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Weird Woman (1944)

Passed | | Horror, Mystery | 1 March 1944 (USA)
While on a South Seas trip, a professor falls in love and marries an exotic native woman. What he doesn't know is that she was raised by superstitious natives who believe her to be some ... See full summary »


Reginald Le Borg


Fritz Leiber Jr. (novel), Scott Darling (adaptation) (as W. Scott Darling) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview:
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Norman Reed (as Lon Chaney)
Anne Gwynne ... Paula Reed
Evelyn Ankers ... Ilona Carr
Ralph Morgan ... Prof. Millard Sawtelle
Elisabeth Risdon ... Grace Gunnison
Lois Collier ... Margaret
Harry Hayden ... Prof. Septimus Carr
Elizabeth Russell ... Evelyn Sawtelle
Phil Brown ... David Jennings
Kay Harding Kay Harding ... Student (as Jackie Lou Harding)


While on a South Seas trip, a professor falls in love and marries an exotic native woman. What he doesn't know is that she was raised by superstitious natives who believe her to be some kind of supernatural being. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Horror | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 March 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Espectro See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During filming of more than one scene Evelyn Ankers was trying to appear menacing and resentful towards Anne Gwynne. The two actresses were best friends and so both found it difficult to keep a straight face during these scenes and would begin laughing uncontrollably. See more »


When Paula phones Reed, we hear the distinct "click" of a hang-up. But when he arrives home, he finds her passed out with the receiver still in her hand. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some TV prints delete the brief "Inner Sanctum" prologue. See more »


Followed by Dead Man's Eyes (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

A Woman Scorned..........
3 October 2006 | by bsmith5552See all my reviews

"Weird Woman" was the second of six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries adapted from the popular radio series of the day produced in 1943-45 by Universal and starring Lon Chaney Jr.

In this installment we begin with the young wife, Paula Reed (Anne Gwynne) of College Professor Norman Ried (Chaney), returning home in the middle of the night from an unknown destination. Reed is concerned about her irrational behavior. We then flashback to their initial meeting on an unnamed tropical island. It seems that Paula had been raised by a group that were involved in some sort of witchcraft and voodoo.

Norman and Paula marry and return to Norman's home in the US. They attend a welcome home party where Norman introduces the people to his new bride. Totally surprised is Ilona Carr (Evelyn Ankers) who thought that she had been the apple of Norman's eye. Others at the party who welcome Norman's new bride are Professor Millard Sawtelle (Ralph Morgan) and his wife Evelyn (Elizabeth Russell), the Dean of Reed's college, Septimus Carr (Harry Hayden), Ilona's brother and Norman's ally, Women's Dean, Grace Gunnison (Elisabeth Risdon).

Scorned by Reed's rejection of her, Ilona begins to lay a plan for his destruction. Meanwhile, Reed has become a successful author and scholar. Ilona meanwhile convinces the wimpish Professor Sawtelle that Reed is planning to expose him for plagiarizing a thesis in order to write his own successful book. Sawtelle becomes despondent and commits suicide. His wife blames Reed for causing her husband's suicide.

A young hero worshiping student Margaret Mercer (Lois Collier) goes to work for Reed and develops a crush on him. Her boyfriend David Jennings (Phil Brown) becomes insanely jealous and Ilona uses this to her advantage.

Reed follows his wife on one of her late night outings to find out where she is going. What he finds out changes the whole course of the story and results in further tragedy.

Chaney as always is excellent. He made even a low budget feature such as this better just by his presence. Anne Gwynne is lovely as Chaney's mysterious wife. Evelyn Ankers, Universal's Queen of the "B" horror movies stands out as the scheming Ilona. And yes you do get to hear her trademark blood curdling scream over the course of the film. Ralph Morgan has little to do and is killed off far too early in the story. The under appreciated Elizabeth Russell (who had appeared in several Val Lewton films of the same period) with her scary eye piercing stare also stands out in the supporting cast.

Pretty good little mystery.

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