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I Was a Teenage Werewolf
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*photo gallery page 1
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*dawn richard photos
*posters, lobby cards, etc.
*press book*
*mexican lobby cards,
*more posters, lobby cards
*screen chills story 01
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I Was A Teenage Werewolf One Sheet

          The Cast:     Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime, Whit Bissell, Tony Marshall, Dawn Richard, Barney Phillips, Ken Miller and Guy Williams. Produced by Herman Cohen and Directed by Gene Fowler Jr. Screenplay by Ralph Thornton (Aben Kandel) and Herman Cohen. Make-up by Philip Scheer. Production began: March 14, 1957 at ZIV Studios; Release date: June 19, 1957 on a double bill with INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN. Running time 76 minutes. (Announced titles: "Blood of the Werewolf", "I Am A Teenage Werewolf.") Belgian poster titles: LES GRIFFES DU LOUP GAROU and DE KLAUWEN VAN DE WEERWOLF (THE CLAWS OF THE WEREWOLF); in Mexico the title is YO FUI UN HOMBRE LOBO (I WAS A WEREWOLF); In Sweden, the title was "UNG DESPERADO" (YOUNG DESPERADO) when it was released in February 1961. The German title was DER TOD HAT SCHWARZE KRALLEN (DEATH HAS BLACK CLAWS) in 1962.

        It has been reported that BLOOD OF THE WEREWOLF was the original title but Herman Cohen has always denied it. Cohen said he thought up the "Teenage Werewolf" title and Jim Nicholson added the "I Was A". However, "Blood of the Werewolf" was listed as an upcoming AIP title at one time before Teenage Werewolf began production. To make matters more confusing, DIG magazine had an article in the May 1956 issue called "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" (see photo below) that may have been suggested to Nicholson by his daughter who read the magazine and he may have liked that title better than "Blood of the Werewolf".

    
        The best of the teenage horror/monster movies. The movie cost about $82,000 to make and grossed over $2 Million in 1957 when ticket prices were much less than today. The police dog used in the film was said to be a stand in for Rin Tin Tin and according to publicity, was afraid to go near Landon in his werewolf makeup. Then again, director Gene Fowler Jr. said in an interview with Tom Weaver that the dog in question was his dog Anna. Another bit of trivia is that Dawn Richard, who plays Theresa, the gymnist killed by the werewolf, had posed for Playboy magazine back in May 1957. Another unconfirmed rumor was that Elvis Presley, who was dating Yvonne Lime around the time the film was being shot, visited the set. This film made popular the term "I Was A Teenage". Landon's salary was only $1,000. I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF was the 10th top-grossing film of 1957. Some of its exterior scenes were shot in Griffith Park.



          The Plot:     Tony Rivers, a teenage student at Rockdale High, is brilliant in his studies but deficient in his deportment. He is moody, tempermental, hypersensitive, fights at the drop of a wrong word, and above all, cannot stand for anyone to startle him with either sudden touch or sudden noise. At the combined suggestions of his school principal, and a kindly detective, Sergeant Donovan, who feels that unless Tony learns to adjust he will be in trouble with the law, and after an explosion of temper at a teenage Halloween party, Tony consents to accept medical assistance from Dr. Alfred Brandon, an anaylist who has volunteered to cooperate with both police and school authorities in aiding maladjusted students. This decision is greeted by relief and joy by his girl friend, Arlene, who now feels more secure in their future.
          But, instead of helping Tony, Dr. Brandon uses him as the subject of an experiment in regression. And after a few sessions, under the influece of hypnosis, diabolically implanted auto-suggestion and an injection of a secret drug, he succeeds in taking Tony back in time to a primitive, animal period in his evolution.
          As a result, Rockdale is shocked by a series of brutal, unpremeditated murders of teenagers, which finally point to Tony as the perpetrator. (One of the victims is Theresa, the girlfriend of his friend Jimmy, in the school gymnasium).
          In a suspenseful scene, Tony in his guise as werewolf, seeks and implores help from Dr. Brandon to restore him to his normal life. When this is refused, Tony, in a shattering climax, kills both the doctor and his assistant and destroys all evidence of his transformation and its methods. His savage existence is mercifully ended by police bullets and in death, he returns to the normal, human appearance of a teenage student.
(Taken from the original pressbook)

          Considering the budget and the fact it was filmed in a week, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF is a much better movie than most people and critics are willing to admit. Whit Bissell is excellent as Dr. Brandon and Michael Landon gives a terrific performance in the dual-role of Tony and the werewolf. Gene Fowler Jr., an academy award winning film editor, does a very fine job in directing his first film, one which he had second thoughts about doing at first. And I think Philip Scheer's werewolf makeup is one of the better ones created before THE HOWLING and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON revolutionized the concept. The regression storyline seems a bit far-fetched today, but in the 1950's it was used quite often based on the book "The Search for Bridey Murphy" by Morey Bernstein, a businessman and amateur hypnotist. Bernstein claimed that he used hypnosis on Virginia Tighe to regress her to a 19th century woman in Ireland named Bridey Murphy. The reincarnation boom in American publishing had begun.
      Some critics complained that some of the actors playing teenagers were obviously well past their teen years (and many were in their 20's and early 30's) but this was been done frequently in Hollywood. It should be noted that in films like WEST SIDE STORY, which also had older actors playing teenagers, the critics overlooked the same criticism since they praised the film. A lot of adults back in 1957 looked down on movies made for the teenage crowd and panned films like this one. TV comedians poked fun at the title, and the senate even held hearings trying to find a link between all the movies aimed at the teenage moviegoer as being a cause of juvenile delinquency. No connection was found. These films were produced to entertain and to make money for American International Pictures, which it did on both counts.
      I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF is one of my favorite movies and is still considered a cult classic.


