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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Raven (1935)

Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews, Irene Ware, Samuel S. Hinds
Directed by Louis Friedlander
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

After he's jilted, a mad doctor, obsessed with the torture devices of Edgar Allan Poe, enlists an escaped convict he disfigures in his scheme for revenge.

Although Karloff usually always had the larger part in his film pairings with Lugosi, this film is an exception, with Lugosi getting a meaty role as the doctor whose obsession with Edgar Allan Poe points to his descent into madness, although he proclaims he's "the sanest man who ever lived."  Some of his dialogue comes off as rather bizarre, but fans of the actor will relish his depraved performance.  Karloff plays the more sympathetic character, using his half-scarred face and movements recalling his turn as the Frankenstein monster, but this is clearly Lugosi's showcase.

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