Werewolf of London (1935)
Starring: Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Lester Matthews, Spring Byington, Valerie Hobson, Lawrence Grant
Directed by: Stuart Walker
Scene 01: Our first scene involves a shot of a relief map of China, particularly Tibet, which we focus in on. As our POV zooms in on the tiny mountain territory, our scene dissolves into a camp of Tibetans. We immediately get the impression that these are sherpas, judging by the camels, the tents, the packed horses and the mountains in the background.
Scene 02: We cut to a close up of a man in a turban having an animated discussion in Tibetan (one assumes - since I don't know Tibetan...) with a guide.
Scene 03: The turbaned Tibetan joins two Englishman at the foot of the mountain that they are apparently planning on scaling. It appears that there is an ongoing dispute between them over how far the guides are willing to lead the outsiders. One white guy asks the other what they'll do if the sherpas refuse to lead them onward and upward, to which Englishman #2 responds they'll go on without them and take their chances, of course.
There is a lot of Tibetan or Chinese spoken here, untranslated, but the tone of voice is clear. The Englishman is cajoling, the sherpas are defiant. A cowbell interrupts the ongoing argument as a camel comes over a rise. Leading this is another sherpa. Upon it sits a figure which appears to be an old man.
The encamped Tibetans act with panic upon seeing this mysterious figure and rush away, leaving the Englishman to consider the approaching figure who has had such a dramatic effect. The Englishmen draw their pistols and go to meet the old man approaching. He appears to be white (I mean deliberately white, not white pretending to be Tibetan as the chief sherpa so clearly was).
The newest white man is also English and is recognized by the foreign travelers as a priest. The Englishmen seem relieved to be able to speak in English after three months of not seeing another white face.
We discover here that our main adventurist is a botanist, while his assistant is apparently just an avid traveler and friend. They are after a legendary flower said only to grow in the Himalayan Mountains and that only blooms by the light of the moon. The botanist is Dr. Glendon.
The priest tells the scientist and his friend that no one who has visited the valley where the mythical flower grows has ever returned. He basically plays the "forget this quest" card that will naturally be ignored to the detriment of the scientists who refuse to 'not meddle in things man was not meant to know'.
The priest wishes them luck in their hunt and the two Englishmen travel onward without the fearful sherpa guides.
Commentary: This scene is really a stock in trade of these sorts of movies, so it's hard to fault it - it's sort of union rules to include the doomsayer and the ignoring of his/her warnings. But, this does go on a bit longer than necessary and naturally the rockfaces in the background look much more like California than Tibet. Which is also hard to fault it for, except that the scene takes place at Vasquez Rocks - which has been used SO often that it's recognizable on sight.
Scene 04: The men continue on, climbing after they have to leave their animals behind. The doctor's traveling companion points out that they've gone through an awful lot the past six months just to find a flower. Botanist Glendon reminds him it is the only one of its kind in the entire world. He urges his friend to keep climbing.
Scene 05: His companion briefly complains that he can't move suddenly as they reach a passage between the rocks. He complains that it is like something is holding his feet. Dr. Glendon tells him to just pick up his feet and move. He does, glancing behind him in confusion as in the background a wolf howls....
Scene 06: As they continue on their way Doctor Glendon experiences an odd occurance as well. He reports that he felt something strike him across the chest, though there is nothing visible present. He struggles to continue forward against some unexplained force, finally overcoming it as his companion trudges behind him, clearly exhausting.
Scene 07: Dr. Glendon reaches the summit, while his companion is resting lower down the summit. He pulls out his binoculars to survey the valley before him and is able to spot the plant he seeks. With mounting excitement he rushes down into the valley - leaving his travelling pal behind him (I wish I'd caught the guy's name or knew which actor he was so I could use his name).
Scene 08: The botanist climbs another rocky face and finally his six month odyssey is over - he stands before the mythical plant he has been seeking.
He quickly strips of his coat and equipment and without even a 'how do you do' gets to digging around the plant's stalk. In the meanwhile however, we see a hairy man peeking up over an outcropping of rock. A shadow quickly approaches the oblivious scientist as his attention is focused completely upon his digging.
