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The Wolf Man - The Legacy Collection (The Wolf Man / Werewolf of London / Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man / She-Wolf of London)
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1) The Werewolf of London (1935)
2) The Wolfman (1941)
3) Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman (1943) By the way is actually
a sequel to both The Wolfman (1941) and The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), continuity wise.
4) She-Wolf of London (1946)
5) a 45 minute documentary, Monster By Moonlight. Pretty much a
history of Universal's Wolfman mixed with actual Werewolf lore.
6) Tom Weaver does commentary on a separate audio track of The Wolfman (1941). Extremely interesting P.O.V..
7) A neat peek at Van Helsing's homage to Universal's classic
All in all I really enjoyed this set. I just can't wait until
Universal raids their Atomic Age Monster vaults like this. Til'
The story is a familiar one: Larry, the son of esteemed Sir John (Rains) returns home to Wales after many years in America, is bitten by a werewolf (well played by Bela Lugosi), and becomes a werewolf himself. What's extraordinary is the fact that the film can be so effective today.
The biggest reason for this is the acting. Some classic films, pre-Actor's Studio, look pretty pathetic when it comes to realistic characterization. Not so THE WOLF MAN. Curt Siodmak's excellent screenplay (likened to a Greek Tragedy) provides a vehicle for the stars to be at their best, and, boy, do they shine: Rains a tower of strength as the proud father; Ankers hitting just the right note as the torn female lead; Maria Ouspenskaya as the Old Gypsey Woman whose words prefigure Larry's doom....
But the standout is Lon Chaney Jr. A definite mixed-bag as an actor, he is perfect here--and this is a role calling for the use of all human emotions (unlike later Wolf Man films, where Talbot's head-pounding becomes monotonous). In fact, seeing THE WOLF MAN recently has convinced me that Chaney would have made the ideal screen Phillip Marlow (and I'm not forgetting Bogie)--big, tough, surly, yet charming when need be (a highlight early in WOLF MAN is Larry's attempts at flirting with Ankers; Chaney does the surprisingly playful dialogue with just the right touch). There's no doubt that his performance would merit accolades even today.
This is not to say that there aren't problems in the film.Read more ›
Both "The Wolfman" and "Frankenstien vs. the Wolfman" are must haves for fans of classic Universal horror (the added bonus being that in the latter, you also get Bela Lugosi's one turn as the Frankenstein monster, which isn't definitive but is still interesting). Less successful but still interesting is "Werewolf of London," a sort of dry-run for "The Wolfman" starring idiosyncratic actor Henry Hull. This reviewer hasn't seen "She-wolf of London," and as an avid monster film fan, he does not believe this to be a good sign.
Unfortunately, "The Wolfman's" status as a slightly b-team monster makes it impossible for Universal to put all his "golden era" performances in one place, as Chaney's "baby" always supported other more well known "names" in his latter appearances, and those names have box sets of their own where his appearances reside. For more of Chaney as the Wolfman, get the "House of...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the ultimate collection of classic werewolf films!! Lon Cheney Jr., is great as the werewolf. We also get the treat of seeing Bela Lugos in a small but good role. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sue
Saw several movies I'd missed as a kit. Good quality and good sound.Published 8 months ago by Disciple of Christ
Watch these movies in my younger days was not disappointed.Published 15 months ago by RONALD E. HAYES
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