The Notorious Lone Wolf

Last updated
The Notorious Lone Wolf
The notorious lone wolf poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Screenplay by Martin Berkeley
Edward Dein
Story byWilliam J. Bowers
Based on Lone Wolf
by Louis Joseph Vance
Produced by Ted Richmond
Starring Gerald Mohr
Janis Carter
Eric Blore
Cinematography Burnett Guffey
Edited by Richard Fantl
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
February 1946
Running time
64 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Notorious Lone Wolf is a 1946 American mystery film directed by D. Ross Lederman and starring Gerald Mohr, Janis Carter and Eric Blore. It is the twelfth Lone Wolf film produced by Columbia Pictures. The picture features Mohr in his inaugural performance as the protagonist detective Lone Wolf alongside Janis Carter and Ian Wolfe as Adam Wainwright, the film's antagonist. The screenplay was written by Martin Berkeley, Edward Dein, and William J. Bowers.


The film centres on former jewel looter Michael Lanyard, also known by his alias "Lone Wolf", aiming to clear his name after he is accused of murdering a bar dancer. At the same time, he races to retrieve a stolen piece of jewellery. Filming took place in October and November 1945. The Notorious Lone Wolf was theatrically released in the United States in February 1946.


Having left the Army, reformed jewel thief and current detective Michael Lanyard (Gerald Mohr), or the Lone Wolf, returns to New York from England to find his lover Carla Winter (Janis Carter). On the way, he is tipped off by Inspector Crane (William Davidson) of the looting of the Shalimar, a diamond co-owned by the Prince of Rapur (Olaf Hytten) and Lal Bara (John Abbott). It is revealed that the jewel thief is Stonely (Don Beddoe), owner of a bar.

Meanwhile, Winter's sister Rita (Adelle Roberts) requests Lanyard's help. Her husband, Dick Hale (Robert Scott), has been cheating on his wife and is having an intimate affair with Lilli (Virginia Hunter), a performer at Stonely's bar. The Lone Wolf and Hale go to the bar together, only to find Lilli murdered. Lanyard is pinpointed by the suspicious police as the perpetrator. He manages to escape and sets out to find the mastermind. Disguised as the Rapurian prince, Lanyard meets jeweller Adam Wainwright (Ian Wolfe), who promises to retrieve the stolen Shalimar in exchange for a promised reward.

Lanyard quickly receives news from Wainwright that he has found the looted piece of jewellery. However, it is swiped away by Stonely when Lanyard meets Wainwright at the latter's shop. The Lone Wolf alerts the police; both Stonely and Wainwright are caught, with the jeweller being found guilty of murdering Lilli. Lanyard returns home to Winter but their residence catches fire halfway into their love-making so as to end the intimacy in accordance with the prevailing censorship of the time.



After a sickly Warren William decided to discontinue playing the title character Lone Wolf, Gerald Mohr was roped in by Columbia Pictures, the production company and the distributor, to replace William. [1] Mohr had previously acted as a minor figure in One Dangerous Night (1943), the ninth Lone Wolf film. [2] Eric Blore continued playing Lanyard's butler Jamison, [3] his ninth time doing so, [4] while Janis Carter acted as Lanyard's lover. [3] A kissing scene between Carter's character and Mohr's one was described as "daring" for the time period it was made in. [5]

While still a work-in-progress, the film was referred to as The Lone Wolf on Broadway. [5] D. Ross Lederman served as director of the film. Ted Richmond was in charge of production for Columbia Pictures, while Martin Berkeley and Edward Dein wrote the screenplay based on a story by William J. Bowers. Burnett Guffey signed on as cinematographer. The set decorator was Frank Kramer. Mischa Bakaleinikoff headed the musical direction, and Richard Fantl edited the film. Principal photography officially began on October 22, 1945, and ended on November 5, 1945. [3]


The Notorious Lone Wolf opened in American cinemas in February 1946. [3] A reviewer for the magazine Variety lauded the "high-polished routine material" by the "able cast". [5] In evaluating the film in his 2012 book Columbia Pictures Movie Series, 1926—1955: The Harry Cohn Years, Gene Blottner expressed disappointment at most of the cast's acting skills. He wrote that the comedy in the film was "clumsy and forced" and it was only a "so-so effort in the renewal of the Lone Wolf series." [5]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gerald Mohr</span> American actor (1914–1968)

Gerald Mohr was an American radio, film, and television character actor and frequent leading man, who appeared in more than 500 radio plays, 73 films, and over 100 television shows.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louis Joseph Vance</span> American novelist

Louis Joseph Vance was an American novelist, screenwriter and film producer. He created the popular character Michael Lanyard, a criminal-turned-detective known as The Lone Wolf.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lone Wolf (character)</span>

The Lone Wolf is the nickname of the fictional character Michael Lanyard, a jewel thief turned private detective in a series of novels written by Louis Joseph Vance (1879–1933). Many films based on and inspired by the books have been made. The character also appeared briefly on radio and television.

<i>The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt</i> 1939 film by Peter Godfrey

The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt is a 1939 American adventure film directed by Peter Godfrey and written by Jonathan Latimer. The film stars Warren William and Ida Lupino. The film was released by Columbia Pictures on January 27, 1939.

<i>The False Faces</i> 1919 film

The False Faces is a 1919 American silent action film written and directed by Irvin Willat, based on the novel by Louis Joseph Vance, and starring Henry B. Walthall as Michael Lanyard, the "Lone Wolf," and Lon Chaney as Karl Ekstrom, the villain. A complete print of the film survives at the George Eastman House and at the Turner Film Library. It was thought to be lost for years, but was later found and somewhat restored. Director Willat was originally to have shared co-directing chores with Jerome Storm, but when the film's production was moved back from August to October, he ended up being the sole director.

