Werewolf of London
Directed by Stuart Walker
The first mainstream Hollywood werewolf movie is pretty good. Botanist Dr. Wilfred Glendon (Henry Hull) is searching for a rare flower that blooms only by moonlight in Tibet when he is attacked by a mysterious beast. He manages to return to England with a specimen and devotes himself single-mindedly to experimenting with the plant, thereby further estranging his wife (Valerie Hobson). The mysterious Dr. Yogami (Warner Oland) visits Wilfred and tells him that the flower is the only cure for werewolfery and that there are two werewolves in London. Sure enough, on the first night of the full moon, Wilfred begins to grow hairy palms and discovers that both of his Tibetan flower blossoms have been stolen from his laboratory …
The Wolf Man has never been my favorite Universal monster, largely because of Lon Chaney, Jr’s curious miscasting as an English lord’s son. Henry Hull is much more convincing, as the tormented half-beast. The make-up and transformations, however, are far less impressive than in the 1941 film. It’s fun to see Warner Oland out of his Charlie Chan mode.