The Black Raven (May 31, 1943)

The Black Raven
 

Released on May 31, 1943: (running time 61 minutes) A group of strangers is caught in a hotel with a killer in the Black Raven hotel, on a dark and stormy night.

Produced by Sigmund Neufeld

Directed by Sam Newfield

The Actors: George Zucco (Amos Bradford, The Black Raven), Wanda McKay (Lee Winfield), Noel Madison (Mike Bardoni, racketeer), Robert Livingston (Allen Bentley), Byron Foulger (Horace Weatherby), I. Stanford Jolley (Whitey Cole, escaped prisoner), Jimmy Aubrey (roadblock watchman), Charles Middleton (Sheriff), Robert Middlemass (Tim Winfield, crime boss), Glenn Strange (Andy, hotel handyman)

 

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The Bride, Groom, Gangster, Thief, Killer, and The Black Raven

It seems that one dark night in the 1950’s, a policeman in Los Angeles discovered a man wandering the streets in a monster costume from a 1944 movie. The demented man was screaming out the name of voodoo god Ramboona to help him. Famous character actor George Zucco, suffering from dementia, was returned to his home, and was soon residing in the Monterey Sanitarium, where he spent his remaining years.

George Desylla Zucco was born in 1886 in Manchester, England, and claimed that his mother was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria before marrying his father, a Greek merchant. After acting in several British films, Zucco came to Hollywood where the soft-spoken actor was soon typecast in horror movies, often as a mad scientist or doctor.

In this adventure he is the owner of a tavern and hotel called The Black Raven, located in a remote area a mile from the Canadian border. He makes extra money by smuggling wanted gangsters across the border into Canada. It is a dark and stormy night as our adventure begins, and the first person to enter The Black Raven is a hunted gangster willing to pay whatever is necessary to get into Canada.

Soon, a mousy man wearing coke-bottle-glasses and carrying a satchel full of cash enters The Black Raven, quickly followed by a young couple anxious to cross the border to get married in Canada. Then the young lady’s father catches up to the eloping couple, stranded with the other visitors sheltered from the stormy night at The Black Raven.

Did I mention the escaped prisoner with a gun who wants to kill the owner of The Raven? I probably forgot to warn you about the murders about to happen in the midst of the raging storm that is beating down on The Black Raven with powerful waves of rain, thunder and lightning. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Byron Foulger
Byron Foulger
Byron Foulger, Jimmy Aubrey
Byron Foulger, Jimmy Aubrey
Byron Foulger
Byron Foulger
Charles Middleton, George Zucco
Charles Middleton, George Zucco
George Zucco
George Zucco
George Zucco, Charles Middleton
George Zucco, Charles Middleton
George Zucco, Glenn Strange
George Zucco, Glenn Strange
George Zucco, Noel Madison
George Zucco, Noel Madison
George Zucco
George Zucco
Glenn Strange
Glenn Strange
Glenn Strange, George Zucco
Glenn Strange, George Zucco
Glenn Strange
Glenn Strange
I. Stanford Jolley
I. Stanford Jolley
Noel Madison
Noel Madison
Noel Madison
Noel Madison
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston, Wanda McKay
Robert Livingston, Wanda McKay
Robert Livingston, Wanda McKay
Robert Livingston, Wanda McKay
Robert Middlemass
Robert Middlemass
Robert Middlemass, Robert Livinston
Robert Middlemass, Robert Livinston