The Wolf Man
1941****

| 70 MINS | BW | UNIVERSAL |


SYNOPSIS

After learning of the death of his brother, Larry Talbot returns to his ancestral home in Wales to reconcile with his father, Sir John. He becomes romantically interested in a local girl, Gwen Conliffe, and buys a silver walking stick from her antique shop.

Larry accompanies Gwen and her friend Jenny to a gypsy camp to have their fortunes told. Jenny becomes separated and is attacked by a wolf. Larry intervenes and beats the wolf to death with his cane. In the process he is bitten by the wolf.

A gypsy fortune-teller, Maleva, tells him that the beast which bit him was not a wolf but her son Bela, a werewolf. Now, she reveals, the curse of lycanthropy has been passed on, and every full moon he will transform into a wolf!

Talbot transforms into a hideous wolf-like creature, stalking the village. He first kills the local gravedigger. Retaining vague recollections of his wolf-like nature, Talbot struggles to come to terms with his condition. His end comes when in his transformed state he attacks Gwen and is bludgeoned by his father with a silver walking cane. Sir John looks on in horror as the creature transforms back into its human form.



REVIEWS

Classic-Horror.com: The Wolf Man is truly one of the greatest horror films of the ages. On the Mt. Rushmore of movie monsters, Larry Talbot would have the Thomas Jefferson spot up there next to Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy.

Classic-Monsters.com: The Wolf Man is a wonderful picture, and a true classic deserving of the highest accolades which could be bestowed upon it.

AllMovie.com: The Wolf Man may no longer have the ability to frighten even the faint of heart but it remains a literate and quite adult fairy tale of love, lust and redemption, and with the story of the return of the prodigal son thrown in for good measure.


QUOTE

Recited poem: Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.


CREDITS

  • Directed by George Waggner
  • Produced by George Waggner
  • Cinematography Joseph Valentine
  • Production company Universal Pictures



  • NOTABLE FACTS

  • This is the only Universal film to depict a werewolf in which the full moon is never shown.
  • Lon Chaney Jr.'s make-up took six hours to apply.



  • CAST

    Lon Chaney Jr. -- The Wolf Man (as Lon Chaney) | Claude Rains -- Sir John Talbot | Ralph Bellamy -- Colonel Montford | Warren William -- Dr. Lloyd | Patric Knowles -- Frank Andrews | Bela Lugosi -- Bela | Maria Ouspenskaya -- Maleva | Evelyn Ankers -- Gwen Conliffe | Fay Helm -- Jenny | J.M. Kerrigan -- Charles Conliffe | Forrester Harvey -- Twiddle



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