VIDEO: The Wolf Man (1941)

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In the second installment of Sofie’s special Halloween reviews of classic monsters, she’s joined by the Fear Fan, who gets a bit uncomfortable with her… eccentric behavior. But that doesn’t stop the two from reviewing The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr as the poor cursed soul who becomes a werewolf, and Claude Rains as his strict father.

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  • Dwlow812003

    hurray! a new video with my favorite denmarkian! ;)

    • Sofie Liv

       …. I highly resent you.

      • Muthsarah

        Would you prefer Southern Swede?  I mean, you all wear wooden shoes and lederhosen.  What’s the difference?

        • Sofie Liv

          God dammit!

          Dane, I like being a Dane, and no we don’t have wooden shoes nor leaderhosen here, we got animal skins and viking helmets dammit.

          • Necroglobule

            Danes will sack your women and rape your village.

  • Muthsarah

    So, you were bitten by a were-mad-scientist?  Does that mean you’ll be practicing were science?  With the magic from that hand?

    I liked this movie, mostly because it was a rather modest effort, and it didn’t try to be any fancier or deeper than it had to be to tell the story.  No big location shoots, clearly just on a single stage (it could easily have been done in a live show), not of lot of wasted time, relying on the cast to make it work.  And they brought the A-list here.  Claude Rains is one of the best and most natural actors I’ve ever seen; he could probably have made Transformers 2 work.  Chaney Jr was also a fun casting choice; I don’t think he’s a great actor, but it’s refreshing that a big lug like him was giving a starring role, which was as rare back then as it is now.  He’s like a pre-Method John C. Reilly.

    The movie has aged pretty well, I think better than most of the other Universal monster movies (only Bride and maybe March’s Jeckyl hold up better).  The remake should have learned a thing or two, and not tried to go so big and rely so much on expensive effects.  I think the actors actually did better in the 1941 version, despite the very different standard of acting they had back then.  The story’s certainly a lot easier to get into and enjoy.

    • Sofie Liv

       Well, consider that a treat in my videos.. I rarely explain any-thing beyond the here and now, so you can make up your own theories!

      Lazy writing or clever way of doing things that makes me different, YOU’LL BE THE JUDGE! congratulations!

      yeah, there really is a simplicity to this movie and a very very straight buildup, which works.
      “Curses? njah lady, don’t believe you.” “But.. I was bitten.. and that was a wolf not the gypsie, really, it was a wolf!” “Wolf tracks back to the house?.. what.. and a person died.. no.” “Oh no it’s all true! I am cursed!” “Death.” the end.

      That is such a clear build-up, without straying away, simply telling the tragedy and well, works so well.

      Chaney jr is a very limited actor, he can only play himself.. but that’s every second modern hollywood actor any-how so.. he can make the emotions come across, and as I said before, he ended up becoming a perfect casting choice simply because his auora fits the character so bloody well..

      And the Re-make.. the sense I got is that they first wrote three cool scenes they wanted in the movie, and then wrote the rest of the movie around those three scenes not caring whether it makes any sense of not.. which gives us three great sense, but the rest is a mess.

  • Russell Brin (Facebook Sux)

    This movie really makes me hope that Marvel does something with Werewolf by Night, in part because I like his name, but also his legacy.  Wolf Man probably did inspire the character of Jack Russell, and this movie proved why the character continues to have a lasting legacy. 

    So how would a Marvel wearwolf work?  Against another group of creeps of course, in the Night Shift.  Digger, Dancen Macabre, and the Brothers Grimm would probably be the most prominent members of the Night Shift, and Jack Russell would be the poor fool working at the loading dock at night when they’d attack to get their shipment.  The opening shot of the marine loading dock, with the phone wires cut, the alarm disabled and Digger patching up dirt would easily suggest it was planned, now only the worker on the dock would need to be taken care of before the ship from Asia arrives (like Tigra I’d set in California although probably in San Diego this time).  Classic horror doesn’t need to be a complicated just needs to be an engaging viewing experience.

  • Well I see your Nurse Freakish outfit still fits like a glove, even with the rips and catsup stains. You’ve always been a mad scientist deep down and it shows sometimes (the Insano goggles in the Turkish Spiderman vid). I guess you’re the reverse Jekyll and Hyde. You turn into the mad scientist from the stark-raving lunatic. :P

    So far so good on the Horror Trinity retrospective. Seemed appropriate that Lugosi would play the original werewolf and in doing so passed the torch (or in this case the curse) to Chaney Jr. Even though Lugosi would still do more after this, he was in his prime in that era.

