Raven (1915)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Although Henry B. Walthall (the "Little Colonel" in D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation) made a strong showing as Edgar Allen Poe in this picture, he was hampered by its archaic special effects and approach. Based on the novel and play by George C. Hazelton, this is not a biopic of Poe in a strict sense, but it does show various events in the poet's life -- his adoption as a boy, his marriage to Virginia Clemm (Warda Howard, who played several other roles in the film, including the lost Lenore), and Virginia's premature death. But the narrative blends all this with lines from Poe's most famous poem and has him dying after his encounter with the bird. Even in 1915 -- when fakery was given a bit of leeway -- the paper mache sets and cheap camera tricks were unforgivable.

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Keywords

alcoholism, hallucination, writing