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The Wolf Man
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The Wolf Man (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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The Wolf Man -- A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and imbued with a malady his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Overview

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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Curt Siodmak (original screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wolf Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 December 1941 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"His hideous howl a dirge of death!" See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
The Rising Of the Moon See more (170 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Claude Rains ... Sir John Talbot
Warren William ... Dr. Lloyd

Ralph Bellamy ... Colonel Montford

Patric Knowles ... Frank Andrews

Bela Lugosi ... Bela
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Maleva
Evelyn Ankers ... Gwen Conliffe
J.M. Kerrigan ... Charles Conliffe
Fay Helm ... Jenny Williams
Forrester Harvey ... Twiddle

Lon Chaney Jr. ... The Wolf Man (as Lon Chaney)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jessie Arnold ... Gypsy Woman (uncredited)
Caroline Frances Cooke ... Woman (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Wykes (uncredited)
Margaret Fealy ... Woman (uncredited)

Gibson Gowland ... Villager (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Kendall - Butler (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Villager (uncredited)
La Riana ... Gypsy Dancer (uncredited)
Connie Leon ... Mrs. Wykes (uncredited)
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Williams (uncredited)
Ottola Nesmith ... Mrs. Bally (uncredited)
Eddie Polo ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Ernie Stanton ... Phillips - Search Party Member (uncredited)
Anne G. Sterling ... Gypsy Girl (uncredited)
Tom Stevenson ... Richardson - Gravedigger (uncredited)
Harry Stubbs ... Rev. Norman (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
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Directed by
George Waggner 
 
Writing credits
Curt Siodmak (original screenplay)

Produced by
George Waggner .... producer
Jack J. Gross .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Charles Previn (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
Frank Skinner (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph A. Valentine (director of photography) (as Joseph Valentine)
 
Film Editing by
Ted J. Kent (film editor) (as Ted Kent)
 
Art Direction by
Jack Otterson 
 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman (set decorations) (as R.A. Gausman)
 
Costume Design by
Vera West (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Vernon Keays .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Robert F. Boyle .... associate art director (as Robert Boyle)
 
Sound Department
Bernard B. Brown .... sound director
Joe Lapis .... technician
 
Special Effects by
Ellis Burman .... special effects technician (uncredited)
John P. Fulton .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Charles Previn .... musical director
Hans J. Salter .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Ellis Burman .... property maker: Larry's Silver Wolf Head Cane (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
70 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Maria Ouspenskaya, who played the old Gypsy woman, was only six years older than Bela Lugosi, who played her son.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Chauffeur:Talbot Castle, Mr. Larry.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Is "The Wolf Man" based on a novel?
How did Larry Talbot become a werewolf?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
35 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
The Rising Of the Moon, 31 October 2001
Author: telegonus from brighton, ma

As werewolf movies go The Wolf Man is probably the best. It was written by Curt Siodmak and directed by George Waggner. The script, though it gets the job done, has altogether too many wolf and dog references in it for comfort, many in the first fifteen minutes. A horror movie should never at the outset tell you that it is a horror movie. The title and and cast often give this away anyway, I grant, not to mention lobby cards and reviews. But the idea is or should be to draw the viewer in slowly, enabling him to acclimatize himself to the people and atmosphere so that the horror can, as it were, creep up on him. For all its excellent qualities The Wolf Man does not do this. Otherwise it works fairly nicely.

A thoroughly Americanized Larry Talbot arrives at the estate of his British father, Sir John (A baronet? I wish they'd made this clear). Aside from the fact that he is three times larger than his father and altogether different in temperament (shy and fumbling as opposed to assertive and incisive), the two hit it off well enough. Larry has returned from the States due to the death of his brother, and Sir John clearly wants Larry to take his place (whatever it is) in the village. Larry spies on a young woman through a telescope (Sir John is an astronomer), and goes to her shop, where he buys a cane, with a wolf's head, and asks her for a date. She agrees, but when they meet later on she brings a friend, just in case Larry gets too, well, wolfish. It is autumn and the gypsies are in town. Larry his girl and her friend go to a fortune teller to get their palms read. The palm-reader sees death in the friend's hand and urges her to go. Later on, in the form of a wolf, he attacks and kills the girl, and is in turn killed by Larry with his cane; but Larry is bitten by the wolf, which guarantees that he will become one, too. In time Larry does indeed become a werewolf, but as with everything else in his life only goes half-way. While the animal that attacked him was a wolf, Larry becomes only partly wolf in appearance, though when the transformation occurs he is wholly wolf in spirit, yet walks on two human, albeit furry legs. He is more or less adopted by the dead Gypsy fortune teller's mother, who looks after him, and has a way of turning up in her wagon at appropriate moments. She also recites a poem about werewolfery (or lycanthropy if you will), which I shall not repeat here and which everyone in the village seems to know by heart. Sir John, being a man of science, does not believe that his son is a true werewolf but suffering from some form of mental illness. Yet when the moon rises Larry turns into a werewolf and goes on rampages.

The Wolf Man is quite well made on what appears to be, for its studio, a generous budget; fog swirls everywhere, and the landscape is dominated by gnarled, leafless trees. It's tone is evocative of the Sherlock Holmes films, though not of course the content. There are so many good and bad things in the picture they're difficult to enumerate, and are often jumbled together. Of the bad, the casting of Americans Evelyn Ankers and Ralph Bellamy as Brits. Neither give a bad performance, but they don't belong in this film. It's difficult enough to keep one's disbelief in suspension with Lon Chaney on hand, but the addition of these two is a bit too much. Claude Rains, as Sir John, is a great asset to the movie, giving it a touch class and gravitas. His occasionally supercilious manner is in keeping in with the part he plays; and though he doesn't look at all like Chaney's father, he acts it. Maria Ouspenskaya and Bela Lugosi make marvelous gypsies, and they play their parts sincerely, with none of the hamming one might expect. Chaney's Larry Talbot became, after his Lennie in Of Mice and Men, his most famous role. He is sincere if somewhat phlegmatic in his 'normal' scenes, and early on, before the wolf-bite, lacks the joi de vivre he ought to have, as he is supposed to be a carefree young man. Chaney never seemed carefree. On the other hand his tragic, deeply lined face, sad eyes and prematurely middle-aged appearance suggests a troubled soul,--not an easy thing to fake--and in this regard he is magnificent in the part. His worry, over the prospect of another werewolf transformation, and the damage it will cause, appears genuine, and to a degree seems to come at times from outside the character he is playing, which as we know Chaney had serious personal problems, is a case of art imitating life, and the result is a kind of sad serendipity.

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