    • Sofie Liv

       The way I see it I am more of a Gene Wilder type.. secretly insane but tries to keep it down, yet some-times, it just happens, I can’t keep it down, and here at Halloween, no.. sorry, it slipped. But hey, at least they havn’t caught me yet, only Joshua ended so far.

      Yeah, technically Lugosi played both Dracula, the wolfman, Igor and Frankenstein which is sort of cool, though remember, this movie is ten years after Dracula, it’s from 1941, and thus Lugosi was all-ready on his down-fall at that time having to take B-movie parts and supporting parts, he made his mistake all the way back when Frankenstein was made in 1932.. it hadn’t gone all bad yet, but he wasn’t a name star any-longer either :/

  • Nuclearademan

    The ending is what I remember the most about the film because of how much of a downer it is. I wasn’t expecting Larry to live but seeing Claude Rains straight up bludgeon him to death was kinda hard to watch, definatly more memorable than your typical 1940’s death by invisible bullet wound.

    • Sofie Liv

       Yeah, all though it works so nicely exactly because the movie has been building up to it all along, it was the fathers refusal to even listen to Larry or as much as consider his probosition that leads to this ending. So well, moral of the story.

       “Listen to what people tell you! it might be worth some-thing.”

      And then of cause that was compleately screwed up in the 2010 re-make -_-;

      • Nuclearademan

        Oh god the remake was so dumb. Shame as well because the Dracula and Frankenstein remakes were pretty good I thought.

        • Sofie Liv

           I really think Bram Stokers Dracula prevails by becoming its own thing, and have a very unique but engaging view to it, it’s a gothic romance horror and goes for it wihtout holding back, which is great.

          Mary Shelleys Frankenstein.. urhm.. well, had good things in it, but was over-all over ambetious, and I missed a more “Fairy-tale mystique.” feel.. of cause that is just my personal prerferance when it comes to these kinds of movies, so well, some people probably disagree.. and when the worst thing you have to say about a movie is “It was over ambecious.” then there’s not that much to complain about really.

          Wolfman.. script just didn’t make any sense at all. which is a shame, I had been looking forward to that movie.

          • Thomas Stockel

             My major problem with the new Dracula movie was Keanu. Every time he opened his mouth it took me out of the movie entirely.  His horrible accent and acting ruined the film for me.  I don’t even know why he was cast in the film; it was not like he was hot property.  I guess yeah, maybe, because Point Break was a popular movie that came out the year before?

            Good review, by the way.  I am enjoying the guest appearances. :)

          • Muthsarah

            Reeves (and the equally overmatched Ryder) were there to bring in the kids who might have been wary of seeing such a weird artsy-looking story with two lead actors – Oldman and Hopkins – they probably didn’t know anything of.  A year later, Kenneth Branaugh cast him to play the villain in Much Ado About Nothing, a role he was even less-suited for.  But Branaugh wanted to make it more accessible for American youth, and it worked…at the box office at least.  As did Dracula.

            Like it or not, the movies’re a business.  If the film flops, it’s open season, but if they do something artistically cheap and it pays off, we have no grounds to say they did anything stupid.  Let ’em go, Thomas.  They know what they’re doing.

    • Necroglobule

      Am I the only one who wished Claude Raines would have said at the end ‘I am shocked, SHOCKED that there is lycanthrope going on in this establishment!”

  • Misinformed

    I really enjoyed the joke about you acting very strange and the Fear Fan asks “are you coming on to me?”  Seemed like a truthful insight into the way the male brain looks for signals of that sort at all times, regardless how unlikely!

    • Sofie Liv

       Oh maybe it was just him feeling uncomfortable as it was and tried to find some kind of logical explanation and that was just the first thing to fall to mind that wasn’t to disturbing?

      • fearfanforever

         Nah. I’m a man. I’m not that deep.
        Dinner Friday, if you’re not too crazy by then?

        • Zorha

          Are you sure you’re that brave? By the end of the video it looks like she might be serving up some Lady Fingers.

          • fearfanforever

             Again, let me to refer to my first point.
            I AM A MAN! *punch*

  • Necroglobule

    I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s. 

    His hair was perfect.

  • Insert Name Here

    After watching this review, I have learned something about a classic movie monster that I never knew before.  The Wolfman….is Welsh…..

    Welsh….I mean….I’m not even sure how to react to that.  Mostly positivly, I guess.  But now everytime I see a werewolf character, I will mentally add the word ‘boyo’ to the end of everything they say.

    • fearfanforever

      Wow… I actually forgot that I did this last year…
      I like to imagine that the werewolf isn’t really growling, he just has a heavy welsh accent.