A scientist named Dr. Wilfred Glendon (Henry Hull) goes on a botanical expedition and is attacked in the dark by some sort of a creature. Yet he has fully recovered from this but is warned by an eccentric local in his hometown named Dr. Yogami (Warner Oland) that he will soon change into a werewolf when a full moon arises and this will endanger his lovely wife Lisa (Valerie Hobson).
While this happens he attacks other women in the town of London and tries to lock himself up for his wife's safety but also discovers that his only hope to cure himself is an asian flower that he found on his trip.
The film looked impressive having the character named Dr. Glendon doing some researching in a foreign land with good discussions with his partner which seemed to flow in pretty well while spotting all of this. Then later on we spot the werewolf attacking as this looked energetically intense for it's time and can be very enjoyable in today's standards too. A nice beginning to what will unravel later on in the story here.
We also spot Glendon in his lab using some sort of a ray on his plant making it grow bigger which is another nice touch to the story showing the original mad scientist type for the horror plot. Plus there's impressive moments when he shows to the public on what his plants do by eating stuff including feeding a frog and so fourth which back then could look a bit disturbing and works in well here.
Also a perfect approach by an eccentric type named Dr. Yogami warning Glendon on what he soon will become when the full moon strikes in which this was well focused and nicely put in offering the originality on what will influence future werewolf flicks and even to this day as well.
We also spot a good effective moment when he tests his plants and spots his hands growing hairy which looked effective for a film it's time as this draws your attention and wondering what's going to happen as well as what he is doing about it all.
We spot a scene where a cat is viciously hissing at him which looked totally vicious to spot but at present day looked pretty funny as this leaves a nice effect that he is about to turn into a werewolf. Plus there's good shots on him walking by after passing some pillars of the home showing him changing during this moment which looked effective.
A nice moment with a woman walking the night street and turning her head as well as Glendon as a werewolf turning his head to her and then attacking her which looked terrorising for it's time and quite powerful too. Good close up camera shots on all of this too.
We also spot a moment at a zoo which is a nice touch to a werewolf story inspiring other makers to have a situation such as this going on in which we have a woman flirting with the guard there trying to prepare an affair with him when he is tired of his marriage which was well written in since we often spot this in today's horror flicks and having a deadly feeling on what is going to happen to them later on. Also a good shot on her looking at her make up mirror and spotting a reflection on the werewolf which seemed pretty eerie to watch here.
Also there's a great moment with Glendon pleading his wife Lisa not to go out after sundown and she acts stubborn about it all which was perfect on him having a deadly secret as this for sure looked quite dramatic by watching on what we see is happening between the two of them.
We spot perfect scenarios with Glendon trying to trap himself inside a hotel room or any other room and acting overly obsessive and getting upset which looked perfectly intense here. Plus we have some nice decent humor with two motel owners having an interaction at a bar as well as having a discussion with Glendon wanting to rent a room there. It drew in strongly while watching this adding some nice uplifting behaviorial attitude.
There's a nice setting with a party hosted by Mrs. Moncaster acting drunk as well as her on a balcony with Yogami and hearing a howling noise in which today standards sounds phony but can come across as spooky back then. Also a nice shot on her in her room sitting on her bed and slowly turning her head with the werewolf ready to attack her which looked perfectly well done and in which this scene was a total classic for sure.
Then a quarter way through we have a classic moment when Glendon is attacking both Lisa and her friend Paul which looked intensely energised as well as Glendon sneering and slwoly creeping up to Lisa with her trying to reason with him and making him remember as this was strongly put in making you watch bit by bit on what will happen next here. This moment was very memorable and dramatic too making you wonder if he will come to his senses or not.
Bottom line is that this was Universal's first werewolf flick and a true classic it is with all the nice settings for it too. The story is good and simple in which all movies were back then. For anyone who loves werewolf movies I advise to check this one out on what started the werewolf craze like The Wolf Man or even An American Werewolf in London. This one is a true gem indeed.
The acting is very good for it's time and still stands out today. Lead actor Henry Hull (Dr. Glendon) really brought his role to life as some sort of a mad scientist in which he shows a nice seriousness to his role as well as sometimes breaking that when he does an experiment to show to others. Definetely shows a bit of an insane side to him for sure. Also does a nice job acting anxious when he is starting to change along with showing a perfect meancing attitude when he's the werewolf as well as his evil expressions too which also shows off perfectly here. Does a nice job with his anxious and worrysome behavior acting nervous about stuff which showed a nice believeable emotional behavior as well as showing some good intensity too. He was a defiente character actor for sure.
Warner Oland (Dr. Yogami) was another perfect character actor in which he shows a perfect eccentric type of personality to his role coming across as perfectly mysterious with his speaking plus stresses it out nicely when he discusses to his other actor on what they are about to become. Shows a nice disturbing type of behavior too which shines off nicely here. He rolls with the punches by portraying this part and is a true character for a horror flick such as this one.
Valerie Hobson (Lisa Glendon) shows a nice sharp type of personality and having a strongness to her character which looked good. Plus has the nice girl looks without coming across as too wholesome either since we often spot those types in a flick such as this one. Was believeable by acting hard headed and aggressive in a certain scene along with showing a good scared attitude when the terror strikes her along with acting believeable by trying to be brave and reasonable too which she drew this in powerfully.
Lester Matthews (Paul Ames) comes in as the charming type in the film showing alot of spunk into what he does here as well as really nailing his lines and personality perfectly here. Has the right looks to his part as one of those decent types who can be outgoing and someone who is smart too. Also shows good blocking with his struggling attitude in a certain scene taking it to the extreme here.
Spring Byington (Miss Ettie Coombes) had one of the most effective supporting roles in the film portraying as a fruity type with her speaking and hyperactive attitude. Basically someone who is too lightheaded and quite a ham too. She really knew on how to act hammered at a party as well just really acting outrageously stupid while doing this which is a compliment since she did everything to the extreme like she was supposed to have. Also let's out a great scream when she spots something terrifying too.
Ethel Griffies (Mrs. Whack) was another effective one in the film as she shows off a good eccentric type of behavior acting believeably strange as a hotel owner at a run down bar. She brings a nice uplifting humor and personality to her role along with showing a good aggressiveness to what she does as well. She also shows a good spooked behavior too in a scene which looked pretty energetic while watching this.
Zeffie Tilbury (Mrs. Moncaster) seemed to have the right looks as the assistant to the mad scientist in almost an Igor type of fashion yet he is alot more normal and seems to show off as an intelligent type. He really comes to life a great deal with what he has to do showing alot of enthusiasm into his whole performance here. He had the right looks for this too which is a great bonus.
The composing sounded terrific for it's time as well have alot of great suspenseful trumpet and trombone playing sounding very powerful especially for the terrors that unravel in the story. Also we do hear some flute and clarniet playing here and there as well which was well orchestrated. Of course we have some sad and suspenseful violin playing too which is always the case for a horror flick especially this one all put together by Karl Hajos
Dr. Yogami: Good day. But remember this Dr. Glendon, the werewolf instinctively seeks to kill the thing it loves best.
Lisa Glendon: [to Wilfred] It's Lisa. Don't you know me. Lisa.
Dr. Wilfred Glendon: Thanks... Thanks for the bullet. It was the only way... In a few moments now... I shall know why all this had to be. Lisa... good bye. Good bye Lisa. I'm sorry I... I couldn't have made you happier.