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Le Corbeau: The Raven [DVD]

Pierre Fresnay , Ginette Leclerc , Henri-Georges Clouzot    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £9.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Le Corbeau: The Raven [DVD] + Le Jour Se Leve [DVD] [1939]
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Product details

  • Actors: Pierre Fresnay, Ginette Leclerc, Micheline Francey, Helena Manson, Jeanne Fusier-Gir
  • Directors: Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Format: Black & White, PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Mar 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006M4S8C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,068 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Henri-George Clouzot's dark and subversive study of human nature stars Pierre Fresnay and Ginette Leclerc. A wave of hysteria sweeps the small provincial town of St Robin when a series of poison-pen letters signed 'Le Corbeau' (The Raven) appear denouncing several prominent members of society. Starting with the village doctor, the slow sinister trickle of letters soon becomes a flood and no one is safe from the malicious accusations, which include abortion and drug addiction. Beneath the town's respectful and calm surface lurks a darker side in which everyone is a suspect. With the townspeople afraid to accuse each other for fear of being accused, suspicion and hatred reach epidemic levels.

Product Description

French Mystery Crime-Drama about a village doctor who becomes the target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion. French Language with English Subtitles. PAL/Black & White/Mono/Running Time..92 mins.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of Clouzot's dark masterpieces 5 April 2005
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
'Le Corbeau' aka 'The Raven' is a surprisingly vivid piece of film-making, a wonderfully cinematic dissection of a town torn apart by the poison-pen letters of 'The Raven.' The initial balance of power that maintains the status quo (A knows B's indiscretion, B knows A's, so neither can destroy the other without disgracing himself) is soon destroyed as the whole town learns each other's dirty linen, with suspicions, half-truths and outright lies soon lead to the town turning on each other in the search for a scapegoat. Tragedy, suicide and murder inevitably follow...
This, of course, was the film that earned Clouzot a lasting reputation as a collaborator - made for the infamous German Continental films, it was attacked by both the Nazis for discouraging the French from informing (their main source of information during the occupation) and the resistance for attacking the French moral character. Of the two, it's pretty obvious the Nazis were on the right track. Even though the Germans are conspicuous by their absence, it makes clear that the anonymous informer/s are undermining solidarity and making the town easy prey for predators (it is implicit in the film that the Raven is not the only poison-pen writer in the town as a veritable flock of Ravens emerge).
The suspense comes not from the Raven's identity, which is blindingly obvious in this era of double-endings but must have seemed groundbreaking at the time, but from what damage the Raven will do next.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars believe the hype 24 April 2007
Format:DVD
sometimes when you hear about "cult" film they are a real dissapointment. well, this is the business.

heard about it and had to see it. well worth the effort tracking it down and if you are looking for something slightly different and dark. then this is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ink which makes blood flow. 2 Mar 2014
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Le Corbeau is directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and co-written by Clouzot and Henri Chavance. It stars Pierre Fresnay, Ginette Leclerc, Pierre Larquey and Micheline Francey. Music is by Tony Aubin and cinematography by Nicolas Hayer.

We are in a small French town, the actual name of which is not known and is inconsequential. A series of poison pen letters are being sent out to the town dignitaries, accusing them of all sorts of inappropriate operations. The letters are signed by someone calling themselves Le Corbeau (The Raven), and pretty soon the town starts to implode as suspicion and mistrust runs wild.

Famously it was the film that saw Clouzot banned from making films, the then young director receiving flak from all quarters of the Vichy Government - Catholic Church - Left Wingers and others too! The asides to the Nazi occupation of France at the time not being acknowledged until some years later. That very theme obviously holds considerable weight, but it's not the be all and end all of Clouzot's magnificent movie.

