[[quoteright:259:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/imgres_126.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[-"[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo Ruh-roh!]]"-] ]]

->''"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."''

'''''The Wolf Man''''' is a 1941 UniversalHorror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner, starring Lon Chaney, Jr., Creator/ClaudeRains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Creator/BelaLugosi, and Maria Ouspenskaya. The title character has had a great deal of influence on Hollywood's depictions of the legend of the werewolf. The film is the second Universal werewolf movie, preceded six years earlier by the less commercially successful ''Film/WerewolfOfLondon''.

LawrenceTalbot (Chaney) is about to have a really bad night. He's just returned to his family's home in Llanwelly, Wales, to reconcile with his father (Rains). While there, he meets and starts pursuing Gwen Conliffe (Ankers), a shopkeeper who sold him a walking stick adorned with a silver wolf's head (which she says represents a werewolf). In the course of rescuing Gwen's friend Jenny from an apparent wolf attack, Larry is bitten. He soon learns from a gypsy fortuneteller (Ouspenskaya) that the wolf in question was actually a werewolf, specifically her son Bela (Lugosi) roaming the countryside in the form of a wolf. Bela had been a werewolf for years, and has now passed on the curse to Larry.

Can Larry overcome this curse? Are his friends and family safe from the roaming beast? Will anyone take a werewolf named Larry seriously? [[note]]The answer to all these questions is no.[[/note]]

Lon Chaney, Jr.'s Wolf Man was featured in four further films in the Universal monster cycle:
* ''Film/FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfMan''
* ''Film/HouseOfFrankenstein''
* ''Film/HouseOfDracula''
* ''Film/AbbottAndCostelloMeetFrankenstein''

A remake of the film was [[Film/TheWolfman2010 released in 2010]].

The Wolf Man is one of the 8 Major Universal Monsters.
----
!!This film has the examples of:

* ArcWords: The "even a man who is pure in heart..." poem went to appear throughout in every movie of the series.
* BeastAndBeauty: Lawrence and Gwen technically qualify as this.
* TheCharmer: Lawrence
* ChekhovsGun: Larry's cane
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: The reason for the existence of Frank Andrews in the film. Universal had used this same trope in ''Film/WerewolfOfLondon'' (and indeed in the original cut of ''Film/{{Frankenstein|1931}}'' as well, in which Henry had been killed).
* DamselInDistress: Gwen at the end.
* [[spoiler: DoomedProtagonist: When you've become a monster, in a UniversalHorror movie no less, your chances of living until the end are '''very''' slim. Which is why TheHeroDies.]]
* [[spoiler: DownerEnding]]
* EvilDetectingDog
* FearsomeFoot: The camera focuses on Larry Talbot's feet turning into wolf-like footpaws for the duration of a transformation scene. After Larry's feet become fully transformed, the camera continues to close up on then as he prowls out of the room and into the forest.
* FurryConfusion: When Bela the werewolf attacks Jenny and Larry, it is in the form of a quadrupedal, bestial-appearing wolf; when Larry the werewolf attacks, it is in the bipedal form of a WolfMan.
** A possible reason for this is that the film was originally meant to be a psychological thriller, where you're never quite sure if Larry is really becoming a werewolf or whether it's all in his head. Naturally, this means he would have to be attacked by a creature resembling a true wolf, for if he was attacked by a WolfMan type monster, there would be no doubt that the werewolves are indeed real.
* GenreBusting: It's a b-movie monster horror flick with the overtones of a FilmNoir.
* GypsyCurse: Averted, and inverted, by Maleva.
* HorrorStruck: Larry is initially skeptical to being a werewolf and towards werewolves in general, until, you know, he actually '''becomes''' one.
* HumanToWerewolfFootprints
* {{Leitmotif}}: Talbot's werewolf form is always introduced by three short notes.
* MagicPants: It's also more like ''Magic Shirts''.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: The entire movie was originally supposed to be this, with us never finding out if Larry is simply delusional and imagining he transforms into a wolf, or if he's an actual werewolf. It was this way until a few weeks before shooting, when it was decided it should be a straight up monster flick.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] by the Gypsy Maleva ("mal" ''and'' "evil"!), who is one of the more helpful characters in the film.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Though Larry's accent is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the statement that he has been away in America for years, it is still remarkable that in a story set in Wales ''not a single character'' speaks with a Welsh accent. Perhaps the most glaring examples are Ralph Bellamy's Colonel Mountford and Warren Williams' Dr. Lloyd, both clearly Americans -- but even the British cast members are all clearly either English or Irish.
* OminousFog
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: In addition to introducing the WolfMan variant to popular culture, this movie also introduced the silver vulnerability to the mythos, and being marked with a pentagram. Contrary to popular belief, it ''didn't'' introduce [[InvoluntaryShapeshifting forced shape-shifting under the full moon]], which instead first showed up in the sequel, ''Film/FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfMan''.
* PlayingTheHeartStrings: This takes the form in Salter and Skinner's score of a single Gypsy violin over Maleva's reciting of the Gypsy valediction, "The way you walked was thorny..."
* UsefulNotes/{{Romani}}: Maria Ouspenskaya's old gypsy fortune teller, Maleva.
** And to a lesser extent, Bela Lugosi's role as her son.
* SharpDressedMan: Lawrence
* StalkerWithACrush: Larry. At least, he comes off as this for the first ten minutes of the movie, because it becomes less stalker-ish as the movie goes on. Gwen is initially perturbed because she's already engaged to another man and she's uncomfortable at the thought of Larry being able to peer into her window. For most of the movie, she seems to clearly be struggling to ''not'' be attracted to him, making her a very unusual case of a "love interest" in a film like this.
* SupernaturalAngst
* ThisWasHisTrueForm: This causes some problems for Larry - he beat a wolf to death with a cane, and is very confused as to why everyone keeps asking him why he killed a human.
* TorchesAndPitchforks
* TragicMonster
* TransformationSequence
* TropeCodifier / TropeMaker: For the werewolf movie. Also for popular werewolf fiction in general, as there's no lycanthrope's equivalent of ''{{Dracula}}''.
* ViralTransformation

----