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The Wolf Man (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  12 December 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 15,064 users  
Reviews: 186 user | 126 critic

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.



(original screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Evelyn Ankers ...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Fay Helm ...
Forrester Harvey ...


Upon the death of his brother, Larry Talbot returns from America to his ancestral home in Wales. He visits a gypsy camp with village girl Jenny Williams, who is attacked by Bela, a gypsy who has turned into a werewolf. Larry kills the werewolf but is bitten during the fight. Bela's mother tells him that this will cause him to become a werewolf at each full moon. Larry confesses his plight to his unbelieving father, Sir John, who then joins the villagers in a hunt for the wolf. Transformed by the full moon, Larry heads for the forest and a fateful meeting with both Sir John and Gwen Conliffe. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In many a distant village, there exists the Legend of the Werewolf or Wolf Man, a legend of a strange mortal man with the hair and fangs of an unearthly beast... his hideous howl, a dirge of death! See more »


Drama | Horror


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 December 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destiny  »

Box Office


$180,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film marks the first of five appearances by Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man for Universal Studios. Out of Universal's classic canon of monsters, Chaney was the only actor to portray the same character in each of the studio's classic films and sequels. See more »


When Maleva, the Gypsy woman, asks to see Larry Talbot's wound from the wolf bite, he unbuttons and spreads his shirt front (with his bared chest outside the camera's view). Talbot then proceeds directly home where he begins to change clothes. He removes his shirt to reveal that he is wearing a T-shirt underneath. See more »


[first lines]
Chauffeur: Talbot Castle, Mr. Larry.
See more »


Spoofed in The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Insert Clever Werewolf Joke Here
16 September 2001 | by (Kansas City, MO, USA) – See all my reviews

It wasn't the first werewolf movie (that honor goes to `Werewolf of London'), but it was `The Wolf Man' that gives us most of the werewolf mythology we still cling to today.

As with most classics, `The Wolf Man' draws its power from a combination of elements. First, there's Curt Siodmak's plausible and intelligent script. Siodmak said he was given a title, a star and a start date, and from there he consolidated and invented the werewolf myth into a cohesive, logical format.

Then there's the actors, a veritable who's who of 1930s-40s Universal horror. Lon Chaney joins the pantheon on great horror actors on this one, playing the tormented Larry Talbot. He manages to give Larry a tragic quality, a man trapped by a curse he doesn't understand or deserve. Chaney also generates considerable chemistry with the luminous Evelyn Ankers, which is surprising considering the rumors that the two practically hated each other. And then there's the always-excellent Claude Rains, who doesn't look very much like Lon Chaney's father, but still exudes quiet authority and authenticity.

Topping off the whole package is a healthy dollop of atmosphere: foggy forests, Gothic mansions and crypts, colorful Gypsy encampments. Each bit of design enhances the sense of mystery and dread that surround Larry Talbot, and burns `The Wolf Man' into your memory.

I'll never walk a foggy forest at night again!

52 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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