MovieChat Forums > The Werewolf (1956) Discussion > Not a bad little film at all

Not a bad little film at all


I'd never seen THE WEREWOLF until buying the Sam Katzman four-film set, but I found it to be a very neat chiller, surprisingly tense, well-directed, and with credible performances and even a well-handled sense of pathos -- Steven Ritch in particular was extremely effective in the title role, and it's too bad this obviously talented man didn't enjoy a stronger career in better films. The reviews I'd read of this film before seeing it were generally positive and while hardly even a minor classic this one showed some care and flair in its production...quite unlike its companion on the same disc, ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU, which is just so silly and poorly handled that it isn't even enjoyable on a bad-film level.

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I concur. This film was indeed quite good. Steven Ritch gave a strong and sympathetic performance as the tormented werewolf; he really made you feel pity for his character. The supporting cast were real good as well. I especially liked Don Megowan as the stalwart sheriff.

I write bios, therefore I am.

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Ahh yes, I'm not chasing you around the boards, but one thing does lead to another. I have nothing to say about the film, but I did love Big Bear Lake much as I spent many vacations there over the years and I have a cousin who was the animal control officer up there for many years. A very nice place to grow up and I have many fond memories though now, while still charming, it is overrun with miscreants and much smog. Too bad everybody found out about it.

Sacred cows make delicious hamburgers.

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I saw this title only today and thought the same thing. I had seen photos of the ghastly wolfman but always beleived, for some reason, that they were from a Mexican production.

It was surprising to see the ever-dependable Harry Lauter (The Day the Earth Stood Still - 1951, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers - 1956 and so many others roles) looking so small next to the gigantic looking Don Megowan near the start of the film. In fact, when anyone in the cast was in a master shot with Megowan, he made it look like a scene from Attack of the Puppet People (1958)!

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Where was Harry in TDTESS? Don't remember him in that one.

Don Megowan was the "star" [sic] of the immortal The Creation of the Humanoids (1962), a weird post-apocaylptic tale of robots taking over the world from the dying human race. Andy Warhol's favorite flick, but don't judge it by that factoid. It's low-budget but, I always thought, oddly cool. It's on a double-bill DVD with the Italain sci-fi epic, War of the Planets, which can be safely ignored.

Did you see only The Werewolf, or do you have the 4-film set it's in? The sci-fi titles there (Creature with the Atom Brain and, especially, the timeless The Giant Claw) are also well worth the purchase price. Only the too-dumb-to-be-fun Zombies of Mora Tau is a real loser.

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The Werewolf was on COMCAST so I was spared The Zombies of Mora Tau (Not BOMBCAST, you see). I like the other two titles, I only own Creature with the Atomic Brain.

Larry Hauter -- you'll groan with recognition as soon as you read it -- was the military man who reaches for his .45 only to find that Gort had neutralized it in the holster along with the other artillary right at Klaatu's arrival.

The Werewolf was surprsingly good. Not great, but quite good.

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You mean Harry Lauter -- not "Larry Hauter"! Oh, okay, him. Good eye.

In fact, I was thinking of another Werewolf cast member, S. John Launer, whom I do know, but don't believe is in TDTESS. My mix-up.

If you've not seen The Giant Claw, you must try to do so sometime. To paraphase your apt mini-review of The Werewolf, not good, but quite hilariously bad. (Well, actually, it has its moments. That's the main reason I bought the set, though 3 of the 4 are good in some way, and even Zombies of was worth seeing if only to realize that there are some poor films that aren't fun even on a bad-film level!

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I was certain you'd remember him, hobnob (pardon the red herring. It was unintentional). When I first recognized him in The Werewolf I could not recall which movie it was that I owned that he was in. It soon came to me and I checked his IMDb listings and did not see The Day the Earth Stood Still. So I unrolled the Full Credits on The Day the Earth Stood Still and there he was hidden away. At first, while watching The Werewolf I thought the actor was Kirby Grant!

Haven't seen tail or talon of The Giant Claw since the 60's when it was on ABC Channel 7's Six O'clock Movie.

One of my great disappointments with the SyFy Channel (nee Sci-Fi) was built on my presumption that movies like this would find a home on it. The reality of "All Stargate All the Time" came home right away. I'd rather watch any of those old B/W flicks than the bulk of their "Originals".

Anyway, The Werewolf was an unexpected treat. The Citizen Kane (1941) of lycanthrope movies.

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Ah, the original The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney, Jr. (nee Creighton), was probably the CK of werewolf movies. Great cast for such a film, especially in 1941 (Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, Maria Ouspenskaya, etc.). The Werewolf was, perhaps, the Touch of Evil of werewolf flicks. Touch of Evil was, in turn, the Frankenstein 1970 of Charlton Heston Hispanic-impersonation films.

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The deep focus used in The Werewolf was very unusual, and the staging of the actors. The scene in the bar at the beginning of the movie where Joe is in the foreground and Marsh warming his hands (a bit out of focus) in the back, made me think, "Whoa! -- what's going on here? Interesting shot.

But no arguments from me if anyone says The Wolfman (1941) is a landmark film. The music was terrific.

"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night,
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright."


Who could pull off a line like that these days?!

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Scanning the on-demand titles from my cable provider I stumbled upon this little gem. Just seeing the 1956 date of production I was optimistic for a fun ride. The story was earnest, the actors highly-watchable, and the trip down mid-century lane was a delight. I LOVE the clothes! Big Bear in the '50's was so charming (I lived in nearby Wrightwood in the 80's and it was very similar) and the whole thing was great from beginning to end. As a morality tale it doesn't disappoint. I do feel bad for the wolf, though....

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Absolutely agree. A very enjoyable movie.

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