          The complete review from Variety, June 1957:
          Summary: Tease-titled science-fictioner, okay upper half of exploitation package. (Hollywood, July 5.) American-International release of a Herman Cohen production. Stars Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime, Whit Bissel, Tony Marshall; features Dawn Richard, Barney Phillips, Ken Miller, Cindy Robbins, Michael Rougas, Robert Griffin, Joseph Mell. Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.; story-screenplay, Ralph Thornton; camera, Joseph La Shelle; editor, George Gittens; music, Paul Dunlap. Previewed July 3, 1957. Running time, 76 Mins.

    Tony Michael Landon Arlene Yvonne Lime Dr. Alfred Brandon Whit Bissell Jimmy Tony Marshall Theresa Dawn Richard Detective Donovan Barney Phillips Vic Ken Miller Pearl Cindy Robbins Frank Michael Rougas Police Chief Baker Robert Griffin Dr. Hugo Wagner Joseph Mell Charles Malcolm Atterbury Doyle Eddie Marr Pepi Vladimir Sokoloff Miss Ferguson Louise Lewis Bill John Launer Chris Stanley Guy Williams Mary Dorothy Crehan


       REVIEW:
      Another in the cycle of regression themes is a combo teenager and science-fiction yarn which should do okay in the exploitation market. American-International will topbill pic with the not-so-good "Invasion of the Saucer-Men" as a horror package.
Only thing new about this Herman Cohen production is a psychiatrist's use of a problem teenager who comes to him for help using the youth for an experiment in regression, but it's handled well enough to meet the requirements of this type film. There are plenty of story points which are sloughed over in the Ralph Thornton screenplay, but good performances help overcome deficiencies. Final reels, where the lad turns into a hairy-headed monster with drooling flangs, are inclined to be played too heavily.
      Michael Landon delivers a first-class characterization as the high school boy constantly in trouble, and has okay support right down the line. Yvonne Lime is pretty as his girl friend who asks him to go to the psychiatrist, and Whit Bissell handles doctor part capably, although some of his lines are pretty thick. Barney Phillips is competent as a detective trying to straighten out Landon, as is Robert Griffin in role of police chief and Dawn Richard as one of Landon's victims.
      Gene Fowler Jr's direction is up to standards of the script and Joseph La Shelle's photography leads technical credits. (Whit.)



Transcript of   I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF



READ this excerpt from actor Kenny Miller's book Hollywood: Inside and Out
about what Kenny remembers happening during the filming of TEENAGE WEREWOLF!




Providence Journal movie review
by film critic Ted Holmberg, June 1957:

The RKO ALBEE theater presents "I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF", an American International Picture, produced by Herman Cohen and directed by Gene Fowler Jr., from a screenplay by Ralph Thornton. The Cast:
Tony-----------------Michael Landon
Arlene------------------Yvonne Lime
Dr. Alfred Brandon-----Whit Bissell
Jimmy-----------------Tony Marshall
Theresa----------------Dawn Richard
Detective Donovan---Barney Phillips


      Whoa there! Enough is too much! Teenagers as rock-n-rollers -- probably. Teenagers as hot-rodders -- possibly. Teenagers as calypsomaniacs -- perhaps.
      But teenagers as werewolves? Maybe I'm out of touch with the younger set but I haven't seen a teenage werewolf all year. Michael Landon in the title role appears as a normal mal-adjusted high school student at the beginning of the film.
     Friends (?) suggest he see a psychiatrist and that's where the trouble begins. This particular psychiatrist needs help himself. He sticks a needle in our hero and the boy grows hair all over his face and a mane to add to his already ample sideburns.
      First thing you know, he's prowling in the local park and chewing up other youngsters. Needless to say this makes him ineligible for the college scholarship and after he has slain his mental adviser, he is disposed of by the police.
      If I were a psychiatrist, a teenager or a werewolf, I think I would ask for equal time to present my side of the story.



The Teenage Werewolf made a brief appearance in a segment of the TV mini-series Stephen King's IT



Mark Statler as the Teenage Werewolf with makeup by Ron Chamberlain at the Monster Mash 2006 in Pennsylvania



      There have been rumors and talk of remaking I Was A Teenage Werewolf; the following is from Cinescape Online, News and Rumors, September 14, 1999:
      "With the recent resurrection of the horror film genre, a number of projects are likely to crawl back up out of their seeming graves. One such project appears to be the long rumored remake of the 1957 cult classic I Was a Teenage Werewolf. According to Variety columnist Michael Fleming, Seven Arts has just signed Anthony Hickox (Waxwork, Hellraiser 3) to direct the potential film which will have a budget in the $25M range. Plans are to create the film in the vein of Dawson’s Creek, plus that cool werewolf." There’s no word on who might be picked to take on the title role made famous in the original by Michael Landon.
      While Hollywood has been remaking a lot of films lately, I Was A Teenage Werewolf seems to have been spared so far. If there is any more news of a remake, I will post any updates.


Disclaimer: I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF was copyright 1957 by Carmel Productions; released by American International Pictures and renewed in 1985 by Selma Enterprises. All rights reserved. No rights given or implied. Do not use any material on this website without permission. Current copyright owner is Susan Nicholson-Hofheinz and Academy Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved. No rights given or implied. Used here for historical, educational and nostalgic purposes with reviews, comments, cast and credits.



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