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4.4 out of 5 stars50
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 October 2003
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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on 2 March 2004
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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on 7 October 2003
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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on 4 August 2006
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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Back in the 1980s I replaced most of my collection of 8mm movies with VHS and I have been going through a same process of upgrading to DVD for the last few years. This has given me the excuse to revisit many films that I have not seen for some time. This film is not one of has been a firm favourite since I first saw it in 1961 and I have watched this movie regularly ever since.

Roger Corman again teamed Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Vincent Price in this tongue in cheek horror spoof which was one of the gems of the series of light hearted adaptions of Poe stories using a stock cast which for this movies included Hazel Court and a very young Jack Nicholson

The wizards duel sequence between Karloff and Price towards the end of the movie is an absolute classic.

Sadly Peter Lorre died shortly after the film was released, reportedly without ever having seen the final cut, although he never liked seeing himself on film. On a happier note, the cast, all renown for their sense of humour apparently had tremendous fun making the film and Corman had to leave in many of the adlibs and asides as there were too many to edit out.

This is one of those fun films which always leaves you feeling better for having watched it again.
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on 21 October 2007
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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on 24 January 2006
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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on 10 September 2008
I must have seen all the Roger Corman horror films - Pit and the Pendulum, the Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death instantly come to mind. The colour to these films was vivid, I felt that I was watching them in colour on a black and white tv set. These films were classic horror films mostly with the melodramatic leads played skilfully by Vincent Price. They were atmospheric, gothic and quite bleak. Yet in The Raven we have a great deal of comic relief all provided by Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. It was great fun to watch and I thought Boris Karloff was brilliant and indeed I did detect a sparkle in his eye when he was fighting the magical duel with Vincent Price. I particularly liked the part when Boris hurled magical daggers at Vincent Price and Vincent drew magical disks to block the target. So much for CGI, (you can tell when a film has overdosed on this abomination to special effects). Great entertainment for all the family, I first saw this film when I was aged 10.
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on 18 December 2012
Following "Tales of Terror", Roger Corman pursued the resolutely humorous trend of the latter movie with "The Raven". One remembers that the Vincent Price-Peter Lorre combo was the gem of the "Tales..." film, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that their duet, only available as part of the anthology of "Tales..", should be given the full 85 minutes treatment in "The Raven". Lorre and Price are a joy to watch, and when their genius is completed by..Boris Karloff....Hazel Court...and Jack Nicholson!!! you know you're on for a good movie, and that these actors might as well recite the yellow pages they never EVER bore you.
Everyone of these legends of American-British cinema is a class act: Hazel Court plays with her usual damsell-in-distress part by displaying a voluptuously evil side to her that I had never suspected. Karloff is great as this very dangerous wizard, while Nicholson has one great scene suggesting the madness to come.
The duet scene between Karloff and Price towards the end of the movie is absolutely extraordinary (move over JK Rowlings!), while the miserable attempts of Lorre to curse Karloff end up being a bunch of thrown-out Latin famous quotes..
Why not five stars? Probably because Richard Matheson's screenplay can be a bit long-ish here and there but overall this is a magnificent and very moving entry in the Corman-Poe saga, all the more that Lorre would die soon after the release of this film, with the eulogy at his funeral given by Vincent Price.
Film after film, I am amazed by the quality of these productions, their ability to surprise and be innovative and by the heart and soul that everyone involved seems to put in them.
"The Raven" is an amazing tribute to five magnificent actors, so don't wait, watch and have fun...Oh - and I forgot one last thing: the "real" raven is superbly trained and sometimes almost looks human: a tour-de-force.
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on 8 July 2005
The Raven stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff as three wizards. It has everything a B-movie needs: terrible dialog, special effects that border on non-existence, and much more. It is highly entertaining, and a great laugh (even though it is billed as "the macabre masterpiece of terror!")
As a special extra, a very young Jack Nicholson plays Peter Lorre's bumbling son! THIS IS A MUST-SEE!
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