George Zucco in The Black Raven (1943)

The Black Raven (1943)
Cast:      George Zucco as Amos Bradford
                Wanda McKay as Lee Winfield
                Noel Madison as Mike Bardoni
                Robert Livingston as Allen Bentley

Written by Fred Myton
Directed by Sam Newfield

Plot: It’s a dark and stormy night when a group of strangers find themselves at an inn with murder and stolen money lurking around every dark corner.

Richard’s Review: The Black Raven is a fun film clocking in at just over an hour with George Zucco playing a man seeking revenge against those who wronged him. There’s a young couple trying to get away from the young girl’s father but don’t quite make it into Canada before the storm and her father catch up to them. Throw in some embezzlement and murder, as well as an inn which serves as the old, dark house, and you have a rather enjoyable little murder mystery. Zucco turns in a good performance in a role somewhat similar to what he did in Fog Island, just not as grand. Definitely something fun for a rainy night or a quick afternoon matinee.

Trivia:

  • Fred Myton was an established writer with 171 credits from 1916 until 1954. He was prolific in the western genre, including the cult classic, Terror of Tiny Town. He also wrote The Mad Monster and Dead Men Walk.
  • Sam Newfield has 277 directing credits, including The Monster Maker (1944), Dead Men Walk (1943) and Nabonga (1944).
  • Noel Madison only starred in two more films after The Black Raven, including Jitterbugs (1943) with Laurel and Hardy.
  • Robert Livingston is best remembered for his many western films, as well as his very last movie in 1975, Blazing Stewardesses.
  • Wanda McKay also starred in The Mad Doctor (1940), Voodoo Man (1944) and The Monster Maker (1944).
  • Charles Middleton, who played the sheriff, is best known for his role of Ming the Merciless in the Flash Gordon chapter serials.
  • Glenn Strange played the supporting character of Andy but is best remembered for his role of the Frankenstein Monster in the last three films in the Frankenstein film series (House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein).

Availability: The Black Raven is in the public domain and available on a wide variety of home media releases and streaming options.

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