Wolf

Cry of the Werewolf (1944) - Henry Levin

44/100

Producer: Wallace MacDonald
Director: Henry Levin
Screenplay: Griffin Jay (story and screenplay); Charles O'Neal (screenplay)
Cinematography: L.W. O'Connell
Art Direction: Lionel Banks, George Brooks
Film Editing: Reg Browne
Cast: Nina Foch (Marie Latour), Stephen Crane (Robert 'Bob' Morris), Osa Massen (Elsa Chauvet), Blanche Yurka (Bianca), Barton MacLane (Lt. Barry Lane).

BW-63m.

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Cry of the Werewolf is an American horror film released by Columbia Pictures on August 17th, 1944. It was directed by Henry Levin, a filmmaker most well known for his picture, Journey to the Center of the Earth from ‘59. However, this was Levin’s first foray into directing. Cry of the Werewolf stars Nina Foch, returning from her work on Bride of the Vampire. Alongside, Osa Massen, Stephen Crane, and Blanche Yurka. It’s not the first horror movie to feature a female werewolf, that honor goes to 1913’s silent short, The Werewolf. But that’s been lost for decades. Making Cry of the Werewolf the oldest surviving one.

A gypsy princess from Transylvania has been discovered to have descended from Marie LaTour, a famous werewolf from the New Orleans area. Murders begin happening again, and it’s believed that another werewolf maybe on the prowl in this modern time. The gypsies that travel in-and-out of the area are suspected, but nothing can be nailed down. It’s a pretty thin story that tries to tie into Bride of the Vampire but fails.

There are far too many issues for this to be a good movie. The direction is too amateurish and acting is terrible. Actors are constantly stepping on each other's lines and the dialogue feels forced. But parts of the story are entertaining enough to keep me interested, at least this one-time. I can’t see myself going back and re-watching this. My interest is just too damn low. But I at least understand what they were trying to do.  

I am not a fan of werewolves. I have always taken issue with how they are portrayed on screen. Their movies are usually terrible and this one can join the bunch, but it’s not the worst. At least the movie had the good sense to use actual animals and not just some woman in a suit. That’s the worst. This managed to hold my interest with its pleasing storyline and decent production value. The only two qualities that didn’t outright suck. Should you watch this one? No. Go ahead and leave it. There are far better werewolf movies than this.