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Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wolf Man (1941)

The Wolf Man (1941) Now we arrive at one of the Universal Monsters that doesn't hold up all that well when compared to it's brethren. Right off the top the casting is just plain bizarre as some how the studio thought Lon Chaney Jr. could even remotely look or act like the son of an English Lord or be genetically at all related to Claude Rains. Of course Larry Talbot was away for 18 years so maybe that's how he lost the accent and maybe his mother cheated on Rains so that's why she gave birth to a hulking lummox like Chaney. But Lon Chaney Jr. wasn't the only the case of weird casting as the Europeland village he returns to seems to be inhabited by 80% Americans with the occasional gypsy thrown in for colour. Casting aside the story and script is really the main problem.

Weirdness Abounds:
• Larry Talbot has a meet cute that involves him using a telescope to peak into a woman’s bedroom window. Later he continues to mack on her even after finding out she is engaged. Our Hero?
• Every bloody person in this village knows the “Even a man who is pure of heart” poem and will recite it at the drop of a hat.
• Bela Lugosi was a werewolf but Lon Chaney becomes a Wolf Man when bitten and not a full wolf like Bela was. What’s up with that?
• When Talbot is brought home after the attack all covered in blood no one dresses his wounds. He’s just sent to bed. Then in the morning everyone thinks he imagined being bitten when he appears to no longer have injuries.
• Larry Talbot strips down to his undershirt and pants when he first transforms yet the Wolf Man is clearly seen wearing a long sleeve shirt. Did the monster throw on a fresh shirt before leaving?
• The old gypsy lady has a poem of her own that un-wolf man’s you. Neat.

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