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Werewolf of London (1935).

July 31, 2007

The Scoop:
Strangely enough, although filmmakers frequently turned to horror themes in the silent era, it took Hollywood until 1935 to make its first film about the werewolf legend. But the movie Universal produced here still holds up as one of the best.

An English botanist (Henry Hull) returns from Tibet with a rare flower and a case of lycanthrophy. Pretty soon, bodies start turning up around London and the hunt is on.

The gothic creepiness is top-notch, the characters are more fleshed out than many other horror films of the period, and the story still gives the legend a fresher twist than later movies. Even the makeup by Jack Pierce (also the creator of Boris Karloff’s legendary makeup for “Frankenstein”) is first rate. This makes a much better companion piece to Universal’s other ’30s monster movies than the much more popular, but inferior, “Wolf Man” (1941).

Best Line:
“Imagine bringing a beastly thing like that into Christian England!”

Side Note:
Universal loved Karl Hajos’ score so much that they reused it in several later feature films, as well as the “Flash Gordon” serials.

Companion Viewing:
“Dracula” (1931), “Frankenstein” (1931) and “The Mummy” (1932).


Take a Look:
Except for a Windows-only pay-per-view on MovieLink and some comedy clips on YouTube, there isn’t anything to be had online, which is a shame. So, here’s this instead. (You knew it was coming, didn’t you? There’s no way I could make it through a review without using this reference):

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