THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984) Reviews and overview

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company of wolves

The Company of Wolves is a 1984 British fantasy horror film directed by Neil Jordan (Byzantium; Interview with a Vampire), written by Angela Carter and Jordan, and starring Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Stephen Rea and David Warner.


The film is based on the werewolf story of the same name in Angela Carter’s short story collection The Bloody Chamber. Carter herself co-wrote the screenplay with Jordan, based on her own short story and her earlier adaptation of The Company of Wolves for radio.

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The Company of Wolves is a psychologically-themed retelling of the age-old fable “Little Red Riding Hood”, which director Neil Jordan approached from a Freudian and slightly feminist angle. Angela Lansbury plays Grandma, who tells her dreaming granddaughter (Sarah Patterson) bizarre stories of handsome yet heavily eye-browed strange men, spouses who disappear during full moons, and storks and eggs.

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” …The Company of Wolves, as might be expected when you mix a writer of Angela Carter’s calibre with a then emergent Neil Jordan, emerges with a genuine conceptual dazzle.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“Like all the best fairy-tales, the film is purely sensual, irrational, fuelled by an immense joy in storytelling and is totally lucid. It’s also a true original, with the most beautiful visual effects to emerge from Britain in years.” Geoff Andrew, Time Out Film Guide


“Among those who know of its existence, at least those who didn’t feel ripped off for not getting the American Werewolf in London knockoff they were promised, it has become a minor classic, the kind of film that rewards a viewer’s patience with new meanings and treasures in each repeated viewing.” Joshua Zyber, DVD Talk


“Everyone concerned with making Company of Wolves seemed to think they were making high art, but to modern audiences it’s just not that clever.” Chris Wood, British Horror Films


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Cast and characters:

  • Sarah Patterson as Rosaleen
  • Angela Lansbury as Granny
  • David Warner as Father – The Omen
  • Tusse Silberg as Mother
  • Micha Bergese as Huntsman
  • Brian Glover as Amorous Boy’s father – An American Werewolf in London
  • Graham Crowden as Old Priest – Britannia Hospital
  • Kathryn Pogson as Young Bride
  • Stephen Rea as Young Groom
  • Georgia Slowe as Alice, Girl Killed by Wolves
  • Susan Porrett as Amorous Boy’s mother
  • Shane Johnstone as Amorous Boy
  • Dawn Archibald as Witch Woman
  • Richard Morant as Wealthy Groom
  • Danielle Dax as Wolfgirl
  • Jim Carter as Second Husband [uncredited]
  • Terence Stamp as The Devil [uncredited]

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