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Edmond Bateman

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Edmond Bateman is a character who appears in the 1935 film The Raven.  He first appears at the home of Dr. Richard Vollin, who recognizes him from his picture in the newspapers.

Bateman is on the run from the police. He shot his way out of San Quentin prison, killing two guards. He tried to rob a bank in Arizona. When a cashier started yelling for the police, Bateman burned the cashier's face. He tells Vollin the cashier tried to get him in trouble, and that he told him to keep his mouth shut. As to burning him, he remarks, "Sometimes you can't help things like that."

Bateman has come to Vollin because a contact told him that Vollin could change his face. Vollin admits he is not a plastic surgeon but that he can do it (Bateman threatens him with a gun). Vollin asks Bateman to help him in his own plan of revenge, saying that "torture" and murder" "is in [Bateman's] line, even citing his actions on the run.


Bateman before being disfigured.

Bateman insists however that is not his line, and even offers money in payment, which Vollin refuses. Bateman does not want to get into any more trouble. He tells Vollin that he has been called ugly by everyone since he was born, and that it makes him feel "mean." He feels that being called ugly has led him into his criminal life, and hopes a new face can change that.

However, Vollin sees an opportunity to use Bateman to his own ends. When he operates on him, he disfigures half his face, promising to fix it only when Bateman helps him with his plot. Reluctantly Bateman agrees to finally help him. Only when Vollin has everyone trapped does he turn on the surgeon, for which he is fatally shot. Nevertheless Bateman pushes Vollin into one of his own torture machines and gets Vollin's victims to safety before he dies.


  • I'm saying doc, maybe because I look ugly... maybe if a man looks ugly he does ugly things!

Behind the Scenes

  • Boris Karloff used an American accent (he was a British national) for the pre-operation Bateman, but after the disfigurement he growls like the Frankenstein monster.

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