Doctor Glendon notices the shadow on the cliff face near him, and slowly gets up. He peers out at the night around him. We see the werewolf - for that is surely what we are seeing - again peering over an outcropping at him....
The doctor is fascinated by the weird creature he sees peering at him and slowly approaches, only for the thing to give a whine-like cry and rush him. He's tackled to the ground by the man-shaped beast!
Not only is his attacker man-shaped and sized, but it is also wearing clothing. As they wrestle, the good Doctor is able to pummel the beast, but then finds his arm being bitten. He's able to hold it off for enough time to grab his knife from its waist sheath and jab the man-animal, driving it off.
The botanist crawls back to the plant that had been the culmination of his search and reaches out a bloody arm toward it....
Scene 09: ... And we fade cut to a smaller version of the plant, with a set of hands tending it. One of these hands is attached to a scarred arm. The scar looks far more like a claw rake than a bite mark. Nevertheless, as we suspected, a pull out reveals that Doctor Glendon is working in a basement lab (Of course! Every scientist worth his or her salt has one!).
Commentary: Hello, Travelling Companion? Did you ever get off your ass, or are you still sitting and resting on the mountainside - hello?
Doctor Glendon performs some sciency-type actions on the plant - turning off the lab lights and turning on some sort of instrument that I'll assume at the moment is meant to simulate the full moon, injecting some sort of hypodermic into the plant stalk, gazing closely at its flower bud with a monocular....
A blinking light captures his interest and he walks to a black box.
This box is part of a close circuit camera system and he sees a woman coming through an office door. She calls something in the camera's general direction, but there is no sound. We can see behind her a gathering of people, so on first blush - this is a wife or family member coming to remind him that he was to put in an appearance at a party of some sort....
The botanist turns off the assumed full moon light simulator and restores the normal lights. For some reason, changing the lighting also involves a Jacob's Ladder device going off, which doesn't seem to have a practical reason. I suppose he just likes how cool it looks... plus it is a de rigueur piece of science-like equipment.
Scene 10: Outside of the lab door, interloper-woman in her frilly best is calling through a gated door - presumably leading into the secret flower lab.
The woman, let's call her Mrs. Glendon, or Lisa, rolls her eyes in exasperation and continues calling plaintively through the door. Doctor Glendon, now dressed in a suit more befitting the gathering going on apologizes - through the door -. He raises the blinds, and tells his wife that he lost all track of time (as scientists habitually do).
Lisa shows Wilfred much patience with his spending so much time in his lab, rather than with her as she straightens up his suit and adds a flower to his lapel. She good naturedly complains that everyone has been asking where he is. He promises as soon as his current experimentation is finished, he'll be more 'human' and responsive.
She jokingly tells him that she thought he was going to divorce her, he's been spending so much time avoiding her. He returns that he will not only divorce her, but may beat her as well if she ever gets him into another one of these gatherings - a meeting of the Botanical Society, which includes a woman he'd rather avoid at all costs. Lisa smiles beamingly and insists that he must play the good host.
At that moment a rather gregarious woman, holding her little dog, waylays Wilfred with interest in the rumors he's been able to create artifical moonlight. She tries to bully into his laboratory so she can see such an invention - but of course, THE LAB IS OFF LIMITS (as it is with all scientist's home labs). The woman is annoying and there is chit-chat about how poor Lisa has been left for months all alone while Wilfred wanders across the globe and blah-blah-blah.
Lisa pulls her husband away from the woman he finds so annoying. In the meanwhile the woman (she's Miss Ettie) points out another plant the botanist keeps - a Venus Fly Trap, which she pronounces as wicked to her companion. She's one of those who is fascinated with the carnivorous plants even as she complains that they're revolting. And, why we're following her, I'm not sure....
Commentary: Eventually, we'll find out that Ettie isn't just a guest. She's 'Aunt Ettie', relation to Lisa Glendon which really should have been revealed here so we'd understand better what she's up to when she starts gossiping about Lisa later.
Scene 11: We jump to another portion of the gathering masses, to an old lady being escorted by another gentleman. She has a cane and the bearing of the upper crusty. She complains to her grandson that he's yanking on her arm - to which he apologizes, explaining that he's spotted someone he wishes to speak to in the gardens.
