Weird Woman (1944) starring Lon Chaney Jr., Anne Gwynne, Evelyn Ankers
Synopsis of Weird Woman
Weird Woman – When a college professor whose life work is the battle against superstition marries a beautiful woman with a voodoo background, the return to the university leads to bitterness, fighting, and murder. Is it due to voodoo — or something more mundane?
Review of Weird Woman
Part of the Inner Sanctum series of movies, Weird Woman stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the handsome college professor. He not only marries the beautiful Anne Gwynne while off doing research, but has written a best-selling book. His return to his university causes stress with scream queen Evelyn Ankers. She had expected the professor to marry her instead. Another professor is pushed by his wife to write his own book. The goal is to support his push for the chairmanship of the department. A young collegiate is hired by the professor as an assistant, leading to her boyfriend becoming jealous. If this sounds like a soap opera, that’s because it is.
Mixed into this is the newlywed wife doing a voodoo ritual to protect her husband … But he has her destroy it, at which point all the bad things start happening. The question of is it supernatural, or purely natural, is the underlying stress of the movie. The villain of the movie frankly makes me think of Shakespeare’s Iago, where she doesn’t directly do anything. But a slight suggestion here, a minor lie there, and suicide and murder follow.
The acting is good all around, and Weird Woman is an enjoyable movie, that ends more like an episode of Scooby Doo.
Characters in Weird Woman
- Professor Norman Reed (Lon Chaney Jr.) – the handsome professor who has written a best-selling novel battling superstition, and while out doing research in an unspecified South Seas island has his life saved by
- Paula Clayton (Anne Gwynne) – the lovely young woman, daughter of a professor friend, who’s been taken in by the voodoo queen of the island, and marries Professor Reed. This leads to jealousy from
- Ilona Carr (Evelyn Ankers) – Professor Reed’s ex-girlfriend who expected to marry him — and doesn’t take things well
- Professor Millard Sawtelle (Ralph Morgan) – the professor who seeks the chairmanship of the department, and feels threatened by Reed.
- Evelyn Sawtelle (Elizabeth Russell) – Sawtelle’s wife who pushes him too hard …
- Margret Mercer (Lois Collier) – the lovely young college student who becomes Norman’s assistant – and starts to fall for him romantically, leading to jealousy from her boyfriend:
- David Jennings (Phil Brown) – who lets jealousy overpower his common sense, leading to a deadly assault on Reed — deadly for himself
Where have I seen you before?
- Lon Chaney Jr. – it’s a very long list, from the series of The Wolf Man movie to Son of Dracula, Of Mice and Men, and many more
- Evelyn Ankers – the famous “scream queen” who appeared in The Wolf Man, The Mad Ghoul, Ghost of Frankenstein, Hold That Ghost, and much more
- Anne Gwynne – Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, House of Frankenstein
- Ralph Morgan – The Life of Emile Zola, The Monster Maker – also the older brother of Frank Morgan, the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz
- Elizabeth Russell – Bedlam, The Corpse Vanishes, The Curse of the Cat People
- Lois Collier – Boston Blackie, A Night in Casablanca, The Naughty Nineties, Flying Disc from Mars
- Phil Brown – Star Wars (Luke’s Uncle Owen), Superman, The Pink Panther Strikes Again