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Weird Woman (1944)

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


MURDER STRIKES WITH VELVET CLAWS! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


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?


Second of the six features in Universal's INNER SANCTUM series, which began December 6, 1943, and was released March 31, 1944. See more »


At the beginning of the movie, Lon Chaney Jr's wife walk near a picture of her husband but in the next plan, the picture is different. See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Followed by The Frozen Ghost (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

WEIRD WOMAN (Reginald LeBorg, 1944) **1/2
10 November 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This had always been the one "Inner Sanctum" I was most interested in because it was an adaptation of Fritz Leiber's "Conjure Wife", later filmed as a superior British horror film, NIGHT OF THE EAGLE aka BURN, WITCH, BURN! (1962). This version is highly enjoyable, even if some of the fun to be had is the result of its unexpected goofiness and campiness (at least when compared to the deadly serious 'remake'). The would-be sinister native rituals consist of nothing more than harmless Tahitian dancing and risible mumbo-jumbo! Lon Chaney's irresistibility to the female sex is unconvincingly stretched to no fewer than 3 women in the film when, ultimately, he is no more than an amiable beefcake of a leading man!

Still, the female roles here are surprisingly strong: Anne Gwynne (as Chaney's superstitious native wife), Elizabeth Risdon (as the acid-tongued Dean), Elizabeth Russell (as the ambitious wife of Chaney's senior colleague) and especially Evelyn Ankers (relishing a rare villainous role as Chaney's vengeful ex). Ralph Morgan (as Russell's ill-fated husband and Chaney's direct competitor) also makes a good impression. While the film is occasionally atmospheric, it suffers in comparison with NIGHT OF THE EAGLE and that film's memorable climax is sorely missed (especially since the supernatural element is heavily toned down here). A highlight of the film is Ankers' nightmarish vision as she is haunted by her victims into confessing her crimes.

P.S. As with the previous entry in the series, CALLING DR. DEATH (1943), the Ygor theme from THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942) is incorporated into the music score! By the way, am I the only one bothered by the fact that Chaney is billed merely as "Lon Chaney" rather than "Lon Chaney Jr." - or, for that matter, the fact that the credits merely state that the film is based on a story by Fritz Leiber without mentioning its actual title?

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