<i>Secrets of the Lone Wolf</i> 1940 film

Secrets of the Lone Wolf is a 1941 American crime film directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Warren William. It is part of Columbia Pictures series of Lone Wolf films.

Counter-Espionage is a 1942 American comedy film directed by Edward Dmytryk. Counter-Espionage was the ninth film in Columbia's Lone Wolf series, based on characters created by Louis Joseph Vance. It is also known as The Lone Wolf in Scotland Yard.

<i>The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady</i> 1940 film by Sidney Salkow

The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady is a 1940 American drama directed by Sidney Salkow, starring Warren William, Eric Blore and Jean Muir.

<i>The Lone Wolf in Paris</i> 1938 film by Albert S. Rogell

The Lone Wolf in Paris is a 1938 American mystery film, one of Columbia's Lone Wolf film series.

<i>The Lone Wolf in London</i> 1947 film by Leslie Goodwins

The Lone Wolf in London is a 1947 American mystery crime film directed by Leslie Goodwins and starring Gerald Mohr, Nancy Saunders and Eric Blore. The picture features the fictional Scotland Yard detective the Lone Wolf who travels to London, and solves the mystery of some missing jewels. It was the penultimate Lone Wolf film, followed by The Lone Wolf and His Lady in 1949, and the last for Mohr in the lead role.

<i>Passport to Suez</i> 1943 film by André de Toth

Passport to Suez is the 20th film featuring the Lone Wolf character. It was the eleventh of fifteen in the Columbia Pictures series, and the last to star Warren William as the lead character, a jewel thief turned private detective. The Lone Wolf battles Nazi spies in Egypt in World War II.

<i>The Lone Wolf in Mexico</i> 1947 film by D. Ross Lederman

The Lone Wolf in Mexico is a 1947 American black-and-white mystery-adventure film directed by D. Ross Lederman for Columbia Pictures. It features Gerald Mohr as the title character, detective Lone Wolf. Chronologically the third-to-last Lone Wolf film in Columbia's theatrical series, it was followed by The Lone Wolf in London later in 1947 and The Lone Wolf and His Lady in 1949.

<i>One Dangerous Night</i> 1943 film by Michael Gordon

One Dangerous Night (1943) is the tenth Lone Wolf film produced by Columbia Pictures. It features Warren William in his seventh and second-to-last performance as the protagonist jewel thief turned detective Lone Wolf, and Warren Ashe as Sidney Shaw, the film's antagonist. The film was directed by Michael Gordon and written by Arnold Phillips, Max Nosseck, and Donald Davis.

<i>The Lone Wolf and His Lady</i> 1949 film by John Hoffman

The Lone Wolf and His Lady is a 1949 American mystery film directed by John Hoffman and starring Ron Randell, June Vincent and Alan Mowbray. It is the 15th and final Lone Wolf film produced by Columbia Pictures, and was written by Edward Dein and Michael Stuart Boylan.

<i>Devil Goddess</i> 1955 American film directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet

Devil Goddess (1955) is the sixteenth and final Jungle Jim film produced by Columbia Pictures. It features Johnny Weissmuller in his third and last performance as the protagonist adventurer Johnny Weissmuller, and his final film as well. It co-starred Ed Hinton and William Tannen as the film's antagonists, Leopold and Nels Comstock, respectively. Angela Stevens also stars. The film was directed by Spencer G. Bennet and written by Dwight Babcock and George H. Plympton.

<i>The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date</i> 1940 film by Sidney Salkow

The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date (1941) is the sixth Lone Wolf film produced by Columbia Pictures. It features Warren William, in his fourth appearance as the title character Lone Wolf, and Edward Gargan, Lester Matthews and Don Beddoe as the film's antagonists. The film was directed by Sidney Salkow and written by Salkow and Earl Felton.

<i>The Lone Wolf</i> (1917 film) 1917 film by Herbert Brenon

The Lone Wolf is a 1917 American silent drama film based on the 1914 novel The Lone Wolf by Louis Joseph Vance. Starring Bert Lytell and Hazel Dawn, it was adapted for the screen by George Edwardes-Hall and produced and directed by Herbert Brenon. No prints of the film are known to survive, so it is currently classified as lost.

<i>The Lone Wolf Strikes</i> 1940 film directed by Sidney Salkow

The Lone Wolf Strikes is a 1940 crime drama film directed by Sidney Salkow, which stars Warren William, Joan Perry, and Eric Blore.

The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance is a 1941 American mystery film directed by Sidney Salkow, which stars Warren William, June Storey, and Henry Wilcoxon. Salkow also wrote the original screenplay, along with Earl Felton, and the film was released on March 6, 1941. It is the sixth Lone Wolf film produced by Columbia Pictures, and the fourth appearance of William as the title character Lone Wolf.

<i>The Lone Wolf Returns</i> (1935 film) 1935 film by Roy William Neill

The Lone Wolf Returns is a 1935 American mystery crime film directed by Roy William Neill and starring Melvyn Douglas, Gail Patrick and Tala Birell. Douglas plays jewel thief Michael Lanyard, aka the Lone Wolf. Retired, the Lone Wolf is forced back into crime, but turns the tables on his enemies. It is based on the 1923 Louis Joseph Vance novel The Lone Wolf Returns, which had previously been made into a 1926 film of the same name.


  1. Mayer 2012, p. 256.
  2. Hardy 1997, p. 207.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Blottner 2012, p. 248.
  4. "The Notorious Lone Wolf". The Advertiser. March 13, 1947. pp. 13–.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Blottner 2012, p. 249.