Synopsis from IMDb: In this tongue-in-cheek movie inspired by Poe's poem, Dr. Craven is the son of a great sorcerer (now dead) who was once himself quite skilled at that profession, but has since abandoned it. One evening, a cowardly fool of a magician named Bedlo comes to Craven for help - the evil Scarabus has turned him into a raven and he needs someone to change him back. He also tells the reluctant wizard that Craven's long-lost wife Lenore, whom he loved greatly and thought dead, is living with the despised Scarabus. Written by Ken Yousten
- As Roger and his team got deeper into the Poe cycle of films, they worried that the films were starting to all look and feel alike. This is why Richard Matheson suggested making The Raven a comedy. There is a different style of writing and acting in The Raven as a comedy film. There's more improvisation, with Peter Lorre in particular.
- Each Poe picture got bigger as they built more sets, so The Raven ended up with big sets (as they recycled elements from all the Poe pictures that had been shot before!)
- Boris Karloff was a classically trained actor, who came to set with all lines memorized and he was otherwise completely prepared. Richard Matheson was pleased with how Karloff performed all his dialogue exactly as written. However, Peter Lorre's tendency towards improv (he came to set with an outline of what was going to happen in the scene in his head, but otherwise would wing it with respect to dialogue) often threw off Karloff. Vincent Price was what Corman referred to as "The Great Mediator", as he was skilled in both improvisation and was also very much classically trained, so he was able to meet Karloff and Lorre in the middle and became the gel to hold it all together.
- Peter Lorre came up with the back ground relationship between father and son (played by Jack Nicholson) - how the son idolized his character and the father wanted nothing to do with his son. Nicholson tugging at Lorre's clothing throughout the film, as if trying to get his father's attention and approval, became a running gag.
- The Battle of the Wizards near the end of the film was particularly innovative, in that they placed Karloff and Price (seated in chairs) on the crane, rather than the camera (camera's were placed nearer the middle of the crane) to make it appear as if the two wizards were floating through the air. FX were added later to show the magic spells they cast at one another, but of course they weren't able to do anything close to the kind of CGI that we'd see now, for example, in the wizard battle in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring!
Vincent Price as Dr. Erasmus Craven
- Peter Lorre as Dr. Adolphus Bedlo
- Boris Karloff as Dr. Scarabus
- Hazel Court as Lenore Craven
- Olive Sturgess as Estelle Craven
- Jack Nicholson as Rexford Bedlo
- Connie Wallace as Maid
- William Baskin as Grimes
- Aaron Saxon as Gort
(An aside) - My play and now also a novella, Horror at Terror Creek is heavily influenced by Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe productions—the colourful set dec touches contrasted against a dark, broody castle or mansion, particularly the garishly bright candle sticks that were used—that sticks out in my mind the most. The candles were often a different, primary colour for each separate room.