A mysterious writer of poison pen letters, known only as Le Corbeau (the Raven), plagues a French provincial town, unwittingly exposing the collective suspicion and rancor seething beneath the community's calm surface. Made during the Nazi Occupation of France, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau was attacked by the right-wing Vichy regime, the left-wing Resistance press, the Catholic Church, and was banned after the Liberation. But some-including Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre-recognized the powerful subtext to Clouzot's anti-informant, anti-Gestapo fable, and worked to rehabilitate Clouzot's directorial reputation after the war. Le Corbeau brilliantly captures a spirit of paranoid pettiness and self-loathing turning an occupied French town into a twentieth-century Salem.
Video interview with Bertrand Tavernier, director of Coup de Torchon
Excerpts from The Story of French Cinema by Those Who Made It: Grand Illusions 1939 - 1942, a 1975 documentary featuring Henri-Georges Clouzot