Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A small French village is plagued by a poison-pen writer, whose principal target is Doctor Germain (Pierre Fresnay). The vitriolic letters wreak so much havoc that soon neighbor turns upon neighbor. Eventually, even the doctor himself becomes one of the suspects, as the townspeople are driven to commit paranoia-fueled crimes and suicides. The actual culprit is revealed to be one of the least likely candidates. Though it can now be seen to be a subliminal indictment of the paranoia fomented by the Nazi occupation of France, Le Corbeau (aka The Raven) was condemned as unpatriotic after the liberation, and director Henri-Georges Clouzot was banned from filmmaking until 1947. Based on a story by Clouzot and Louis Chavance, Le Corbeau was remade in Hollywood by Otto Preminger as The 13th Letter (1951).
family-secrets, letter, paranoia, poison-pen, small-town, suicide, suicide-attempt, townspeople, village
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance