Le corbeau (1943) is a French movie. Henri-Georges Clouzot has directed this movie. Pierre Fresnay,Ginette Leclerc,Micheline Francey,Héléna Manson are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1943. Le corbeau (1943) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
A vicious series of poison-pen letters spreads rumours, suspicion and fear among the inhabitants of a small French town, and one after another, they turn on each other as their hidden secrets are unveiled - but the one secret that no-one can uncover is the identity of the letters' author...
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Le corbeau (1943) Reviews
The Power of Rumors
In the village of Saint Robin, the population receives poison pen letters signed as The Raven spreading rumors and accusations. Dr. Rémy Germain (Pierre Fresnay), who is having an affair with the social assistant Laura (Micheline Francey), the wife of the psychiatrist Dr. Michel Vorzet (Pierre Larquey) that works with him at the local hospital, is the main victim of The Raven. His affair is disclosed and he is also accused of abortionist. When a patient of the hospital commits suicide after receiving a letter telling that his cancer is terminal, the loathed nurse Marie Corbin (Héléna Manson) is arrested since people believe she is The Raven. But soon there are other letters and Dr. Vorzet tries to identify who might be the notorious Raven. "Le Corbeau" is an intriguing film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, with the storyline about a mysterious character entitled The Raven that writes poison pen letters and the power of rumors and the effect in the population of a small town in France. The film was banned in France since it was produced by the German company Continental Films during World War II in the occupied France. My vote is seven. Title (Brazil): "O Corvo" ("The Raven")
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.
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.
A little-known gem
Although I pride myself on my knowledge of fine films, I must admit with a trace of embarrassment that I had never heard of this film before yesterday, when a brief blurb on the Turner Classic Movies schedule prompted me to watch it. My principal motivation for watching it was that it was directed by Clouzot, whose "Diabolique" and "Wages of Fear" are favorites of mine. What a find! While not quite the equal of "Diabolique," it comes very close, and it is the equal of anything by Hitchcock. Viewed simply as a thriller, it is marvelous, but it is much more than that. It is a profound character study and a howl of rage at the small-mindedness and pettiness of small town bourgeois communities. Considering that it was made during the German occupation, it can also be viewed as about as scathing a critique of Gestapo methods as a director could be expected to make without risking his life. After I saw "The Sorrow and The Pity" in 1971, I held the belief that any French artist who continued to work during the occupation was a legitimate target for criticism. Since then I have moderated this view somewhat. After all, who among us can honestly say what we would do in a similar situation? While there is no excuse for collaboration, can an artist be criticized for staying in his country and making a protest in the only way he can? I think that is what Clouzot did here, and the result is a masterwork. I only wish this were more widely known and publicized. 10/10
Humanity, before there were tabloids
According to a short interview with filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier in the French DVD-edition, the production company responsible for Le Corbeau was founded at the instigation of the Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. It was supposed to produce unpolitical, uplifting" entertainment. And it functioned outside of the control and censorship authority of the collaborationist French Vichy regime. Somehow, with Le Corbeau director Georges Henri Coluzot succeeded in standing the company's original precept on its head, painting a dark and pessimistic picture of French society. The courage, daring (and foolhardiness?) of the makers of Le Corbeau is, I assume, beyond comprehension for a contemporary audience. Many French, not least the Resistance and the post war authorities, were offended by this portrayal. But, doesn't the title sequence say explicitly that it could have happened anywhere? That is true, of course. The pastime of making slanderous remarks and general gossiping is an universal one. In Le Corbeau, set in a small provincial town where everybody knows everybody, almost no one and hardly any scandalous subject is spared. Virtually the whole community gets caught in this whirl of wild accusations and suspicions (I detected a certain resemblance with High Noon). It is beautiful how the director gets the message through that nobody is entirely good or entirely bad, culminating in a great scene where a primitive lamp is sent swinging back and forth, letting the shadows wander. In this movie an anonymous writer sends letters to different people with wild accusations. Oddly, the big letters, the layout and even the short, catchy phrasing look like the prototype of a tabloid newspaper. The letters actually are hand made scandal sheets in an era when newspapers still were meant for fully literate people. One of the highlights of the movie is a funeral procession in which one of those letters falls from the horse drawn hearse. Due to its bold lettering it is immediately recognizable to everyone, but the mourners do not dare pick it up and wait until a curious child gets hold of it. Then they quickly gather around a wonderful scene. Le Corbeau is a timeless movie that I can highly recommend.