The movie Legend of the Werewolf (1975) is a British horror film directed by Freddie Francis. The story is set in 19th century France and begins with a travelling circus run by Maestro Pamponi (Hugh Griffith) stopping off in the middle of the French countryside where his assistant Tiny (Norman Mitchell) discovers a young boy (Mark Weavers) who has been brought up by a pack of wolves. Sensing an attraction for his side show, Pamponi takes the boy in and exhibits him to the general public as the ‘Wolf boy’. Unfortunately for Pamponi, as the years pass and the boy, now named Etoile (David Rintoul), grows up, he disappointingly turns into a rather handsome but never the less dull and somewhat ordinary man which puts an end to his ‘Wolf boy’ days. However, Etoile isn’t completely normal as Tiny finds out one night when the animal inside Etoile is woken and he transforms into a bloodthirsty werewolf! Having killed Tiny, Etoile runs away to Paris where he is given a job by a zookeeper (Ron Moody) and he falls for attractive prostitute Christine (Lynn Dalby) who at first hides what she does for a living. But when Etoile finds out, the beast within him is yet again woken and it’s up to local police inspector Max Gerard (Stefan Gryff) and police surgeon Professor Paul Cataflaque (Peter Cushing) to wade through the resultant dead bodies and try to figure out what’s going on.
The movie Legend of the Werewolf (1975) is a classic werewolf tale that follows the life of Etoile, a man who was raised by wolves and turns into a werewolf on full moon nights. The movie is set in 19th century France and features a travelling circus, a zoo, and a brothel. The plot revolves around Etoile’s obsession with a prostitute named Christine and his transformation into a werewolf. The movie is directed by Freddie Francis and stars Peter Cushing, Ron Moody, and Hugh Griffith.
- Peter Cushing as Professor Paul Cataflanque
- Ron Moody as the Zookeeper
- Lynn Dalby as Christine
- David Rintoul as Etoile/Wolf Boy
- Stefan Gryff as Inspector Max Gerard
- David Bailie as Boulon
- Hugh Griffith as Maestro Pamponi
- Renée Houston as Chou-Chou
- Marjorie Yates as Madame Tellier
- Norman Mitchell as Tiny
- Mark Weavers as Young Etoile
- John Harvey as Prefect
- Pamela Green as Anne-Marie
- Elaine Baillie as Annabelle
- Michael Ripper as Sewerman
- This was Renee Houston’s final film before her death on February 9, 1980, at the age of 77.
- This was Roy Castle’s final film before his death on September 2, 1994, at the age of 62.
- The characters of Prof. Paul (Peter Cushing) and the photographer (Roy Castle) do not feature in the first draft of the storyline.
- The dialogue explicitly avoids certain relevant words with all the synonyms, including “werewolf” (which the protagonist is), “prostitute” (which his romantic interest is), or “brothel” (which is one of the main sets). Instead, when characters are going to utter any of these words, they suddenly change their minds, never pronouncing it out loud but with an implicit understanding that the other person knows what they were going to say – and, in one case, Peter Cushing’s character beats around the bush to not say “brothel”, finally settling for “entertainment house”.
- David Rintoul receives an “introducing” credit.
- Final film of Pamela Green.
- Magazines and Monsters: “This film isn’t on par with Hammer Studios “Curse of the Werewolf“, but only because Oliver Reed was so strong in that one. Otherwise, this is a pretty good knock-off of that film. ”
- Spooky Isles: “In fairness to Legend of the Werewolf 1975, this was a film that showed the changing face of horror. The horrors were becoming visual, hard-hitting, and controversial making this film quaint yet comforting. ”
- Doris V. Sutherland: Werewolf Wednesday: “Alas, Legend of the Werewolf’s plotting misjudgements end up scuppering this potential. At least, that is, until the climax, where Cushing makes a heartfelt appeal to the werewolf’s humanity, and we get a tantalising glimpse of the film that could have been: a worthy successor to Curse of the Werewolf. ”
-  Magazines and Monsters: Legend of the Werewolf (1975)
-  Spooky Isles
-  Doris V. Sutherland: Werewolf Wednesday