- X 2019
Cry of the Werewolf
Wallace MacDonald for Columbia
directed by Henry Levin
starring Nina Foch, Stephen Crane, Osa Massen, Blanche Yurka, Barton MacLane, Ivan Triesault, John Abbott, Fred Graff, John Tyrrell, Robert Williams, Fritz Leiber, Milton Parsons, George Eldredge, Ray Teal, George Magrill, Tiny Jones, Al Bridge, Fran O'Connor, Hector Sarno, Harry Semels, Al Thompson
story by Griffin Jay, screenplay by Griffin Jay, Charles O'Neal, music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Professor Morris (Fritz Leiber) runs the Museum of the Occult and
presently investigates a legend about werewolf Marie Latour - but
obviously he has come too close to the actual truth, because eventually,
he is found killed - by a wolf ... and just the day his son Bob (Stephen
Crane) arrives home from Washington too.
The police investigating the
murder soon find a clue leading to Transylvania, and since the professor's
assistant Elsa (Osa Massen), incidently Bob's sweetheart, is of
Transylvanian origin - just like Marie Latour -, she soon becomes the
prime suspect. When this clue leads to nothing though, a gypsy (Ivan
Triesault) becomes a suspect, until of course he is killed by the
werewolf. Eventually, the police question Celeste (Nina Foch), princess of
the gypsy's tribe, but ultimately they find nothing on her - only Bob
decides to investigate this trail further, and he is of course right, as
Celeste is actually Marie Latour's daughter and the werewolf in question.
However, Celeste has also fallen in love with Bob, and since she cannot
have him due to her slight case of lycanthropy, she puts his girlfriend
Elsa under a hypnotic spell, that makes her her sister in spirit.
it all boils down to a showdown in the Museum of the Occult - also
Celeste's secret temple - at the culmination of which Celeste first tries
to make Elsa shoot Bob, then, as a wolf, attacks him herself, but
ultimately she's killed, riddled by police bullets.
produced shocker with many a shortcoming - like the rather slow pace or
the finale, in which the werewolf looks way too much like a German
Shepherd (which it of course is) -, but also with quite a few charming
aspects like many a moody shot or a narrative full of pulp mainstays. Not
a classic, that's for sure, but not bad for a horror-B from the 1940's.
for the politically correct crowd though: The way this film treats gypsies
is almost appaling.