The magician Dr. Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price), who does not belong to the brotherhood of magicians, grieves the loss of his beloved wife Lenore (Hazel Court) and lives in a castle with his daughter Estelle (Olive Sturgess). One day, a raven knocks on his window and Dr. Craven learns that the bird is actually the magician Dr. Adolphus Bedlo (Peter Lorre) that was turned into a raven after challenging the powerful magician Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff) that was an enemy of his father. Dr. Craven makes a potion to turn Dr. Bedlo back to the human form and Dr. Bedlo tells that he has seen Lenore in the castle of Dr. Scarabus. Dr. Craven decides to go in his coach with Dr. Bedlo to visit Dr. Scarabus but Estella and Dr. Bedlo’s son Rexford (Jack Nicholson) decide to go with them. They find an amicable Dr. Scarabus that invite them to stay for the night. Was Dr. Craven’s father wrong about Dr. Scarabus?
“The Raven” is a delightful movie about ambition, treachery and magic, with a wonderful duel of magicians and lots of humor. The raven is hilarious and it is impressive his training with participation in many scenes. The special effects are simple but impressive for a 1963 movie. The cast is excellent with Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff and it is curious to see Jack Nicholson in the beginning of his career.