he original horror classic that introduced one of the screen's most infamous monsters! Lon Chaney, Jr. portrays Larry Talbot, who returns to his father's (Claude Rains) castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman (Evelyn A... more »nkers). One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where Jenny's fate is revealed by a mysterious gypsy fortune teller. The dreamlike atmospheres and elaborate settings combined with a chilling musical score make The World Man a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time!« less
Universal Fans Drop Everything and GET DVD ALREADY!
Alan W. Gammill | Pearl, MS USA | 11/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Universal started putting out the classic monsters on DVD this fall, I just knew I'd have to wait a long time for the underappreciated Wolf Man. But no! On the heels of the OUTSTANDING discs of Frankenstein, The Bride & The Mummy comes another first-class offering. Like the others, THE WOLF MAN contains an excellent documentary as well as the trailer and a commentary track by a film historian. The print of the film is gorgeous. I don't care what your age is or when you first saw this amazing film, if you're a horror fan you simply must own this one."
A Movie With Plenty Of Bite !
E. Parsons | 07/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly, apologies for the corny title of my review. Now the DVD. Universal has pulled out all the stops for its Classic Monster Collection DVDs and 'The Wolf Man' is a contender for best of the series. The DVD boasts several special features including an informative documentary, cast/crew notes and trailer. In keeping with the other Classic Monster DVDs, the real bonus is the incredible picture quality. Not just better than VHS, not just better than a revival cinema print, this print is better than I ever recall seeing on TV! 'The Wolf Man' also features the best commentary of any of these Universal DVDs. Tom Weaver provides an exceptional degree of insight into the movie in a very fast but conversational manner - you'll need to listen to the commentary more than once in order to gain full benefit. Like all good 'horrors' the emphasis is on suspense and mystery, not mindless gore. In fact, the image of Lon Chaney Jr in full werewolf make-up could easily overshadow the fact that this is also a superb psychological thriller - until you watch the DVD. This impressive package is an essential purchase for all vintage horror fans. When Leonard Maltin describes 'The Wolf Man' as 'one of the finest horror films ever made' you know you're not going to be disappointed!"
The birth of Universal's most tragic monster character
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 05/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. He had a style of acting all his own; at times, I watch him and think the guy just couldn't act his way out of a dark room with a flashlight, but his strange and slightly awkward manner, tempered by a sort of gentle slowness ends up leaving me mesmerized. In most horror movies, I'm always ready to bring the monster on and get the party started, but I never look forwarding to watching Talbot turn into the werewolf.I think everyone is pretty well acquainted with the story here. Man gets bitten by werewolf, man turns into werewolf, man suffers a tragic fate. The Wolf Man, though, succeeds in becoming much more than just the simple tale of a hairy monster. The inimitable Claude Rains lends the film character and class as Talbot's father. The lovely Evelyn Ankers makes a great leading lady in the form of Gwen Conliffe. Lugosi is of course terrific as the gypsy Bela, but the role is a minor one indeed. Maria Ouspenskaya is masterful as the gypsy woman Maleva who tries to warn Talbot and help him deal with the curse that suddenly consumes his life. Siodmak really provided a tight plot; there would be a number of sequels, but The Wolf Man is a completely self-contained movie of great power and meaning.There are a number of really interesting things about this movie. For instance, we never actually see Talbot's transformation from man to wolf - we see the legs change, but that is it. There is a scene toward the end where we witness the transformation from wolf to man, but you won't see any time-lapse treatment of the change from man to monster. Of much more interest to me is the fact that you don't hear a single reference to the moon in the entire film. Apparently, the transformation happens nightly to Talbot; there is nothing to indicate that a full moon plays any part at all. Thus, some of the core Wolf Man assumptions do not trace themselves back to the original movie. The commentary by film historian Tom Weaver, included on the DVD, is just superb. It's one of the most engaging commentaries I've heard. This guy is loaded to the gills with facts and trivia, and he barely pauses over the course of the film's 70 minutes, delivering one gem after another. He also asks some of the questions I ask when I watch the movie, and I love that. This isn't a commentary by some stuffy "expert." Weaver is indeed an expert, but at the same time he is one of us, a true fan of classic horror movies."
My personal favourite of Universal's monster flicks
Elizabeth G. Melillo | 11/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is brilliant for its combination of everyday events with eerie and uncontrollable malignity. The contrast between Lord Talbot's scientific, sympathetic mind and the inexplicable evil that haunts those who seek to do no harm is powerful and compelling.Much of the plot's cleverness and plausibility stems from having scenes with a wise gypsy woman inserted within normal, even banal, daily happenings. The gypsy's words, "The way you walked was thorny, through no fault of your own...", uttered with an invocation of peace over both "wolf men," is highly effective, as is the light-hearted but all too true, "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers at night..." Larry Talbot is by far the most sympathetic of Universal's monsters - basically a good man, with no evil inclinations or intentions, and a werewolf only because he was bitten while trying to save another from danger. One wishes his father had not insisted that he face the horror alone... the rational explanation of the werewolf as the product of schizophrenia was regrettably too convincing.This is one of the best of the monster genre, intelligent and appealing to the mind rather than being gruesome. It is a treat for those who enjoy the classic monster flicks, particularly those of us who find present day horror films to be far too graphic and terrifying. It takes an adult mind to catch the deeper references, but even a child could view this (or the rest of Universal's "lot"), with no nightmares ahead."
THE DEFINITIVE WEREWOLF FILM
Lawrence Wayne | United States | 11/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"George Waggner's(not Karl Freund) "The Wolfman" is undoubtedly the best film ever made that deals with the curse of lycanthropy. An outstanding cast, incredible photography and atmospheric music contribute to an excellent film. The transfer is good, though it could have been better(speckles and scratches abound). The supplementary materials-documentary, audio commentary- are top notch. Well worth adding to your DVD collection."