A motley crowd comprising of a couple, Lee Winfield and Allen Bentley ( Wanda McKay and Robert Livingston) who have eloped, the polished crook Mike Bardoni (Noel Madison) and Tim Winfield (Robert Middlemass) , an influential politician and also Lee’s father are forced to seek shelter at the Black Raven Inn, run by Amos Bradford (George Zucco) . As luck would have it, a sudden thunderstorm washes the bridge across the border away. Among this crew is the deceptively innocuous-looking bank clerk Byron Foulger (Horace Weatherby) with the 50,000 dollars he has embezzled. All hell breaks lose when Foulger’s secret is let out by Bardoni. Few of the guests get any rest that night as a spate of murders follow, leaving each one suspicious of the other.
Running Time: 61 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: PG
"In this vintage classic from A2ZCDS, Sam Newfield - better known for his comedies - joined hands with brother Sigmund Neufeld (the head of PRC Studios) to produce this deliciously mystifying narrative at the height of the Second World War. Sam’s insight and exceptional skills at getting the best out of his cast are visible in this production, which is shot almost entirely indoors. George Zucco has outdone his own reputation as a great character actor in his portrayal of ‘The Black Raven’ - an inn owner with a criminal background. The plot, however, centers on the debonair Allen Bentley (played by Robert Livingston) who is quickly branded as the murderer by the Sheriff. Bentley’ good looks and convincing capabilities as an actor are utilized favorably by Newfield. Excellent use of lighting, shadows and silhouettes add to the eerie atmosphere and hair-raising suspense. Some hilarious moments, provided by the bumbling assistant Andy and the dim-witted Sheriff serve as a welcome interlude amidst a tense drama. As in most effective murder mysteries, the culprit is the character whom you least suspect, but this mystery has an unexpected twist that catches you completely off guard! Experience this timeless, gripping thriller from A2ZCDS, now in enhanced DVD format. It will keep you riveted to your seats for the better part of an hour."
"I wouldn’t have thought that a vintage whodunit could be so multifaceted. Given the minimalist setting, the plot is deliciously complex. George Zucco’s cool and unruffled performance is especially noteworthy. I was left guessing wildly till the very end."
Glen E. Ferris, (Albany, NEW YORK)
"I’m not much into oldies, but this one (‘The Black Raven’ from A2ZCDS) was a real experience. Excellent plot, direction and performances. The clever use of light and shadows reminds me of Hitchcock at his best. I can see how such a movie could have spawned a whole genre of others like it."
Harriet Norris, student (College of Visual and Performing Arts, Tampa, FLORIDA)
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