Werewolf of London


1h 15m 1935

Brief Synopsis

A strange animal attack turns a botanist into a bloodthirsty monster.

Film Details

Also Known As
Werewolf
Genre
Horror
Release Date
May 13, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Angeles National Forest--Vasquez Rocks, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

While in Tibet searching for a mariphasa flower, a plant that reportedly takes its life from the moon, botanist Wilfred Glendon is attacked and bitten by a half man-half beast, and only escapes alive after he stabs the beast. Home in England, Wilfred ignores his beautiful wife Lisa and completely immerses himself in the study of the flower with his assistant, Hawkins. Wilfred becomes jealous of the attentions that Paul Ames, a former suitor of Lisa, showers on his wife when he attends a party at their home. Also a guest at the party is Dr. Yogami, a botanist, who expresses an interest in the mariphasa plant and claims to have met Wilfred once before in Tibet, although Wilfred does not recall the meeting. Yogami's own mariphasa flowers have perished, but Wilfred refuses to entertain suggestions that he join him in his experiments as he prefers to have complete secrecy, except for Hawkins. Wilfred maintains his stand even after Yogami informs him that drops from the flower are the only known temporary antidote for lycanthropy, in which a man takes on the form of a wolf. One day, while forcing the flower to bloom by artificial light, Wilfred notices his hand rapidly changing and becoming hirsute. After sending Hawkins out, he puts a drop of dew from the flower onto his hand, and the process is reversed. When Yogami later warns Wilfred that a full moon is approaching, intimating that during full moons werewolves seek to kill that which they love, Wilfred puts him off and refuses to believe the "fantasy." That evening, however, Wilfred reads an ancient text that informs him that "unless [the mariphasa] is used, the werewolf must kill at least one human being each night of the full moon or become permanently afflicted." While Wilfred is reading, Yogami steals two blossoms from Wilfred's plant, with which he is able to retain his human form during the night of the full moon. Lisa then leaves to attend a party at her aunt Ettie Coombes' home, but Wilfred, having grown irritable and sensitive to light, stays home and soon transforms into werewolf in his study. When he discovers the blossoms missing, he goes out into the streets, arriving at Ettie's home, where he attempts to kill Ettie. Unsuccessful in his murder attempt, he kills a woman in the street. Assigned to the case, chief of police Forsythe refuses to believe in werewolves, although his nephew, Paul Ames, does. The next morning, Wilfred tries to placate Lisa's foul mood by agreeing to go on a moonlight ride with her, but when he sees that the plant has only one blossom that may bloom too late, he cancels their plans and implores Lisa not to go out during the full moon. Lisa refuses, however. After she leaves, Wilfred takes a room at an inn and locks himself in, afraid he will transform and murder his wife. Despite his precautions, he becomes a werewolf and leaps out of the window. Wilfred is drawn to the zoo, where he releases a wolf to distract a guard from his girl friend, then kills the woman and returns to his room at the inn. With no plants left, Yogami appeals to Forsythe for help, but Forsythe refuses to believe in werewolves and declines. Once back to his original form, Wilfred returns to his lab but, discovering the bud still unopened, goes to the estate owned by Lisa's parents, who are now dead, and asks the caretaker, Timothy, to lock him inside. Unknown to him, Lisa and Paul decide to revisit her old home and reminisce about their childhood, and when Wilfred sees them from his room in the tower, he breaks open the bars and leaps out near Lisa. Paul knocks him out and rescues Lisa, later telling Forsythe that he believes the werewolf is Wilfred. That night, without blossoms to stop the process, Yogami transforms and kills a chambermaid in his hotel. During the investigation, Forsythe and Paul find the blossoms in the wastebasket, and Paul, aware that Wilfred was working with the flower, realizes that Wilfred must be a werewolf. While all the police are on the lookout for Wilfred and Yogami, Wilfred returns to his lab in time to see the bud blossom, but Yogami sneaks in and takes the flower. Wilfred suddenly realizes that it was Yogami who attacked him in Tibet and in a struggle, Wilfred transforms back into a werewolf and kills Yogami. As he heads for Lisa's room, she and Ettie call the police. When Paul arrives, Wilfred knocks him out and goes after Lisa, but is shot by a policeman, whom he thanks for the bullet, as it was the only way for him to change. Before he dies, Wilfred apologizes to Lisa for not making her happier and returns to his human form. Forsythe assures Lisa that his police report will be favorable to her unfortunate husband.

Film Details

Also Known As
Werewolf
Genre
Horror
Release Date
May 13, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Angeles National Forest--Vasquez Rocks, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

The copyright record synopsis has a scene where a boy is almost eaten by a plant in the botanical gardens sequence, and he is saved by Wilfred. It was not included in the final print.

Pre-release publicity material lists Reginald Barlow cast as "Dr. Phillips", scripted as a specialist whom "Dr. Glendon" privately consults after being afflicted with "lycanthrophobia"; this detail, however, was bypassed in the finished production (if indeed it was ever filmed at all), most likely because it would be totally against the established "solitary" character of "Glendon" to do so. At any rate, Barlow was "re-assigned" the uncredited role of the Caretaker Timothy.

Notes

The synopsis in copyright records includes a scene in which a boy is nearly eaten by a plant at a flower show, but is rescued by Wilfred. This scene is not included in the film. A news item in Daily Variety indicates that Universal considered releasing the film as Werewolf. According to copyright records, the scenes of Tibet were filmed at Vasquez Rocks, in the Angeles National Forest. Other werewolf films include the 1913 Bison short film The Werewolf; Universal's 1941 film The Wolf Man, directed by George Waggner and starring Lon Chaney, Jr; Universal's 1943 Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, directed by Roy William Neill and starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi; Universal's 1948 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, directed by Charles T. Barton, and starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi; American International Pictures' I Was a Teenage Werewolf, directed by Gene Fowler, and starring Michael Landon and Yvonne Lime; the 1960 British production The Curse of the Werewolf, directed by Terence Fisher and starring Oliver Reed; Universal's 1981 An American Werewolf in London, directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter and Griffin Dunne; Avco Embassy's 1981 The Howling, directed by Joe Dante and starring Dee Wallace and Patrick Macnee; and Atlantic's 1985 Teen Wolf, directed by Rod Daniel and starring Michael J. Fox.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1935

Released in United States March 1976

Released in United States 1935

Released in United States March 1976 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Midnight Monsters) March 18-31, 1976.)