The Wolf Man (1941)

Article #315 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 1-24-2002
Posting date: 6-10-2002

A man is bitten by a wolf which he then kills, only to discover that he was fighting a werewolf and that he himself will become one.

Despite this movie’s status as one of the Universal horror classics, I don’t really put it on the same par with their front line of classics (the James Whale movies, THE MUMMY, THE BLACK CAT, etc.), as I’m always a little bit disappointed by it. One of the problems I have with the movie is that, though it adds a lot of detail to the proceedings, the details don’t really add a whole lot to the story as such. I think it would have been better if they had downplayed the romance part of the story, and really beefed up the relationship with Talbot and his father, which is potentially the most compelling non-fantastic aspect of this movie; plus, it would have given more for Claude Rains to sink his teeth into. Still, you can tell quite a bit of care went into this movie; Universal obviously still saw their horror product as important at this point. It also has a nice cast, with the aforementioned Rains, Lon Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Bela Lugosi (in the small but memorable role as Bela the gypsy), and the one who steals the movie, Maria Ouspenskaya, whose Maleva the gypsy woman is one of the great characters in horror cinema history.


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