Afternoon Classics

Werewolf of London

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The Wolf Man (1941)

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Werewolf of London

Six years before The Wolf Man, Universal took their first stab (or should I say bite?) at a werewolf story with the inventive Werewolf Of London. A mysterious creature attacks world-renowned botanist Dr. Glendon while he surveys plants in Tibet. Back in London, he starts to notice strange fur on his hands while experimenting with artificial moonlight. As he starts to understand what bit him, he recoils from loved ones. He knows werewolves seek to kill whom they love most. This exciting, tragic tale is lycanthropy is brought to life with Universal’s trademark vivacious humor and chimerical set design, a pleasure all those who watch, as long as they don’t get bit.

“Designed solely to amaze and horrify, the film goes about its task with commendable thoroughness, sparing no grisly detail and springing from scene to scene with even greater ease than that oft attributed to the daring young aerialist.” – Frank S. Nugent, The New York Times

Director
Stuart Walker
Starring
Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson, Lester Matthews, Lawrence Grant, Spring Byington, Clark Williams
Year
1935
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
75 minutes

The Wolf Man (1941)

Elevating the monster movie to the level of Shakespeare, The Wolf Man is the Hamlet of Classic Universal Monsters. Centered on Lon Chaney Jr.’s heartrending performance as prodigal son-turned-werewolf Larry Talbot, this film charts his descent as violent transformation rocks his entire world. Claude Rains co-stars as his stern, but sympathetic father, and Bela Lugosi features as a portentous gypsy. Writer Curtis Siodmak invented defining traits of the werewolf legend including fallibility only to silver implements/bullets and symbolic use of pentagrams. He also drew upon his experience living in Nazi Germany.

The Wolf Man serves its horror straight. A very substantial cast undertakes to sell believably a tale of superstitious folklore.” – Hollywood Reporter

“Good direction and performances by an above par assemblage of players” – Variety

Kim Morgan discusses The Wolf Man on the New Beverly blog.

Director
George Waggner
Starring
Lon Chaney Jr, Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, Warren William, Patric Knowles, Bela Lugosi
Year
1941
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
70 minutes

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