Ettie (the woman fascinated/appalled by the insect eating plants) and the old woman with the cane end up switching escort partners. It appears there may be some romance in the air for the old woman's grandson and the effervescent (or annoying, depending on your viewpoint) Ettie (but this is wrong - Ettie appears to be pushing him toward Lisa later). Alas, I don't know why we care - this has nothing to do with the scientist who was bitten by a werewolf while procuring a rare flowering plant in the Himalayas.
Scene 12: Ah - here's the point: Paul (the grandson) is an ex-beau of Mrs. Glendon, whom Ettie finds in order to show her who has returned to London. They both clasp one another's hands a bit long to be decent before Lisa gives a side long glance to notice her husband has not missed this new development. He's entertaining some yappy woman who he is scarcely paying attention to.
Ettie helpfully (-bitch-) wanders over to Wilfred to point out that Paul is an old beau of his wife's with a big grin on her face.
Commentary: Why? I don't know yet, but it seems clear that Ettie is trying to sow some discord here, judging by the line delivery and the expression on her face. I think, based on the coming scene where Wilfred refers to her as Aunt Ettie that she wasn't a supporter of the marriage between her nephew and Lisa.
Over with Lisa and Paul, they're still laughing and smiling and being ever so happy to see one another again. And, they're still hand clasping one another affectionately. Ettie runs off the woman who was twittering-about with Wilfred by giving her a 'piss off' glance during her story about Java. Lisa comes over with Paul in tow to introduce them to one another.
Lisa and Paul recount how they are very old friends, from childhood. Then, Ettie butts in some more with the revelation that Paul asked Lisa to marry him once. There are a lot of suspicious/uncomfortable glances that follow. Ettie looks positively amused. The Doctor looks disconcerted. Lisa modestly glances away. Paul looks annoyed with Ettie for bringing this up.
Commentary: Ettie is proving herself to be quite knowledgable about Lisa's childhood. With her knowing so much about Lisa's childhood, I thought for a while that Ettie was Lisa's aunt and she was only be referred to as 'Aunt' by Wilfred due to the marriage to her niece... but later it is more clear that Ettie is Wilfred's aunt, which makes her knowledge (which clearly Wilfred doesn't have) very odd, indeed. Later, again, it becomes clear that Ettie spends a lot of time with Paul's grandmother which explains a lot - but early in the film, the interpersonal relationships are badly muddled by the script and we spend too much time with Ettie to not know how she fits in with Lisa and Dr. Glendon.
Lisa quickly smoothes things over by telling Wilfred that the incident referred to occurred when she was six and Paul was twelve.
Commentary: Which just makes Aunt Ettie even more petty (rhyme!) and gossipy.
Wilfred shows amusement, but pointedly asks with as much subtext as a silent-era film if Paul will be staying in London *for long*. Paul reports he'll be returning to America soon enough, while Lisa looks mildly uncomfortable with the obvious lingering tensions between her two men (stirred up unnecessarily by Ettie - Lisa should slap her down later).
It comes out that Paul owns a flight school and is very happy. That doesn't stop Wilfred from throwing a few more only slightly disguised barbs his way (which actually is starting to make Dr. Glendon look just as petty as Ettie (rhyme!) at this point). Her husband asks Lisa if she's in the mood to want nothing more out life, which she pointedly doesn't answer. Ettie pips up at this point to share that she's in that sort of mood, being in the lovely gardens of Glendon Manor. Oh, so happy now that she's stirred up trouble for her nephew-in-law and his wife - wicked little backstabber - really Lisa needs to call her out as soon as they're alone.
Scene 13: In one of the greenhouses, the party has gathered to watch a plant consume a live frog, which of course they're all acting faux-appalled and scadalized about. Aunt Ettie quickly leaves, dainty hanky held over her mouth, just sickened and traumatized by the display (as if she hadn't see this before now - Ettie is a drama queen as well as a gossip in the worse sense of the word - not only does she overdramatize her reactions to everything, but she stirs up drama wherever she goes as well).
