“…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)
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.