31 Days of Horror Movies: The Wolf Man - Mania.com



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  • Rated: Unrated
  • Starring: Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, Warren William, Maria Ouspenskaya, Ralph Bellamy, Bela Lugosi, Fay Helm
  • Written By: Curt Siodmak
  • Directed By: George Waggner
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Genre: Wolfman, Werewolf
  • Run Time: 70 Minutes
  • Series:

31 Days of Horror Movies: The Wolf Man

Day 16

By Robert T. Trate     October 16, 2013
Source: Mania.com


The Wolf Man (1941)
© Universal Studios
Halloween is a special time. It is the one time of year when everyone gives of themselves. What they give can be anything from candy to a scare. We thought this October, we here at Mania would give you 31 Horror Films for the 31 days of October. Now, many of you will know these films. Some of you, may not. Get ready for 31 days of Horror Films that will run gauntlet from scary to campy, from horrific to down right ridiculous. Happy Halloween from Mania!

The film begins with a definition of Lycanthropy just to make sure the audience knows what they are getting into. What they didn’t know at the time was this film starring Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot would blur facts, legends and myths about Werewolves for all time. The story is pretty simple and plays out in seventy minutes. Larry Talbot returns home from America to take over his father’s estate after his elder brother’s demise. Larry meets and falls for Jenny (Fay Helm). He accompanies her and a friend to visit the gypsies to have their fortunes told. Afterward they are attacked by a wolf and Larry is bitten. Thus begins Larry’s decent into madness because even though he is pure in heart and says his prayers by night Larry becomes a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

The film itself is far from perfect. More often than not you’ll have tons of questions regarding continuity errors and plot holes. Why does the film’s original Wolf Man, played by Bela Lugosi, look more like a wolf than a Wolf Man? How does Larry Talbot go from khakis and tank top to mere moments later being the Wolf Man in a dark jump suit (insert Monster Squad joke here)? Let alone how can Claude Rains be the father of Lon Chaney Jr.? Mrs. Talbot must have been a sight to see.

What really allows Chaney to stand out amongst his peers is that he was the only actor to ever play the Wolf Man. Lon Chaney Jr. might have lived in his father’s shadow but a whole generation of people every year discovers the story of a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night that becomes a wolf when the wolf bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright. A great film for Halloween and the night of full moon!

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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TheFuzzyDan 10/16/2013 5:43:22 AM

Lon Chaney Jr. is the reason The Wolf Man is one of my favorite Universal Monster movies.  It's his "everyman" quality that really connects with a viewer and takes what could have been a silly, forgettable film and makes the audience feel how tragic the story really is.

nohater 10/16/2013 10:47:04 AM

 What is your question about Claude Raines playing Lon Chaney Jr.'s father based on? If you're questioning their ages, Raines was 17 years older than Chaney. That's a reasonable age If you think their different nationalities was weird, I'll give you that. If it's about their vastly different physical sizes, that's another one I'd have to agree with you on. Raines' casting as Chaney's father probably came down to finding the best actor available. Raines was a gem.

blankczech 10/16/2013 8:08:19 PM

 Even with all it's flaws I liked this so much more than the 2010 Wolfman.

thezillaman 10/17/2013 11:42:14 AM

 can you belive this I have actualy never watch this ever, ...

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