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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

User Rating:
7.4/10   12,894 votes »
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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 Werewolf as we know it... See more (175 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lon Chaney Jr. ... The Wolf Man, Lawrence Stewart Talbot (as Lon Chaney)

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

Ralph Bellamy ... Colonel Paul 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
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:
Shooting lasted from October 27-November 25, 1941, with a December 12 release.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 »

FAQ

How did Larry Talbot become a werewolf?
How many times did Lon Chaney, Jr. play the Wolf Man?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
The Werewolf as we know it..., 24 April 2006

Universal Studios had an impressive list of successes in the horror genre starting in 1931 with Tod Browning's "Dracula". The myth of the werewolf, was firstly adapted in 1935 in "Werewolf of London", but the movie failed to get the public's attention in the same way as the "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" series of movies. However, the moon shined for the wolf in 1941, when a second attempt was done with a completely new story. "The Wolf Man" had a great reception and soon was considered among the finest of the Universal Studios' movies of that era and it is probably the last of the Classics as the horror movies of the 40s started to have lower budget and production values.

"The Wolf Man" is a classic tragedy where a man becomes a beast that must kill every time the full moon shines on the sky. Lon Chaney Jr. is Larry Talbot, who returns home to Wales after spending years in the U.S.. Not only he'll have to adapt to the life in countryside and improve his relationship with his father (Claude Rains); now he'll face the curse of the werewolf after been bitten by the gypsy Bela (Bela Lugosi).

I have always thought that the previous "Werewolf of London" was a vastly superior film in terms of acting, direction and even make-up; however, the film's plot is not captivating and in the end not very attractive. On the other hand, Curt Siodmack's script for "The Wolf Man" is a brilliant masterpiece of horror and fantasy. So perfect that it makes up for all the film's other flaws, as it has an unnatural charm that is simply mesmerizing.

Like a Greek tragedy, the saga of Larry Talbot and his curse works in so many levels that is no surprise that it is the film that not only type-casted Chaney, but also serve as basis for all the future werewolf films. Siodmack basically creates the Werewolf myths out of thin air and gives them form with masterful care. Who can forget Maleva's (Maria Ouspenskaya) words? The "Wolf Man" rhyme is now one of the most famous quotes in film history.

Claude Rains is superb as Sir John Talbot, and gives the role the dignity that requires. Probably Lon Chaney Jr. had a limited range as an actor, but he was the perfect Larry Talbot with his sad looks and overall tragic appearance. Against all odds, Chaney embodied the wolf man and made the part almost mythical. The rest of the cast was definitely not as convincing as those great actors; however, Maria Ouspenskaya and Bela Lugosi are terrific as the gypsies who will play an important part in Talbot's future.

Jack Pierce's make-up is definitely the other star in this movie. The legendary monster maker created a piece that is now considered legendary. The wolf man's make-up is more beast-like and primal than the subtle one that Henry Hull used in "Werewolf of London", but that is because both werewolves are very different between them. While Hull's character was the darkest side of his persona, Chaney's wolf man is a beast that posses his body, and Jack Pierce captured that essence with the limited technology of his time, creating an immortal masterpiece in make-up history.

"The Wolf Man" may not be a perfect film, but the captivating storyline and the mystique surrounding it definitely have earned this movie a huge reputation as one of the best of the Universal Studios films of the 30s-40s era. While there may be better werewolf movies out there, this one will always be remembered as THE definitive werewolf classic. 8/10

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