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The Wolf Man [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Bela Lugosi
  • Directors: George Waggner
  • Writers: Curt Siodmak
  • Producers: George Waggner, Jack J. Gross
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Czech, Greek, Norwegian, Turkish, Romanian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Oct. 2002
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006RHUX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,628 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Having been educated at college in America, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) returns to his father's (Claude Rains) mansion in Wales. After meeting Gwen Conliffe (Evelyn Ankers) in the local village, he escorts her to the local fair. She tells him the local legend of the werewolf, but he laughs it off - even when gypsy fortune teller Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya) and her son Bela (Bela Lugosi) also tell him to beware. Later in the evening Gwen's friend Jenny is attacked by a wild wolf. Larry rescues her, but is bitten in the process. Sure enough, when the next full moon comes round, Larry finds himself transformed into the wolfman - a murderous creature which can only be destroyed by silver. Followed by 'Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man' (1943).


Even a man who is pure in heart, And says his prayers by night, May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms And the autumn moon is bright.

If you haven't heard this piece of horror-movie doggerel before, you'll never forget it after seeing The Wolf Man for two reasons: it's a spooky piece of rhyme and nearly everybody in the picture recites it at one time or another. Set in a fog-bound studio-built Wales, The Wolf Man tells the doom-laden tale of Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.), who returns to the estate of his wealthy father (Claude Rains). (Yes, Chaney's American, but the movie explains this, awkwardly.) Bitten by a werewolf, Talbot suffers the classic fate of the victims of lycanthropy: at the full moon, he turns into a werewolf, a transformation ingeniously devised by makeup maestro Jack Pierce. Pierce was the man who turned Boris Karloff into the Frankenstein monster, and his werewolf makeup became equally famous, with its canine snout and bushy hairdo--and, of course, seriously sharp dental work. The Wolf Man was a smash hit, giving Universal Pictures a new monster for their already crowded stable, and Chaney found himself following in the footsteps (or paw prints) of his father, who had essayed a monster or two in the silent era. This is a classy horror outing, with strong atmosphere and a thoughtful script by Curt Siodmak--well, except for the stiff romantic bits between Chaney and Evelyn Ankers. It's also got Bela Lugosi (briefly) and Maria Ouspenskaya, the prunelike Russian actress who foretells doom like nobody's business. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms. And the autumn moon is bright."
The 1941 version of "The Wolf Man" is one of the most important Universal monster movies that is a classic even if it is not a great film. That is because pretty much the entire mythology of werewolves, from the transformation beneath the full moon and the silver bullets to the appearance of a pentagram that marks the next victim of the werewolf, comes from this film. Consequently, screenwriter Curt Siodmak did for werewolves what Bram Stoker did for vampires, also working to take established folklore and then add a few creative twists.
The story of "The Wolf Man" should be well-known even to those who have yet to see the film. Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.), returns to his ancestral home in Wales following the death of his older brother. One night poor Larry is bitten by a wolf during an attack and he soon learns he has inherited the curse of lycanthrope from the gypsy werewolf (Bela Lugosi). Now, whenever the full moonrise, he goes out looking for some throats to rip out. What chance does he now have with the beautiful Gwen (Evelyn Ankers), and whatever will he tell his father, Sir John Talbot (Claude Reins?).
"The Wolf Man" is Lon Chaney, Jr.'s signature role mainly because it is one of the few movie monster roles that he originated (although the part was originally intended by Boris Karloff). Chaney was the original and only Larry Talbot, which is rather surprising given how often Universal played musical actors with the guys behind the monster makeup, which, once again, is by Jack Pierce.
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Format: DVD
Among the pantheon of classic Universal monsters, only Dracula and Frankenstein's monster stand taller than The Wolf Man. This 1941 classic starring Lon Chaney, Jr., is a must-see for anyone claiming any interest in horror movies. The film has exerted a huge influence on the art of bringing horror to life for over six decades now, thanks to the heralded make-up prowess of Jack Pierce, the tight and powerful script of Curt Siodmak, some impressive photography work, and wonderful performances from a truly stellar cast of actors and actresses.
There is just something different about The Wolf Man; I have a hard time viewing him as a monster Larry Talbot is a thoroughly sympathetic and tragic character. Dracula loves being a vampire, Frankenstein's monster is just an unfortunate victim of circumstance whose various body parts have already lived full lives, but Larry Talbot desperately hates the monster he has become. He's already a sympathetic character, coming home after eighteen years following the death of his older brother, trying to fit in among the folks he said goodbye to long ago. Then, when he hears a fateful howl accompanied by a scream, he races off in heroic fashion, taking on a wolf in order to try and save a woman's life, killing the doggoned creature. And what does he get for his noble, self-less act? First of all, suspicion, because instead of the wolf he described, the authorities find the body of a gypsy fortune teller (played by Bela Lugosi, who gets all of seven lines in the film) clubbed to death by Talbot's cane. Then, tragically, he finds himself inflicted with the curse of the werewolf, thanks to the bite he suffered in the struggle. Chaney's performance also adds to his tragic status.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD
"Even a man who is pure in heart/And says his prayers by night/May become a wolf/When the wolfbane blooms/And the autumn moon is bright..."

Sure, Dracula gave a face and a mythology to the vampire in the 1800s, but the werewolf didn't get similar treatment for quite some time. It was only with "The Wolfman" that the werewolf got his due, creating the template for lycanthropes everywhere -- a haunting, atmospheric story about a mildly creepy man who (through no fault of his own) turns into an unholy mixture of man and beast.

Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) returns to his ancestral Welsh home after many years away, to reconcile with his estranged dad who looks nothing like him (Claude Rains). He immediately starts acquainting himself with his old home, including being rather creepy towards a lovely woman named Gwen Conliffe (Evelyn Ankers), who is working at her dad's antique store. He even accompanies Gwen and her friend Jenny to a local gypsy camp to have their fortunes told.

But after having her fortune told, Jenny is horribly killed by a wolf; Larry beats it to death with his silver-topped cane, but not before being bitten. You can probably guess what happens next -- the wolf turns out to be the gypsy fortuneteller (Bela Lugosi), and Larry's bite mysteriously heals overnight. And after being warned by an aged gypsy woman (Maria Ouspenskaya) that he has now contracted the curse of the werewolf, Larry finds himself undergoing a terrible transformation at night... and killing.

It's a sign of how good "The Wolfman" is that its dated special effects (hello, lap dissolve!) and prosthetics don't hamper it as a story -- it's an intelligent, slowly-unfolding story about an ordinary man whose good deed backfires in a big way. It's also less "boo! Scary!
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