imaginings refuse to be stated impressively in photographic terms. “The Raven” was producedby Universal, and it is being shown at the Capitol and King’s Cross Theatres.

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Spokane Daily Chronicle, December 14, 1935

The Raven, Spokane Daily Chronicle, December 14, 1935

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Photoplay Magazine, January, 1936

BRIEF REVIEWS OF CURRENT PICTURES

Raven, The – Universal – Absurd melange tacked onto the name of Edgar Allan Poe’s great poem.Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff supply plenty of horror, but cannot do much with this plot.

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Wilmington News, November 19, 1952

The Raven, Wilmington News, November 19, 1952

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Wilmington Morning Star, November 21, 1952

The Raven, Wilmington Morning Star, November 21, 1952

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Posters

Half Sheet

The Raven Half Sheet

Window Cards

Argentinian (29.5′ x 43,5′)

The Raven Argentinian Poster

1937 Belgian (22′ x 33.24′)

The Raven Belgian Poster

1948 Re-Release  Insert

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Insert

1949 Re-Release  One Sheet

The Raven 1949 re-release poster

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Lobby Cards

The Raven Title Lobby Card

The Raven Lobby Card 4

The Raven Lobby Card 2

The Raven Lobby Card 3

The Raven Lobby Card 5

1948 Re-Release Lobby Cards

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 7

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 6

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 5

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 4

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 3

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 2

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Lobby Card 1

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Pressbooks

1948 Re-Release Pressbook

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Pressbook 1

The Raven 1948 Re-Release Pressbook 2

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Heralds

Spanish herald

The Raven Spanish Herald 1

The Raven Spanish Herald 2

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German Cinema Programme

The Raven German Cinema Programme

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Stills

Filming a scene

The Raven

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi

The Raven 1

Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi

The Raven 4

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff (Courtesy of Paul Seiler)

The Raven

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff (Courtesy of Paul Seiler)

The Raven 1 Paul Seiler

Irene Ware and Bela Lugosi

The Raven 5Samuel S. Hinds, Irene Ware and Bela Lugosi

The Raven 2Boris Karloff

The Raven 7

Irene Ware and Boris Karloff

The Raven 4

Bela Lugosi

The Raven 3

Bela Lugosi and Samuel S. Hinds

The RavenBela Lugosi and Arthur Hoyt

The Raven

The Raven

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1949 Re-Release Stills

The Raven 1949 Re-Release Still

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The Raven

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1963 Re-Release Still

The Raven 1963 Re-Release Still