Clouzot and Chavance tap into the troubling fallibility of the human race, portraying a town quickly submerged in moral decay. There is caustic observations on the higher echelons of society, a clinical deconstruction of a town quick to cast aspersions without thinking of consequences, while the script boasts frank intelligence and no fear of censorship. That a town so ripe in respected denizens could become so diseased, so quickly, makes for powerful viewing. All are guilty as well, nobody escapes, even the youngsters are liars or cheats, thieves or rumour spreaders, this be a Hades town where negativity runs rife and leads to broken bodies, broken souls and broken human spirits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An odd but tremendously potent mix of a 'quiet' non-violent but very
tense noir thriller, a deeply dark humored, sometimes blackly comic
look at human nature, and a political tale of moral hypocrisy in a
small town.

By the end I was riveted, moved and provoked.

I was even more impressed when I learned more about the history of the
film. Made while France was under occupation by the Nazis, the theme of
neighbor turning against neighbor takes on an even deeper and more
chilling context.

A film with no hero and many villains, it is challenging, well acted
and physically beautiful.

How sadly ironic that film-maker Clouzot was castigated after the war
for being a Nazi collaborator for making the film under the thumb of
the Nazis (who, of course, controlled the French film industry at the
time), when this is about as clearly an anti-collaborationist film as
one could imagine.

This is truly subversive cinema at its finest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
"Le Corbeau," ("The Raven"), (1943),is a dark, black and white suspense film, a classic of French cinema, made by that master of the thriller Henri-Georges Clouzot, known worldwide for the two thrillers he made later,Les Diaboliques [Dual Format Edition DVD + Blu-Ray], and Wages of Fear [DVD]. And, remarkably enough, it was made during the World War II German occupation of France, under the Vichy regime, when all French films were supposed to be light, dreamy and uplifting. THE RAVEN, a tight 91 minute crime drama/mystery, was anything but, controversial from its release. Some French hated it, considered it treasonous in wartime because of the bad light into which it threw the country's bourgeoisie. But it also delivers a strong anti-informer message; so the right wing Vichy government hated it, too. Not because a single German was shown doing anything bad; there's not a German to be seen in this film. But because the occupying Germans got most of their information from informants.

A French provincial town, in the occupied sector, is driven into a frenzy of recrimination via a series of anonymous, cryptic and damning poison pen letters sent by "Le Corbeau," "The Raven." The suspicion and hard feelings hidden by the residents of the town, beneath the community's surface, are exposed, to the detriment of all. The Raven's principal target is an aloof village doctor, le docteur Remy Germain, who is played by Pierre Fresnay, (
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD EDITIONS THAT DON'T IMPRESS US SO MUCH.
DVD EDITIONS THAT DON'T IMPRESS US SO MUCH. I DON'T MEAN THEY AIN'T GOOD, JUST DESERVES BETTER STANDARDS, NOT ONLY USE BLURAY DISCS OR FULL-TACKED DVDS, WE SOMETIMES NEED MORE... Read more
Published 2 months ago by HAN XIAO
5.0 out of 5 stars The saddest of creatures...a bourgeois!
This film was produced by Continental Films, which was controlled
by Dr.Goebbels Propaganda Ministry. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Persistent Gardener
4.0 out of 5 stars French minor classic
Filmed during the Nazi Occupation this is a tense thriller set in a small provincial town plagued by a series of poison pen letters that set the townsfolk at each others throats. Read more
Published 13 months ago by john wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Potent, dark bitter noir thriller and examination of human nature
An odd but tremendously potent mix of a 'quiet' non-violent but very
tense noir thriller, a deeply dark humored, sometimes blackly comic
look at human nature, and a... Read more
Published on 1 April 2012 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars A raven in town
The raven (Le Corbeau) was shot in 1943 and the editing house was German (from Nazi Germany, I mean). Apart that, this is a very serious story. Read more
Published on 6 July 2010 by Vittorio De Alfaro
5.0 out of 5 stars Error in attribution of region code
Not a review as such, but merely an observation that all Criterion DVDs (and specifically this one) are Region 0, so all the Region 1 disclaimers above are (or should be)... Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2009 by A. J. Salisbury
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of Clouzot's dark masterpieces
Le Corbeau aka The Raven is a surprisingly vivid piece of film-making, a wonderfully cinematic dissection of a town torn apart by the poison-pen letters of 'The Raven. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2008 by Trevor Willsmer
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