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Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

France 1943 92 mins. In French

Clouzot’s controversial, claustrophobic film noir, set in a small countryside hamlet referred to as “anywhere,” follows the small-town doctor Germain (Pierre Fresnay) with a sordid past to hide and nowhere else to go. When townsfolk (at large) suspect Germain of performing secret abortions, he is put on the defensive, with mysterious ransom-esque notes showing up left-and-right, all signed The Raven. But who exactly is The Raven, and why have they trained their sights on the hard-nosed Germain? Clouzot’s atmospheric vision of small-town mores, dripping with suspicion and with neighborly betrayal around every stone corner, is an “unforgettable movie. Upon its release, Le Corbeau discomfited both the left and the right. It was denounced by the Catholic Church and banned after the Liberation; Clouzot had shown, with mortifying clarity, how ordinary people could behave when given the chance to finger their fellow-citizens—and, in the process, to assuage their own lurking shame.”—Anthony Lane, The New Yorker.

Genres: Film Noir



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