The Raven

Synopsis: A wealthy judge coaxes the brilliant but eccentric neurological surgeon Dr. Vollin (Lugosi), who also has an obsessive penchant for Edgar Allen Poe, out of retirement to save the life of his daughter, a dancer crippled and brain damaged in an auto wreck. Vollin restores her completely, but also envisions her as his "Lenore," and cooks up a scheme to kidnap the woman and torture and kill her fiance' and father in his Poe-inspired dungeon. To do his dirty work, Vollin recruits a wanted criminal (Karloff), and turns him into a hideous monster to guarantee his subservience.
Genre: Crime, Horror
Director(s): Lew Landers
Production: Universal
Rotten Tomatoes:
61 min

You've got to do something.

You've got to save

my daughter's life.

But, my dear sir, we...

You see, Judge Thatcher...

Jerry, if you love Jean,

do something.

The root nerves at the base of the brain...

...something has

impinged on them.

It's impossible...

Stop telling me that!



Dr. Vollin.

Can we get Dr. Vollin?

Dr. Vollin?

Get Dr. Vollin here.

"Suddenly there came

a tapping...

"As of someone

gently rapping...

"rapping at my chamber door.

"Open then

I flung the shutter...

"when, with many

a flirt and flutter...

In there stepped

a stately Raven"

Raven is my talisman.

Curious talisman.

Bird of the ill omen.

A symbol of death.

Death is my talisman,

Mr. Chapman.

The one indestructible force.

The one certain thing

in an uncertain universe.


Uh, Dr. Vollin,

the museum that I represent...

...will pay you a very handsome

price for your Poe collection.

Yes, yes, I know,

but will you tell Dr. Vollin...

...this is a matter

of life and death?

Oh. If you'll hold the line

just a moment, sir.

What is it?

Excuse me, Dr. Vollin, Dr.

Halden is on the phone, sir.

I've told him you didn't

wish to be disturbed, sir...

...but he says it's very urgent.

Yes, Dr. Halden.

But you know that I've

retired from actual practice...

...and I'm doing only research.

Who is on the case?

Well, I'm satisfied. They

can handle it as well as I.

But Dr. Vollin, I...

Let me, Jerry.

Dr. Vollin, this is

Judge Thatcher speaking.

It's my daughter.

She's... She's met

with a serious accident...

...and none of the doctors

in attendance...

That's very flattering,

but no.

No, Judge Thatcher.

I'm sure they can handle it

as well as I.

I'm sorry.

He's hung up.

What's his home address?

Hillview Heights.


I'm going there.

Mr. Chapman, I don't like to

ask you to go, but I'm tired.

If you come again sometime, I

will show you those models I built.

They are down

in my cellar.

I should like to see them.

Next time.

Yes. I've actually built... know, several of those

torture and horror devices...

...that Poe described

in his tales.

The Pit and the Pendulum.

That's the thrill of it,

isn't it?

Well, I certainly look forward

to seeing them.

Imagine building those things.

A very curious hobby.

It's more than a hobby.

Good night, Mr. Chapman.

Good night, Doctor.

But you can't say no.

I have said it.

I'll pay you any amount of money,

Dr. Vollin.

Money means nothing

to me.

But someone is dying.

Your... Your obligation as a

member of the medical profession.

I respect

no such obligation.

I'm a law unto myself.

But have you no

human feeling?

My daughter is dying.

Death, hasn't

the same significance for me... it has for you.

But you're

the one chance she's got.

Doctors Cook and Hemingway

are competent doctors.


It seems that

competence is not enough.

Cook and Hemingway

and Halden...

...they say that

you're the only one.

So they do say

I'm the only one.

Yes. I... I beg you

for my daughter's life.

Very well. I will go.

Start the anesthetic.

You're not only a great surgeon,

but a great musician, too.

Extraordinary man.

You're almost not a man.


A god?


A God with the taint

of human emotions.

The scar is almost gone.

I'm so glad.

When I touch it,

does it still hurt?


A month ago,

I didn't know you.

But now,

I owe my life to you.

I wish there were

something I could do.

There is.

Tell me.

The restraint that we

impose upon ourselves...

...can drive us mad.

I don't know what you mean.

Jerry... Jerry Halden tells me

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David Boehm

David Boehm (1 February 1893 in New York – 31 July 1962 in Santa Monica, California) was an American screenwriter. He is best known for the 1944 World War II heavenly fantasy A Guy Named Joe (remade by Steven Spielberg in 1989 as Always), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He also contributed scripts to Gold Diggers of 1933, Ex-Lady (1933), and Knickerbocker Holiday (1944). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Raven" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Apr. 2021. <>.

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