While on a botanical expedition in Tibet Dr. Wilfred Glendon is attacked in the dark by a strange animal. Returning to London, he finds himself turning nightly into a werewolf and terrorizing the city, with the only hope for curing his affliction a rare Asian flower. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Werewolf of London" almost never gets mentioned when one talks of the classic Universal horror flicks of the 30s and 40s. Yet it is as good or better than most of them.
The story involves a biologist (Henry Hull) who is in Tibet searching for a rare flower. While there he is attacked by a werewolf and unknowingly becomes infected himself. The rare flower it turns out, has the power to suppress the transformation into a werewolf. A mysterious scientist from Tibet (Warner Oland) appears and takes an unusual interest in the plant. Well, as in all werewolf movies, you know what happens when the moon is full.
Perhaps the film doesn't get the recognition it deserves because of the absence of one of Universal's major horror stars (Karloff or Lugosi). Lon Chaney Jr. would not arrive on the scene (in horror movies) until 1941.
Veteran character actor Hull is very good as the tormented Dr. Glendon. He plays him more in the manner of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde than an out and out monster. The murders are committed off screen so we have to rely on Hull to convey the evil of the werewolf through his performance. Warner Oland, who was starring in the Charlie Chan series at the time, has little to do as Dr. Yogami. The fetching Valerie Hobson stands out as Hull's wife and Spring Byington does her usual talkative busybody as Aunt Ettie. The weak link in the cast is Lester Matthews as the token hero Captain Ames. He plays him as a silly-ass stuffed shirt rather than the dashing fellow he is supposed to be.
Having said all of that, "Werewolf of London" is one of the better horror films of its time and unfortunately remains one of the most underrated of the genre.
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