Paul's grandmother stops her to ask about her current state, full of concern (just as Ettie had hoped someone would, no doubt). She dramatically stumbles away as if she might faint at any moment. Elsewhere, the guests are expressing their revulsion at so hideous a display (that they all gathered to watch, never-the-less). One of the guests near the back of the room turns out to be Dr. Yogami - that can't be good.
Dr. Yogami greets Dr. Glendon, who very obviously doesn't recognize him, and discusses his collection which greatly impresses him.
Scene 14: Wandering away from the guests, Dr. Yogami re-introduces himself. He states here that he and Dr. Glendon met once before 'in the dark' in the Himalayas - we should immediately suspect that he is the werewolf.
Dr. Yogami and Dr. Glendon have a discussion about their respective missions to Tibet after the 'Phospherescent Wolf Flower'. Dr. Yogami shares that his specimens died on his travels back home. Dr. Glendon then shares that his specimens are alive, but that the flower bud refuses to bloom under any light. Dr. Yogami is very interested in the fact that plant is alive.
Scene 15: Having had a bit of story that is actually related to the main plot, we now must return to Lisa and Paul, against our will. Paul asks after Lisa's unhappiness. Though she hides it well, he's known her too long to be fooled. She claims toothache, but he sees through this as well.
Paul claims that Lisa has lost 'her fight', which she readily agrees with before leaving him to find her husband. Paul looks worried over the changes in Lisa's once wild personality... you know, Paul, maybe she's grown up a little since she's a wife now. Maybe it really isn't any of your business to butt in and try to return her to the girl you knew years ago....
Scene 16: In a parlor, Dr. Yogami has confessed to Paul that he's so interested in the flower because of its reputed ability to cure 'werewolfery', to which Dr. Glendon is naturally enough caught off guard about. Dr. Yogami answers Wilfred's skepticism by telling him he's aware of two cases in London at that very moment. He further shares that both cases were contracted via werewolf bite, and suggestively rubs Wilfred's arm through his suit jacket where he is scarred.
Commentary: And when I use the word suggestively, it's deliberate. The overly done way that Dr. Yogami reaches out and rubs Dr. Glendon's arm is not only homoerotic to the modern eye, but it is also uncomfortably creepy. I can only think the director made Warner Orland be so obvious here to make sure that the audience 'got it', but the scene has this really weird vibe - maybe because the two men are standing so close to one another - it's hard to explain unless you've seen the scene, but Dr. Yogami gives off this molester vibe.
The uncomfortable feeling between the two scientists is interrupted by the arrival of Lisa, just after Dr. Yogami impresses on Wilfred that the men so affected by the werewolf bite will be doomed without the flower.
What is funny is how Lisa gets the odd look on her face and comments on what a strange man Dr. Yogami is, even though she hasn't witnessed anything odd. She instinctively senses the same odd vibe I received from Dr. Yogami even without seeing him standing too close to her husband and rubbing his forearm.
Scene 17: After a fade to black, we come in on Wilfred back in his lab and wrestling with the artificial moonlight simulator. He has an assistant who never seems to do anything, as well. Anyway, the flower buds open up under this latest test of the lamp. We quickly find out however, that this is a different moonlight blooming flower. The werewolf flower has thus far continued to confound the doctor's attempts to trick it into blooming.
At least until now... of the four buds, one of them suddenly opens as the light is redirected upon the Tibetan plant. At first Dr. Glendon expresses excitement to his assistant, but then he notices that his hand is getting the hairy look under the moonlight being simulated. Wilfred quickly dimisses his assistant 'for dinner' before the other man notices his bosses hand tucked behind his back.
After the lab helper is gone, Wilfred looks at his hand again. It appears fine until he reaches under the light again, at which time it resumes it's hairyness. Remembering Dr. Yogami's words, he cuts the bloom of the open flower. He presses the stem of the plant against his hand. His hand returns to normal, greatly relieving him.
Commentary: Which, of course, makes zero sense. If the flower buds are so important then why would the stem make any difference? And if the stem has the enzymes or whatever is causing the suppression of the werewolf, why would the flower petals being open make any difference to the process?
Scene 18: In the main house, lab assistant is gossiping with the butler. Mr. Hawkins has apparently told Mr. Plimpton all about the artificial moonlight lamp, which is really quite appalling of him. (I seem to be using 'gossip' and 'appalling' a lot in this review.)
