Le Corbeau

1943

Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

159
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 8,371

Synopsis


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June 15, 2020

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
839.73 MB
1280*720
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.52 GB
1920×1080
French 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 8 / 10 / 10

Secrets of a Gallic Peyton Place unearthed in Clouzot's misanthropic thriller

Even the children in Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau (The Raven) are sneaky and malicious. No doubt they reflect their upbringing in the stifling French village of St. Robin, where a series of poison-pen letters – signed The Raven – has galvanized the populace into a spree of spying, whispering and finger-pointing. Most of the letters accuse an aloof doctor (Pierre Fresnay) of occupying illicit beds and of performing illegal operations – relieving women of burdens they're unwilling to bear. The accusations aren't entirely fanciful – Fresnay has cheerless affairs going with the young wife (Micheline Francey) of a sententious, much older doctor (Pierre Larquey) and with the town pump (Ginette Leclerc), a smoldering seductress who's both lame and a hypochondriac. But the evil epistles disgorge more than enough malice to go around, alluding to dirty little secrets that touch just about everybody in this Gallic Peyton Place. When one of the letters causes the suicide of a young man dying of liver cancer, another slips out of a wreath on his casket during his funeral procession, and yet another flutters from the rafters of the church during the requiem mass. The search for the anonymous writer reaches the point of hysteria – what else does the unseen assassin know, and who will be the next victim? Alone among the townsfolk, the mother (Sylvie) of the suicide seems resigned and resolute.... Clouzot has been called the French Hitchcock, but when Le Corbeau hit the screens in 1943 – released by a German production company during the Nazi occupation of France – he wasn't welcomed as warmly as the mischievous but harmless cherub across the Atlantic. its mordantly unflattering portrait of the French bourgeoisie was shunned as little short of treasonous. To be sure, Le Corbeau, like most of Clouzot's work (Diabolique, The Wages of Fear) seems to take Shakespeare's misanthropic Timon of Athens as inspiration for its outlook on humanity; it's certainly no tourist brochure for the French provinces. When Otto Preminger remade the movie in 1951 as The 13th Letter (setting it in the Province of Québec, and starring Michael Rennie, Linda Darnell, Charles Boyer and Constance Smith), he had to pull back from the nastier material – the routine, glum adultery, the rumors of abortions – and apply rosier tints to the characters. None of that sentimental nonsense for Clouzot, who unrepentantly hewed to his malevolent vision right to the bitter end.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 10 / 10 / 10

The ink which makes blood flow.

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. Very much a bastion of proto-noir cinema, it's photographed with an awareness to marry up to the acerbic thematic at work. Shadows feature prominently, even in daylight, canted angles are used to great effect, broken mirrors perfectly imbuing the fractures of the human psyche. A number of scenes are startlingly memorable, a funeral procession and a church service interrupted by one of The Raven's letters are superbly staged, the pursuit of a nurse through the cobbled streets is menacing, and the finale is hauntingly raw. Top performances across the board from the cast brings further rewards, whilst simultaneously adding more plaudits to Clouzot's direction. All in all, a remarkable, fascinating and potent piece of cinema. 9/10

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 10 / 10 / 10

Thunderbolt .

It's a legend!and a black one!The most famous scandal of French cinema during the occupation,le corbeau (the raven) has not lost its feathers even today. The facts:it was produced by the German firm "continental" where Clouzot used to work as a scripter "en chef".But people went as far as saying that the movie was shown in German movie theaters under the disagreeable title "a small town like so many other ones in France" .Balderdash!The movie was never released in Germany at the time. As Roger Boussinot wrote in "l'encyclopédie du cinéma"(1980),"the bourgeoisie ,be it French or German was all the same everywhere,and Hitler,whose fortunes were on the wane ,had to treat his own (bourgeoisie) gently.Actually,the film ran into difficulties after the Liberation.It was the ideal scapegoat,and along with so many others ,like Sacha Guitry,Arletty(the female star of "les enfants du paradis"),Ginette Leclerc (the female star of "le corbeau")and other "collaborators" (sic),Clouzot was blacklisted. Why so much acrimony against "le corbeau"?Because it depicted life in French provinces in a way that was far from being idyllic.Anonymous letters are sent by the "raven",and drags the town through the mud.At first sight ,it seems like a simple whodunit:Clouzot 's first effort (l'assassin habite au 21) was a thriller.But there's more to the picture than meets the eye:what was latent in the first movie,we see it in its true colors:Clouzot's contempt for the whole human race,which will increase over the years.No character in "le corbeau " to identify with:the prototype of the film noir.Where is good?Where is bad?The most famous scene remains that of the light sway :the world is not black and white,what you thought black might be white and vice versa . "Le Corbeau' was released at the wrong time.It was too different from the "Occupation" movies which dealt with "escape" "dream" as works as Carné's "les visiteurs du soir" or Jean Delannoy/Jean Cocteau's "l'éternel retour" testify.It was 1947 before HG Clouzot was allowed to direct again.Four years has passed,and he came back to Belgian writer Steeman (whose "le dernier des six" and "l'assassin habite au 21" he had already adapted),but his venom and his misanthropy hadn't dried up,and more masterpieces were to follow. Otto Preminger directed a remake "the 13th letter" in 1951 which I haven't seen.On the other hand ,there was a French "modern "update by Yves Boisset (Radio Corbeau,1989)which is watchable but which can't be compared to Clouzot's thunderbolt back in 1943.

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