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The Raven [DVD]


Price: £5.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Hazel Court, Olive Sturgess
  • Directors: Roger Corman
  • Writers: Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson
  • Producers: Roger Corman, James H. Nicholson, Samuel Z. Arkoff
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, Dutch
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct. 2003
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C24HX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,178 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A Roger Corman classic horror-spoof, which saw the first teaming of Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff on screen. Having recently left the Brotherhood of Sorcerors after the death of his wife, magician Erasmus Craven (Price) is visited by a talking raven that claims to be another magician, Bedlo (Lorre). The bird also claims to having been turned into a raven by Craven's arch-enemy Dr Scarabus (Karloff). Bedlo persuades Craven to reverse the spell and, after Craven hears that a woman who looks like his wife has been seen in Scarabus' company, he accompanies Craven to Scarabus' castle where a magical showdown ensues.

From Amazon.co.uk

One of the most sublimely silly products to emanate from Roger Corman's studio, The Raven has the very loosest of connections with the Edgar Allen Poe poem that gives it its title and which Vincent Price intones sepulchrally at the beginning. A retiring magician, Craven (Price) has opted out of the power struggles of peers such as Dr Scarabus (Boris Karloff) to brood on his dead wife and bring up his daughter. The arrival of Bledlo (Peter Lorre), an incompetent drunk whom Scarabus has turned into the raven of the title, involves him in everything he had renounced--life is complicated further by the arrival of Bledlo's son Rexford, played by a staggeringly young Jack Nicholson. The special effects are almost perfunctory, yet the culminating magical duel between Price and Karloff is inventive and charming; this is one of those films that looks as if the actors enjoyed making it; while the script by Richard Matheson has a blithe awareness of its own shortcomings that makes it hard to dislike.

On the DVD: The Raven comes to DVD with very boxy remastered mono sound, but is presented in its original widescreen 2.35:1 ratio, formatted for 16:9 TVs. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer. --Roz Kaveney

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Cowboy Buddha on 27 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have a great deal of affection for this film, which I first saw as a teenager when it came out. Not the typical Corman adaptation of Poe, but I very tongue in cheek (and very nearly camp) version. Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff shamelessly ham it up and spoof their own images and careers. A very young Jack Nicholson is as wooden as he is straight and never stands a chance against three veteran scene-stealers. There are also a couple of forgotten starlets who were hired more for their cleavages than any other talent. The budget is low, the effects prehistoric, but the performances, script and direction more than make up for it. This film could only have been made in the Sixties. If the three stars were slightly past their peak, they are still full of fun and mischief. Vincent Price in particular seems to be forever saying to the audience: "I know it's nonsense and you know it's nonsense, but it's fun, isn't it?" Even so, it is Peter Lorre who gets some of the best lines. When entering a crypt, he looks around at the dust and decay and cobwebs and comments dryly: "Hard place to keep clean, huh?" Not a horror film (unless you count Nicholson's horrible acting), not one for Poe purists, but much more a very offbeat entertainment. Get out the popcorn and enjoy.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you've never seen this film, you must. If you like Roger Corman/1950-1960's schlock horror, you must see this film. I've always been a fan of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. What a bonus, a film with all three! And to top it all, it's based on an Edgar Allan Poe tale (okay, so it is very loosely based). The film tells the tale of 3 wizards, Peter Lorre is sort of the bait, with Vincent Price and Boris Karloff pitting their magical knowledge against each other - yes, the good guy does win! Also appearing in one of his very early roles, is a very young Jack Nicholson (as he did quite often in early l960's Corman films) as Peter Lorre's son. Great viewing - a pleasant time is guaranteed for all.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "candy_cane_uk" on 7 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD
I first saw this film about 8 years ago it wasn't a great copy,one we had taped from the tele but i loved it.At the time i thought it was really scary and being only 10 could not work out how they do all the (special effects) and i do use this term loosely. However i really enjoyed the film and it became one of OUR regular saturday night in movie.Untill our video player blew up ruining the film. Since then i have been searching everywhere for it, with no luck untill now. I reccomend this film to anyone who doesnt mind ancient effects and a bit of gore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Starring three of the Horror genre's finest - Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre (along with a very young Jack Nicholson), directed by Roger Corman and `based' on a tale by Edgar Allen Poe, you might be expecting something a bit special when you watch this. And you won't be disappointed. Just don't go expecting anything that resembles Poe's classic poem...

This is a classic bit of comedy horror, with brilliant turns from each of the three principles. Very loosely based on Poe's poem (A raven does indeed come rapping, rapping at the chamber door, and there is a character called Lenore), around which a tale of doublecross and betrayal has been woven, it's a bit dated, it's very corny, and it seems to have been filmed on a budget of about two dollars. A charming and entertaining film has resulted, mainly due to the performances of Karloff, Price and Lorre. Especially Karloff, who shows just why he was a fixture in Hollywood for so many years. Watch it just fo the Wizards duel towards the end - I defy you to not enjoy it!

In line with Roger Corman's usual ethos when making films, this DVD release is a pretty basic affair. The pnly extra is the theatrical trailer. The film is in widescreen with mono sound only. There appears to have been little or no resoration of the sound or picture, but both are acceptable quality.

Highly recommended to all fans of gentle comedy and classic horror.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. E. Ward Davies on 4 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
this is without a doubt one of the best collaborations between vincent price and director roger corman.

playing "the raven" for laughs was an inspirational idea and it works wonders. price is very well supported by peter lorre and boris karloff, especially by lorre in their early scenes together. the script is brilliant, price's mugging is very funny, the film sets are great as always and the climax is the best i've seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Ryan on 21 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is excellent. It stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and the lovely Hazel Court. The story is slightly silly, but very entertaining. The transfer is nice and crisp with excellent colour. This is one of my best buys this year, highly recommended.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Mac on 24 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Rating Explanation
I watch and own a huge number of films and can sit through most
dross. My ratings are based on my personal response to films,not
any standard of quality. Therefore:
1 star : So awful I walked out/switched off/fell asleep
2 stars: I managed to watch all of it, but it was painful
3 stars: It's OK - quite good, but I probably wouldn't watch it again
4 stars: It's good and/or enjoyable. I could happily watch it again
5 stars: These are special. My desert island films
Lovely and hilarious. Price sending up the whole of the rest of his career is even better than when he is playing it straight.
Notable for raspberry jam, dodgy effects and a very, veeeery young Jack Nicholson.
Maybe a bit dated for modern tastes, but my kids loved it.
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