Mr. Plimpton expresses the due interest, but then reminds Mr. Hawkins that the Misses would like her husband to come in for tea. Mr. Hawkins tells the butler that there is no way that the scientist is going to leave his experiment now....
Scene 19: On the veranda, Paul, his crotchety grandmother, Lisa and that repugnant Miss Hettie are taking tea. Miss Hettie is telling Lisa that she must come to her home that evening for her party, as 'everyone in the world' will be there - one assumes 'everyone in the world' can be equated with 'everyone important'. Lisa complains that it's impossible to get Wilfred to leave the house (oh my God - Lisa = Tom and I = Dr. Glendon... except, without the wealth, alas).
Miss Hettie helpfully (-bitch-) suggests that she ask Paul to stay for dinner so he can escort her to her party later. Miss Hetty has that wretched little dog in her arms, still. It apparently must be taken everywhere with her. It comes out that Miss Hettie's home is newly acquired and borders the slums of London, which she is so excited about. Apparently the slums are 'quaint' and it is seen as 'hip and cool' to live nearby the riff-raff of society - one assume as long as you don't get too close to them.
Miss Hettie's little dog suddenly has a barking fit. The dog's snarling and carrying on coincides with the arrival of Dr. Yogami who has come to call upon Dr. Glendon. Lisa seems barely able to hide her revulsion with the other Doctor (and I'm trying really hard not to read a racist or sexual jealousy subtext into this - but Lisa's immediate dislike of Dr. Yogami has no actual basis - I'm going to pretend it's "woman's intuition" and that she is sensing something wrong with the doctor). She tells him that her husband is very busy with his experiments and won't be able to meet with him either now, nor later that night. Before he can be completely dismissed, however, Aunt Hettie buts her face into things again, insisting she be introduced to such an interesting looking gentleman. (I note the dog looks like it wants to be put down and isn't interested in snarling or barking anymore.)
She insists that the doctor also come to her party that evening - and says good-bye to him by mispronouncing his name as Dr. Yokohama.
Commentary: I think this is deliberate and not a line mistake to show that Miss Hettie is being shallow. She wants him to come to her party because he'd make an interesting guest to parade around, not because she's actually interested in him as a person - when he tries to get out of going, she very purposely mentions that the Chief of Scotland Yard is going to be coming with more than a bit of pride.
Scene 20: We cut back to Dr. Glendon's lab where he's working over a microscope. His buzzer/light flasher alarm goes off and when he checks the closed circuit screen, he sees that Dr. Yogami is furtively sneaking into the room connected to his laboratory. He goes out to greet the other scientist.
Wilfred tries to make Dr. Yogami leave but the Asian doctor warns that the night of the full moon has arrived and he fears what will happen that evening. Despite the whole hand changing business, Dr. Glendon insists that werewolves are wife's tales. Dr. Yogami tries to get two blooms to help stop the coming carnage he fears - he also reveals that there is no cure for the werewolf, but that the flower may act as an antidote - keeping the monster repressed for the few hours of the moon's ascendance.
Wilfred refuses, of course. He insists that Dr. Yogami leave him be. The other scientist complies, but before he goes he warns Wilfred that the Werewolf will instinctively seek out that which he loves in order to destroy it.
Scene 21: That evening, Dr. Glendon is in his study where he digs out a large book to look through (a book of myths?) while we cut to inside his lab where the camera zooms in on the mysterious flowers. We see that the flower buds are in bloom, before a pair of hands with a set of garden scissors cuts them from their stalks.
Back in the study, Wilfred finds an entry on Lycanthropy... he discovers the disturbing entry stating that if a werewolf doesn't kill at least one person each night he or she is transformed, they risk becoming the werewolf permanently.
Commentary: It's never alluded to beyond this, alas, but it suggests that Dr. Yogami is a multiple murderer since he is able to transform back to human. The wolf flower is presumed to allow an afflicted person to avoid killing anyone by its use.
