Thursday, October 28, 2010

Enter The Wolf Man


“…his hideous howl a dirge of death.” Tagline from The Wolf Man (1941)
Even with its debut following the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Wolf Man became Universal Picutres’ largest grossing movies of the season. The script had the working title of Destiny. While fate was key to the plot, audiences were captivated by romantic tension between the nobleman, Larry Talbot and Gwen Conliffe, an antique dealer’s daughter
The Wolf Man established much of the werewolf lore that would appear in later novels and movies such as:
  • · Transformation triggered by the full moon
  • · A werewolf bite dooms the victim to become a werewolf
  • · Werewolves can only be killed by silver
  • · Werewolves revert to human form upon death
Due to the popularity of the Wolf Man, Universal had Lon Chaney Jr. portray Larry Talbot in four more films, including Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1943)
Fun Facts
The “wolf” Larry Talbot fights was Lon Chaney Jr.’s own German Shepherd.
Chaney Jr. liked to sneak up on his leading lady, Evelyn Ankers, in full make-up and startle her.
Shooting for The Wolf Man lasted from October 27 to November 25, 1941. The movie was released December 12, 1941.
Estimated budget was $180,000.
I‘ve had fun chatting about these classic horror actors. I believe their performances helped establish horror as a genre in its own right. For a chance to win a copy of Howl, leave a comment by October 29th 8:00 PST about your favorite shifter movie.
Check out the next howlworthy author, Aeryn Traxx, on the tour.

16 comments:

  1. Hey thanks for sharing a little of the history of shifters!

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  2. honestly id have to say Americna werewolf in paris or the howling r my fav shifter movies

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  3. The image of shifters have changed so much over the years. I think I like the newer version better. Thanks for all of the interesting facts.

    sstrode@scrtc.com

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  4. The werewolves all look nice an wolfy now and not human at all! lol

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  5. the howling or underworld is my favs

    meandi09@Yahoo.com

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  6. Marie,

    Thanks for organizing the Shifter Tour! I'm looking forward to Friday's chat.

    SiNn and Jennifer, I agree Howling is a classic, but I love the Underworld series--sexy beasts!

    Paty,
    Thanks for stopping by!

    I also agree with Catherine and Sherry, I prefer the four-legged shifter, but it is amazing what Universal was able to accomplish at the time

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  7. Goodness did not know The Wolf Man was that old. I can remember that being a big movie for a long time.

    I would also say Howling! I really enjoyed the first couple of them.


    Judy
    magnolias_1@msn.com

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  8. I thought I knew a bit about Lon Chaney and that era. You've enlightened me.
    Thank you!

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  9. I remember seeing the original wolfman, my kids thinks it's stupid, and I keep telling them it's scary because it implies the horror, it doesn't show you like movies do today. Kids, it's called imagination.

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  10. I love the tidbit about Lon Chaney. I love the Underworld tales. My favorite is Rise of the Lycans. I also like Skinwalkers, too. Hmmm...it might be I really liked Jason Behr. lol

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  11. Anthony,
    Though he used his dad's name, I'd say Chaney Jr. was able to step out from his dad's shadow.

    Judy,
    The Larry Talbot character may not be the first, but he was certainly an early example of a favorite horror brought back to life for additional movies!

    Tracie,
    While today's special effects are impressive, you can still lose yourself in a good black & white movie.

    Hi Karen,
    Got to love Jason Behr's intensity!

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  12. Modern special effects have got to be the best thing for werewolves since...well...howling at the moon!

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  13. When I was younger I liked, Silver Bullet and American Werewolf in London. Now I would pick Underworld. Thanks for the contest.

    -Brandy
    brandyzbooks@yahoo.com

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  14. I adored Teen Wolf - not scary but still a wolf shifter-God Bless Michael J. Fox!
    I also loved Silver Bullet.

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  15. Miriam,
    I'm sure today's silver screen shifters are also grateful for CGI (no having to apply yak hair)!

    Brandy,
    American Werewolf in London is a classic. Underworld is a fantastic trilogy.

    Darkreader,
    Teen Wolf is fun and you have to love Michael J. Fox.

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