“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” Of course, that poem is in reference to the Universal Classic Monster film, The Wolf Man! Join Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Jacob Allen, as they take a midnight stroll with Larry Talbot through the fog-shrouded woods on a moonlit night. Be sure to bring your walking cane, the one with the silver wolf’s head! You will most certainly need it.
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 39 — The Wolf Man (1941)
This episode’s Grue Crew loves The Wolf Man so much, they recorded this podcast twice! Whether beset by electromagic gremlins or cursed directly from film by Maleva, the first recording didn’t take, so they all went back for seconds. And you thought they’d been goofing off.
The Wolf Man might embody Universal’s most original monster. Based on an original screenplay by Curt Siodmakand directed by George Waggner, the film started much of the werewolf mythology still used in film today. The solid cast, sporting seven Oscar nominations among them, is led by Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, and includes Claude Rains as his father, Evelyn Ankers as the female lead Gwen, Ralph Bellamy as Colonel Montford, Patric Knowles as Gwen’s boyfriend, Warren William as Dr. Boyd, and Fay Helm as Gwen’s friend. To top it off, the cast is blessed with Maria Ouspenskaya as Maleva and the inimitable Bela Lugosi as her son, Bela. The supernatural elements of the story or rendered entirely believable by the work of Jack Pierce, makeup artist extraordinaire.
Your Grue Crew marvels at the many facets through which Larry Talbot’s affliction can be viewed. Siodmak was surely thinking of the persecution he fled in Nazi Germany, but the story can be seen as a metaphor for a multitude of other conflicts common to most individuals’ lives, thereby explaining the film’s resonance with so many viewers.
Whitney proudly admits to being inspired by Jack Pierce’s makeup art. Claude Rains is only 17 years older than Lon Chaney Jr., who plays his son, and Jeff wonders how old Daddy Talbot must have been when his oldest son was born. Jacob is awed by the direction and organization it must have taken to complete the film in a short amount of time especially while working around the lengthy makeup process. When it comes to The Wolf Man, Chad is all about the mythic stature of Maria Ouspenskaya. As you may have guessed, their recommendation, assuming you’ve already seen this film, is see it again and again! Now!
We plan to release a new episode every other week. On the next episode in our very flexible schedule, we‘ll be covering Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960).
Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.
To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!”