A knock on the door interrupts him, as Lisa and Paul come in to wish him a good evening. Lisa tries once more to convince her husband to come to the party with them, but he rather patulantly and quite rudely states he's heard enough of childhood memories for one day. The lights in the office have been off during this time. Wilfred read his book by a small lamp and otherwise the only light is coming from the fireplace. When Lisa turns on the lamps to show him something or other, he snaps at her to turn them back off while he shields his eyes.
He 'explains' that he has used some eyedrops earlier and the light is hurting his eyes. He dismisses her and Paul for the evening, after giving her a passionate kiss and calling her darling.
Commentary: We'll note however that Lisa doesn't return his embrace. It very much appears that this is too little, too late and that she's been ignored for much of their marriage as he devotes himself to his studies. We'll also note that Dr. Glendon appears much older than Lisa (perhaps even older than Paul, actually) and that they have no children. Considering Lisa's past as a 'wild child' it would be interesting to know how she came about married to him, especially since it appears that Aunt Hettie isn't much of a fan of the union and we don't hear about Lisa's parents until much later.
As Wilfred returns to a chair in his office, he is obviously worried over Paul's return to his wife's life. He also turns off the desk lamp to sit in the light of the fire. There is a cat in the office we're only now seeing. It is lying placidly on a pillow, but when Paul sits down, it perks up. Suddenly, it hisses and growls in his direction.
Wilfred acts with shock at the cat's hostile behavior toward him as it bats its claws at him and hisses before leaping from the pillow and running off. When he looks at his hands, he finds them once again undergoing a hairy change.
He starts for upstairs, before changing his mind and heading for the lab instead, as he obviously feels worse. As we watch him disappear behind columns, he comes from the other side a bit more changed than when he disappeared from view.
Commentary: This isn't a bad way to handle his transformation - no better or worse than Lon's time-lapse changes. The one thing many mention is how un-wolflike the transformation is - he doesn't get the full face-o-hair look that later werewolves get. I don't mind this and it seems a nitpicky complaint to me. For a 1935 film trying to create a wolf/man combination, I don't mind the minimal werewolf makeup effects. In addition, like with 'The Wolf Man', it is building a mythos from the ground up with the full moon bringing on a transformation (done before The Wolf Man, and largely adopted as a 'fact' of lycanthropy in future movies), the introduction of the infecting bite (that leaves claw mark scars for some reason) and the flower that can help repress the changes of man into beast and in that regard, I think they've done a nice job as far as it goes. I think it's unfair for people to try to force the standards of the 1941 film backward onto this 1935 film.
Scene 22: Glendon-wolf finds the laboratory door left open and wanders through the lab. He retains his presence of mind enough to turn on the moonlight device and to check the plant for buds he can use to halt his wolfism - but as we've seen, the buds have already been cut and stolen, leaving nothing but stems behind.
As he struggles with the fact that the flowers are missing, his wolfing mind turns to Lisa and Paul and he begins to bark and snarl at the memory of them leaving together.
Commentary: The thing about this version of lycanthropy, however, is that the human doesn't lose his rational mind. Instead, he's simply driven to bouts of violence - more of a serial killer alternate identity, rather than the animalistic personality that we'll get used to seeing in werewolf movies. Again, I don't find this objectionable - in fact, it's interesting. The wolf man here has the presence of mind to disguise himself to keep his identity secret, even as he acts in ways that the man ordinarily wouldn't. In the case of Werewolf of London, the beast is brought forth in the manner of drugs or alcohol giving expression to the rage within rather than losing semblance of humanity - more of a Jeckyll/Hyde than a Wolf Man.
Scene 23: At the party, the hostess Aunt Ettie is obviously drunk. She has a piano/singer act going on and is shushing everyone, who isn't making any noise. She greets Paul's grandmother who is obnoxious, Lisa, Paul and 'Dr. Yokohama'. Ettie wanders away after introducing Dr. Yogami to the Scotland Yard Chief, but the officer makes the observation that he's already met the doctor somewhere else. Yogami agrees, but doesn't elaborate.
In the meanwhile, the Werewolf-Glendon is making his way toward Aunt Hettie's....
