Doctor Germain (Fresnay) is a family physician with "no friends and no enemies" quietly practicing in a small, provincial French town. But he is deeply unsettled after he receives a poison-pen letter, anonymously signed "The Raven," accusing him of adultery and abortion. As these vitriolic missives proliferate, smearing the most prominent officials and professionals, the town's dark secrets and suppressed hostilities rise to the surface.
Filmed during the Nazi occupation of France, Clouzot's brilliant, edgy psychological thriller captures the petty enmities and virulent paranoia that, letter by letter, rips a tight-knit community apart. Framed by the moral dilemma of Fresnay's Germain, a serious, stone-faced man haunted by "two ghosts" from the past, "Corbeau" adds one Hitchcockian twist after another, while immersing us in an ominous atmosphere of suspicion. Adding to the intrigue are radiant social worker Laura (Micheline Francey), elderly psychoanalyst Dr. Avorzet (the wonderful Pierre Larquey), and needy cripple Denise (Ginette Leclerc). Dark, cynical, and utterly captivating, "Corbeau" illuminates the inner world where good and evil mix in equal measure.