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Updated: August 17, 2023

Lon Chaney Jr., whose father was the most famous horror actor of his generation became an iconic movie monster himself in the classic werewolf tale The Wolf Man. Chaney plays Larry Talbot, who returns to his family home in Wales to reconnect with his estranged, emotionally distant father John ( Claude Rains ). It seems as though his life might be turning around, he even met a nice girl in town, but he attacked in the fog, bitten, and discovers to his horror that his transforming into a murderous creature.

The Wolf Man features iconic time-lapse effects, forcing Chaney to remain completely still for hours as makeup was applied to him in stages. But although the look of the title monster is unforgettable, its Chaney who makes this movie unforgettable. Larry Talbot is one of Universals most tragic monsters, who is consciously aware of his plight and utterly helpless to do anything about it. And his practically unrequited relationship with his father only makes the films brutal finale all the more heartbreaking. The Wolf Man is Lon Chaney Jr. finest hour.

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