Movie Name: She-Wolf of London
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date(s): May 17, 1946
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
A killer is stalking the park and neighborhood surrounding Allenby Mansion and Phyllis Allenby (June Lockhart) worries that it could mean the return of the Allenby Curse. Waking up after nights of restless sleep, Phyllis finds dirt and mud on her and learns that more attacks have occurred. Phyllis fears that she’s a werewolf and the plans to marry her love Barry Lanfield (Don Porter) might be in jeopardy. As the murders get closer and closer, Phyllis’ fears might come true.
Directed by Jean Yarbrough, She-Wolf of London is a mystery horror thriller which is usually lumped together with Universal Studio’s other Universal Monsters. The movie is often available with other Wolf Man films.
She-Wolf of London is actually quite an interesting film in the context of Universal Monsters. The movie really isn’t a monster movie and is more of a mystery. There is horror in that there is a killer stalking the area, but the viewer doesn’t know when, where, and why it will strike again. *****Due to the storyline of the movie, there will be spoilers throughout this review*****
She-Wolf of London isn’t actually a werewolf movie. The reports of wolf attacks are reported throughout the movie and the attacker is described as female (which leads to reports that it is a female werewolf). The actual story involves Phyllis servant Martha Winthrop (Sara Haden) trying to drive Phyllis insane so her own daughter Carol (Jan Wiley) can take Barry as her own and maintain a high lifestyle. It is an interesting society view and the fact that the werewolf doesn’t exist technically knocks it out of “werewolf movie” status.
June Lockhart is charming as the girl who believes she is cursed. Also nice in the film is her friend Carol played by Jan Wiley who could have been evil (like her mother) but comes off as one of the “nice girls” of cinema. Don Porter is bland as the perfect guy and Sara Haden is good as the insane housekeeper.
Visually the movie is more like a film noir since there is no werewolf. The film is filled with long shadows and dark sets. Unfortunately, the movie is very set based and the sets aren’t always the best.
I actually kind of like this entry in the “Wolf Man” movies and wouldn’t even mind a smart rewrite or remake of the film. With some tweaking, a bigger budget, and strong acting, a new She-Wolf of London could be fun. Until then, try to check out this little thriller and enjoy a different werewolf film.