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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Wolf Man (1941) [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 2 July 2014
A study in contrasts.

I've been watching 'horror', fantasy and science fiction movies for the best part of fifty years now - one of my earliest memories is of being terrified by 'Darby O'Gill And The Little People' at the local fleapit. Some of these movies are 'art'. Most are not. Many - as John Landis has said - are 's**t'.
So, what happened to Universal Studios by the late 30s/40s? I have to admit to a deep fondness for 'Werewolf Of London'. It was one of the first of the classic Universal movies I saw on TV (circa 1969?). I've read the criticisms of Henry Hull over the years - and, yes, the movie does have its faults - such as the two old biddies standing in for the irritating Una O'Connor (ruins 'The Invisible Man' for this viewer) and some flaws in the script. The atmosphere, though, is pretty good - not actually eerie but all right - and Valerie Hobson was very easy on the eye.
As to 'The Wolfman', I've never been able to figure out just why the character was so popular. Chaney Jnr. was a terrible actor (in this type of movie anyway; he was okay otherwise), and Evelyn Ankers was no substitute for the likes of Gloria Stuart, Zita Johann or Valerie Hobson. Claude Rains was terrific as always, as were some other members of the supporting cast (including Lugosi). This - like 'Son Of Frankenstein' - seems to mark the definite end of a cycle; the beginning of something new and rather cynical. Okay, the Depression was over and World War Two looming - was there a change of attitude on the part of studio production chiefs and the cinema audience? I've never forgiven Universal for launching Abbott and Costello. Watching their movies as an adult is positively painful (like the worst of Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers), and Universal should have been ashamed of turning the Frankenstein monster, Lugosi's Dracula - and, yes, even Talbot - into figures of fun.

Now, I'm no particular fan of James Whale - but Stuart Walker appears to be doing a Whale in 'Werewolf Of London'. Why so? Had Whale been slated to direct it?
Maybe, in the end, the devil is in the detail: 'A Good Cast Is Worth Repeating', that sort of thing: the Universal house-style. One thing's for sure, Frankenstein never should have met the Wolfman. I'm sure Curt Siodmak considered it a pile of poop (though writing garbage made him a rich man, it seems).
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on 5 December 2015
Superb blu ray restoration of a classic. The image has a slight grain texture, in close ups levels of detail are amazing now. Picture is 4:3 ratio. The audio is English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono 2.0. There are also subtitles for hard of hearing.

In terms of what this film has going for it there's some beautiful cinematography, gypsy magic and some excellent performances. Sound quality was excellent, the dialogue was clear and the score was a delight. The story takes its time a little more unlike other horrors, 40 minutes in and still the wolf man has not yet appeared. Also unlike similar films from that period, Dracula and The Mummy, in this case we feel real sympathy for the 'Monster' , a man living with a terrible curse which haunts him even when human.
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on 17 September 2017
As a fan of Lon Chaney Jr, I love this film. Old B&W's are the best.
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on 28 July 2017
Love this movie Lon Chaney fabulous just like his father.
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on 13 December 2015
Great entertainment
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on 22 March 2017
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on 26 May 2017
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 11 March 2015
The Wolf Man for me is the best werewolf film ever made, and the great thing about this film is the old creepy foggy sets, they were just wonderful. What I love about this film is you feel so sorry for Lon Chaney(the wolf) he was a big gentle gaint, who was more interested in a local shop girl than his father's empire, his performance was just amazing, you really felt like he was cursed.

For me this is the best universal monster film from the 40s, I just loved all the actors from bela Lugosi and my favourite actor Claude Rains who was great as the father of Lon Chaney, he also stars in the Phantom of the Opera, he was a quality actor.

The picture quality and sound was nice, and much better than the DVD version, so well worth upgrading.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 October 2012
For whatever reason the restoration and transfer of this film is not as good as the US and particularly Spanish versions of Dracula recently released by Universal. Yes it's an advance on the DVD but there seems to be excessive noise reduction which produces a flat and rather featureless plastic appearance to the cast in many scenes - particularly when projected. The filmic quality of the print has been reduced probably in an attempt to hide excessive grain. Still it's a good solid transfer and the sound is okay too - so it's not the end of life! The extras are interesting - particularly the feature on the life of Lon Chaney and overall the disc is to be recommended.
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on 28 April 2017
This film is definitely of its time but still entertaining in a quaint way. One bit made me laugh. Watch out for the first transformation scene. Larry Talbot is in his pyjamas when he transforms into the werewolf and yet, shortly after, when he's roaming outside in the forest he's fully dressed (sans footwear of course). So at some point, this denizen of the night had the presence of mind to make himself decent! Excellent. Even a werewolf in the '40s wouldn't go out dressed like a slob!
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