“Svengoolie” presents: “Werewolf of London” (1935)
Who is in “Werewolf of London?”
The actors appearing in “Werewolf of London” include Henry Hull as Dr. Wilfred Glendon, Warner Oland as Dr. Yogami (Oland was also known for his title role in Fox’s “Charlie Chan” detective film adaptations from 1931 until his death in 1938), Spring Byington as Ettie Coombes, Valerie Hobson as Lisa Glendon and Lester Matthews as Paul Ames.
Jack Pierce’s make-up design for the “werewolf”
According to IMDB’s trivia section on Walker’s film, actor Henry Hull was not enthusiastic about Universal make-up artist Jack Pierce’s design of the makeup design for his dual character. Universal executives also expressed concern that Pierce’s design of the werewolf would cause controversy with local film censorship boards. This resulted in Pierce to give Walker’s transformed “werewolf” look more of a human touch, so that Universal would not face any problems with local film censors throughout the United States.
Several years later, Pierce’s original werewolf design would be used in an iconic film series of Universal’s horror film franchise.
“Werewolf of London:” The inspiration for Universal’s “hairy” monster of the silver screen, “The Wolf Man”
Six years after the studio released “Werewolf of London,” Universal released George Waggner’s “The Wolf Man,” featuring Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot (“Wolf Man”), Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Evelyn Ankers and Warren William. Jack Pierce’s original “werewolf” make-up design for “Werewolf of London” was used for Lon Chaney, Jr. in “The Wolf Man.”
The success of 1941 film would spawn several other Universal horror films featuring “The Wolf Man” or similar characters, including “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” (1943, with Chaney’s “Larry Talbot” character), “The House of Frankenstein” (1944, w/Chaney),”House of Dracula” (1945, w/Chaney) “She-Wolf of London” (1946, with June Lockhart) and the smash comedic farce with Universal’s iconic monster characters, “Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948, w/Chaney).
Later “Werewolf” and “Wolf Man” films
The original Universal “Wolf Man” film series would inspire John Landis’ 1981 horror-comedy feature “An American Werewolf in London,” which featured David Naughton in the role of David Kessler. Veteran make-up artist Rick Baker would provide the “werewolf” make-up effects for Naughton’s character. Universal handled the North American releasing rights to Landis’ aforementioned film.
Warren Zevon’s hit 1978 song, “Werewolves of London”
According to George Plasketes’ Medium.com article on the 1978 hit Warren Zevon (1947-2003) song “Werewolves of London,” the idea was suggested by Phil Everly (1939-2014, of The Everly Brothers) after watching a late night movie presentation of “Werewolf of London” on TV. The smash song appeared on Zevon’s 1978 Asylum Records album, “Excitable Boy.”
Why you should watch Svengoolie’s presentation of “Werewolf of London”
Fellow fans of the vintage “Universal Monsters” series of horror films will be excited this Sat. evening for Svengoolie’s showcase of the 1935 film, “Werewolf of London.” You won’t want to miss this precursor to Universal’s iconic “Wolf Man” character!
Sat., March 4 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV Network
***NOTE*** (to Frederick/Washington viewers of Me-TV): According to the front page of DCRTV.com , there has been word that WJLA-TV 7 (the default Me-TV subchannel affiliate in the Washington, D.C./Frederick, Maryland area on 7.2 and on cable channel 204) might be dumping Me-TV soon. “Silver Screen Reflections” will be on the lookout for further developments on this issue in the area.
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208 (“Svengoolie” is time-delayed to 11 p.m. due to TV 11’s 10 p.m. newscast on their Me-TV subchannel)