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Dr. Richard Vollin is the main villain of the 1935 film The Raven. A skilled surgeon, he is obessed with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, especially "The Raven" - he describes the animal as his talisman. He even keeps a collection of Poe-inspired handmade torture devices in his house.Vollin is hired by Judge Thatcher to perform surgery on his daughter Jean, who had been injured in a car accident. After succeeding in saving her life, Vollin begins to fall in love with her. But her father discourages the middle-aged doctor, asking him to respect her happiness (plus she already has a boyfriend). Feeling betrayed, he begins plotting his revenge. He enlists the help of the fugitive Edmond Bateman, who comes to his home requesting a new face to avoid the law. Vollin agrees, but instead disfigures Bateman, promising only to fix it if Bateman assists him in his schemes. Vollin hosts a dinner party including Judge Thatcher, Jean, and her boyfriend Jerry. One by one they get caught in his Poe devices, which include a "shrinking" room and a pendulum inspired by "The Pit and the Pendulum." Only when Bateman turns on Vollin to save the victims is he himself killed (pushed by Bateman, whom Vollin mortally wounds for his betrayal, tuinto one of his own torture devices.
Behind the Scenes
- The Raven was one of several films inspired by Poe during the age of Universal Classic Horror, including The Black Cat and Murders in the Rue Morgue. But only this film actually tributes the author.
- The film was one of many which paired Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Although Lugosi had the main role as Vollin, Karloff (who played Bateman) had the main billing.
- This was one time when Lugosi and Karloff were both billed with their last names (only Karloff had this honor in The Black Cat).