Chuck's classics: The Wolf Man

Chuck's classics: The Wolf Man

The last of the great Universal Monsters made its debut — a decade after the cycle began — with "The Wolf Man," a film the studio put an A-list budget behind, hoping to revive the genre they helped to create. Lon Chaney Jr. stars as Lawrence Talbot, a European expatriate who returns from the States to reunite with his estranged father, Sir John (Claude Raines). While out on a date with local antique shop owner Gwen (Evelyn Ankers) Talbot is attacked by a werewolf and finds himself doomed to change into that creature "when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright." Director George Waggner creates a genuinely creepy setting with the mist-covered moors where evil lurks, while the groundbreaking makeup effects by Jack Pierce are still a wonder to behold. However, it's the work of Chaney and Raines that provide the humanity that makes the film resonate, as they bring to life this father and son who are doomed to meet in the most tragic of circumstances. Briskly told, this remains the best of the werewolf films, despite numerous attempts to remake or replicate it. (8:45 a.m., Tuesday, TCM)

Topics (1):Film

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