â€œEven 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.â€ Of course, that poem is in reference to the Universal Classic Monster film,Â 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 wolfâ€™s head! You will most certainly need it.
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 39 â€“Â The Wolf ManÂ (1941)
This episodeâ€™s Grue Crew lovesÂ The Wolf ManÂ so much, they recorded this podcast twice! Whether beset by electromagic gremlins or cursed directly from film by Maleva, the first recording didnâ€™t take, so they all went back for seconds. And you thought theyâ€™d been goofing off.
The Wolf ManÂ might embody Universalâ€™s most original monster. Based on an original screenplay byÂ Curt Siodmakand directed byÂ 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 byÂ Lon Chaney Jr.Â as Larry Talbot, and includesÂ Claude RainsÂ as his father,Â Evelyn AnkersÂ as the female lead Gwen,Â Ralph BellamyÂ as Colonel Montford,Â Patric KnowlesÂ as Gwenâ€™s boyfriend,Â Warren WilliamÂ as Dr. Boyd, andÂ Fay HelmÂ as Gwenâ€™s friend. To top it off, the cast is blessed withÂ Maria OuspenskayaÂ as Maleva and the inimitableÂ Bela LugosiÂ as her son, Bela. The supernatural elements of the story or rendered entirely believable by the work ofÂ Jack Pierce, makeup artist extraordinaire.
Your Grue Crew marvels at the many facets through which Larry Talbotâ€™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 individualsâ€™ lives, thereby explaining the filmâ€™s resonance with so many viewers.
Whitney proudly admits to being inspired by Jack Pierceâ€™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 toÂ The Wolf Man, Chad is all about the mythic stature of Maria Ouspenskaya. As you may have guessed, their recommendation, assuming youâ€™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 ourÂ veryÂ flexible schedule, weâ€˜ll be covering Mario Bavaâ€™sÂ Black SundayÂ (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, weâ€™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, â€œThank you for listening!â€