7.3/10
23,730
223 user 121 critic

The Wolf Man (1941)

Not Rated | | Horror | 12 December 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:48 | Trailer
Larry Talbot returns to his father's castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman. One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where they meet a mysterious gypsy fortune teller.

Director:

George Waggner

Writer:

Curt Siodmak (original screenplay)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Larry Talbot - The Wolf Man (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
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Storyline

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. Transformed by the full moon, Larry heads for the forest and a fateful meeting with both Sir John and Gwen Conliffe. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Night monster... prowling... killing... terrifying a countryside... with the blood lust of a savage beast! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal originally planned the project for its horror superstar, Boris Karloff. See more »

Goofs

When Colonel Montford is investigating the Jenny Williams crime scene in the forest, he is holding his pipe. As the camera-views repeatedly alternate from close-ups to group shots, his grip on the pipe changes from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chauffeur: Talbot Castle, Mr. Larry.
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Connections

Referenced in The Grey (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Lon Chaney Jr's signature role is still one of his best performances. 'The Wolf Man' is an undisputed horror classic.
18 February 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Lon Chaney Jr lived under the shadow of his famous father, but in 'The Wolf Man' he helped create a horror icon that has lasted for over sixty years. Chaney had already shown that he could act in 'Of Mice And Men'(1939). In 'The Wolf Man' he gives another excellent performance, but this movie was both a blessing and a curse to his career I think. It forever labeled him a horror actor, and frankly he made a lot of lousy movies after this. Some good ones too, don't get me wrong, but too often he was given b-grade material to work with. Maybe his drinking problem had a lot to do with it, I don't know, but apart from a strong cameo in 'The Defiant Ones'(1958) and a great performance in Jack Hill's cult classic 'Spider Baby'(1964), he rarely was given a role as good as Larry Talbot in this movie. Chaney is surrounded by a very strong supporting cast including horror legends Claude Rains ('The Invisible Man') and Bela Lugosi (sadly only a cameo), Ralph Bellamy ('His Girl Friday'), and frequent costar Evelyn Ankers (she and Chaney made a great on screen couple but apparently hated each other off screen. Such is Hollywood!). Many people complain about the casting of Rains and Chaney as father and son. I agree it's totally unrealistic, but I don't think it hurts the movie at all. The lack of Lugosi is a bigger problem. There was more footage of him but unfortunately it wasn't used in the final cut. It's too bad as more scenes between Lugosi and Chaney would have been a treat. Of course they worked together a few times after this, but mostly in lesser movies. The real scene stealer in 'The Wolf Man' is Maria Ouspenskaya who plays the gypsy woman Maleva. She's just terrific, and gives the most memorable performance after Chaney. 'The Wolf Man' has had an enormous influence on just about every subsequent werewolf movie. Much of the lore seen on screen here isn't in fact traditional, as many people assume, but created by the talented Curt Siodmak ('Donovan's Brain') who subsequently wrote the horror classics 'I Walked With A Zombie'(1943), and 'The Beast With Five Fingers'(1946). 'The Wolf Man' is an undisputed horror classic, and just as entertaining and interesting as it ever was.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destiny See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$420
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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