Scene 24: On a balcony overlooking the Thames, Aunt Ettie has gotten Dr. Yogami (still calling him the wrong name) out to look at the moonlight on the river. She mentions how romantic it all is when thankfully Glendon's howl is heard. Dr. Yogami immediately looks concerned - as well he should, he knows what this man-howl means.
Ettie is scared by the inhuman sound and rushes the doctor back into the house.
We see Werewolf-Glendon stalking ever closer....
Scene 25: Back in the party, Ettie's inebriated condition has become obvious to her guests as Dr. Yogami patiently escorts her through the crowd of people. Lisa decides that it is time she helped Aunt Ettie say good night to her guests and take her upstairs to bed.
Paul and Lisa work together to get Ettie upstairs to her room. Glendon-wolf-man continues to stalk (alright, already!).
They leave her to sleep it off, but as they come downstairs, another howl (which Paul describes as a coyote with a bad dream) sounds from just outside the house, startling Lisa. We've seen that Wilfred-Monster has finally made it to the house and is on the stairs leading up to the door.
The partiers have come to a standstill to listen to the horrible sounds from outside when anonymous guest points out that Dr. Yogami is trembling. He quickly excuses himself.
Scene 26: Outside, the Werewolf of London is climbing up the wrought iron rails to spy through Ettie's bedroom balcony doors. As he comes in through the doors, Ettie herself awakens to see the shadow of him on the wall, getting closer. She sits up and turns....
Downstairs, the guests hear her horrific screaming. Dr. Yogami tries to dissuade Lisa from going upstairs, but she yanks her arm out of his grasp and rushes upstairs with Paul and the other male guests. Naturally, the women are blocked from accompanying the crowd, excepting Lisa.
Aunt Ettie is standing at the french doors, hysterical. She tells Paul and the Scotland Yard Chief that 'the devil' was there with hair all over his face (lie). At first they try to tell her she's had a nightmare, but she is indignant at the idea. She's hyperventilating as Lisa leads her back to her bed while the men go out onto the balcony for a look.
As Ettie is telling Lisa that her wicked worldliness has finally caught up with her (like that business where you intercede in your nephew's marriage?), the men return. They're joking with one another that no devil or man had been up on the balcony and that Ettie has had a few too strong drinks. Lisa is left to console the still distraught Ettie, while the men return downstairs for one last drink before declaring the party over for the night.
Scene 27: In the meantime, the Werewolf has retreated from Ettie's awful racket into the fog of London. A random strumpet comes across him, and she exits the movie screaming for her life.
Scene 28: The next morning, the news headline is that an unidentified woman has been found mutilated. The newspaper reader is Doctor Yogami and he is very upset to see the headline.
Commentary: As well he should be. He took the only two remaining blooms off of the plant in Dr. Glendon's lab - just what other consequence was he expecting. I also have to wonder why he felt the need to take both of them for himself. I have a feeling this is going to be a movie where the full moon lasts longer than one night meaning that a nearly-full moon is just as dangerous.
The maid for Dr. Yogami's room takes note of the flower buds on the scientist's desk. When she picks it up to smell it, he has a freakout. She profusely apologizes, but he tells her that he is the one who is sorry. He gives her a few coins to buy herself a pot of flowers. It should be noted that he has planted one of the buds in a cup, while the other is dried up and dead.
Scene 29: At the Yard, a Komedy-Relief Bobbie is reporting on how he found the girl, when he isn't complaining about his fallen arches that he acquired in the line of duty. Paul turns up - I'm hoping for lunch or something, since they don't explain why he's there. Anyway, upon seeing the newspaper, Paul tells the Chief of Inspectors that he is sure what they heard last night was a wolf, which would be consistent with the throat wounds the paper is reporting.
Ettie's terror of the night before is mentioned, but the Chief Inspector points out that whatever Ettie saw, it wasn't a wolf. Here, Paul suggests a possible werewolf on scant evidence at best, and is deservingly mocked by the other men in the room. Paul relates that when he was in the Yucatan, the locals there had a series of murders. One night they shot something in the underbrush and the murders stopped - yeah, that completely doesn't explain why the current mutilation of a woman would be caused by a werewolf and the Inspector blows off the suggestion, as he should.
End Part I
Link to review, part II
Werewolf of London, Part I of II
April 12th, 2010