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I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 19 June 1957 (USA)
A hypnotherapist uses a temperamental teenager as guinea pig for a serum which transforms him into a vicious werewolf.

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Writers:

(original story) (as Ralph Thornton), (original story) (as Ralph Thornton) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yvonne Lime ...
...
Charles Willcox ...
Jimmy (as Tony Marshall)
Dawn Richard ...
...
Detective Donovan
Ken Miller ...
Vic
Cynthia Chenault ...
Pearl (as Cindy Robbins)
Michael Rougas ...
Robert Griffin ...
Joseph Mell ...
...
Eddie Marr ...
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Louise Lewis ...
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Storyline

A troubled teenager seeks help through hypnotherapy, but his evil doctor uses him for regression experiments that transform him into a rampaging werewolf. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most amazing motion picture of our time! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood of the Werewolf  »

Box Office

Budget:

$82,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the film that came up with the popular title motif "I Was a *insert noun here*." Numerous films, songs, and books have paid homage to this film through their titles alone. See more »

Goofs

The night-time stalking scenes obviously were shot during daylight, like when the teenager leaves the party at night and walks in the forest. See more »

Quotes

Det. Sgt. Donovan: It's not for man to interfere in the ways of God.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Clarissa Explains It All: Alter Ego (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Blaine
Sung by Ken Miller (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic of its kind
25 February 2002 | by (Rhode Island) – See all my reviews

You really had to be a teenager in 1957 to appreciate the effect this movie had on teens back then. Elvis was just starting out and there are similarites to the reactions of adults and teenagers to both icons. (In fact Yvonne Lime was "dating" Elvis (pictures of Elvis and Yvonne together were in movie magazines back then) when this film was made and from what I understand, he even visited the set. Too bad they couldn't have had him sing a song in it!) There is an amazing backstory AMC could make about the senate hearings on juvenile delinquency and this film; the senators mentioned the bad effects this film had on teenagers even though none of them had seen it!

Anyway, Gene Fowler Jr (who had edited Academy Award films like LAURA) was chosen to direct this, his first film and although he at first had second thoughts about doing it, his wife convinced him "no one would see it anyway." Boy, was she wrong! His background as an editor helped him be a better first-time director than most and helped make this picture, made on a shoe-string budget in only 7 days, better than all the other teen horror films back then. The camera angles on the fight at the beginning, Dawn Richard's gymnist seeing the werewolf upside down at first (and therefore the audience too), showed that he had good ideas in setting up shots.

Michael Landon, contrary to what some believe, never downplayed his connection to this film for it gave him his start in show business. He may at first have had doubts about being connected with it with the initial uproar, which is why he turned down the chance to play the werewolf a second time, but after that, he never bad-mouthed the film. In fact, he paid homage to it on a Halloween episode of "Highway to Heaven."

Anyway, the acting is good all around with standout performances by Landon and Whit Bissell. The "science" used to turn Tony into the monster may be silly today, but in the 1950's, there were a lot of talk and film plots about past-life regression following the Bridey Murphy newspaper accounts (also used in THE SHE-CREATURE). Again you had to live in the 1950's to understand all this. Philip Scheer's werewolf makeup is one of the better pre-Howling/American Werewolf ones in movie history and while the transformation scene isn't as good as in THE WOLF MAN or THE WEREWOLF, the director did not have a lot of money or time to work with and did a good job considering.

A film has to be pretty good, even with a low budget, to be as successful as this one was...and to remain a cult favorite 45 years later. It has stood the test of time and deserves to be considered a classic of its kind.


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