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. Larry, transformed by the full moon, heads for the forest and a fateful meeting with both Sir John and Gwen. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
All things to make this an horror classic are present here.
Horror films mainly in the '30's and 40's needed 3 good things to make it a successful one. A good story, a good 'monster' and good actors. "The Wolf Man" truly is a movie that has all those ingredients present.
"The Wolf Man" is written by one of the best writers of the genre in that period; Curt Siodmak. It also has the 'luck' that it stars Claude Rains, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. Three of the biggest names of that period. Let's face it people, Lon Chaney Jr. isn't that much good of an actor but he still is some sort of an icon with a kind of cult status which makes him extremely good for playing 'monster' parts in movies like this. Lugosi's role is extremely limited and in the few scene's he's in he's terribly overacting. Fans of him will be terrible disappointing by this. Also a legendary person in this is Maria Ouspenskaya. She might not be terribly legendary as an actress but she surely is as an acting teacher. One of her students was Lee Strasberg who later became the teacher of actors such as Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. He is probably still best know for portraying Hyman Roth in "The Godfather Part II" for which he also received an Oscar nomination but lost to his own protégé De Niro (Also for "The Godfather Part II".). Another protégé of her was Stella Adler who became the mentor of Marlon Brando. This all to just indicate how legendary Maria Ouspenskaya was.
As for this movie itself; it has a fantastic atmosphere and simple but very effective story with some nice moments in it. The Wolf Man himself has grown into one of the legendary movie monsters and this is the one role that Lon Chaney Jr. will always be remembered for. He later reprise his role as Larry Talbot/Wolf Man in "Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein", "House of Dracula", "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" and "House of Frankenstein".
For the fans of classic horror movies this is a must see. Most other 'normal' people will probably just shrug while watching this movie but they should still be able to appreciate the atmosphere and the fine actors and story.
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