Starting with The Wolf Man (in 1941), Universal Studios made five movies featuring The Wolf Man, a character portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr. Monster by Moonlight! explores these movies. Rick ... See full summary »
Starting with The Wolf Man (in 1941), Universal Studios made five movies featuring The Wolf Man, a character portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr. Monster by Moonlight! explores these movies. Rick Baker explains how the make-up was done on Chaney's character. Screenwriter Curtis Siodmak took very little from earlier werewolf legends, providing his own story for some of the films. This documentary displays clips from several other movies, including Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and House of Dracula (1945). Written by
Ken Miller <email@example.com>
This documentary is featured on both the Universal Classic Monster Collection and Monster Legacy Collection DVDs for The Wolf Man (1941). See more »
Host John Landis informs us that Lon Chaney Jr. played the Frankenstein Monster in Ghost of Frankenstein *before* he played The Wolf Man; actually it's the other way around: Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) was filmed after The Wolf Man (1941). See more »
Very good documentary detailing the history of Universal's most famous werewolf--The Wolf Man portrayed by Lon Chaney and also covers the general history of werewolf lore; both the literary folklore and the Hollywood werewolf legends created not only in "The Wolf Man", but also the first Universal werewolf film, 1935's "Werewolf of London."
"Werewolf of London" introduced us to the idea of the wolf transformations occurring during the full moon. And while WOL was a good movie, it obviously didn't catch fire with the public the way "The Wolf Man" did. Many critics and fans--such as myself--have speculated that perhaps the reason for that was the lead played by Henry Hull--who was hardly the affable guy Larry Talbot was.
Most of what else we know about Hollywood werewolves came courtesy of the fertile mind of Curt Siodmak & of course, Lon's stirring portrayal of the cursed lycanthrope resonated very much with wartime audiences and the Wolf Man was revived for many a sequel.
The only thing I might dock a point from this documentary is the fact that David J. Skal--who wrote and produced it--seems to be under the erroneous impression that Lon Chaney made the "Ghost of Frankenstein" picture before making "The Wolf Man." Of course, we know that's not true-- but it's only a minor quibble against an otherwise excellent half hour feature.
Overall, if you're a werewolf fan--or just a fan of classic monsters in general--then definitely give this documentary a look (if you have not already).
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