|Maleva the Gypsy|
|Maleva the Gypsy|
|Type:||Gypsy fortune teller|
|Location:||Llanwelly Village, Wales|
|Known relatives:||Bela |
|Status:||Deceased by virtue of time era|
|1st appearance:||The Wolf Man|
|Final:||Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man|
Maleva is a fictional Gypsy and a supporting character featured in the "Universal Monsters" film series produced by Universal Pictures. Played by actress Maria Ouspenskaya, she first appeared in the 1941 movie, The Wolf Man. Ouspenskaya reprised the role of Maleva the Gypsy in the 1943 film, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.
Maleva was an old gypsy woman who traveled with her caravan to the village of Llanwelly in 1941. Her son, Bela, who worked as a fortune teller was also a werewolf, and Maleva was charged with not only keeping others safe, but keeping him safe as well. Bela was killed by Welsh aristocrat Larry Talbot, who beat him to death with a silver-tipped walking stick. Maleva presided over Bela's funeral and even exchanged words with a priest who expressed displeasure with the gypsy's pagan funerary practices. Maleva noted that these were customs that the gypsies had clung to for over a thousand years. "I could not change them, even if I wanted to", she was quoted as saying.
Maleva approached Larry Talbot and explained to him how her son was a werewolf. She further illustrated that anyone who survives being bitten by a werewolf, would in turn become a werewolf themself. Larry disbelieved her, but Maleva gave Talbot a charm, which she claimed would protect him from the curse. Whether Maleva's words were truthful or not remains unknown, for Talbot gave the pentagram-etched necklace away to a woman named Gwen Conliffe.
As Maleva warned, Larry Talbot transformed into a werewolf and murdered a local gravedigger named Richardson. She knew that Talbot would continue to suffer the curse, just as Bela did. On the third night of the full moon, Talbot transformed once again and began stalking the marshlands near the camp. Maleva came upon his father, Sir John Talbot, and warned him about the werewolf. Deep down, John suspected the truth about his son, but Maleva pointed out how Larry's silver-tipped cane would be the key to "saving" him. Sir John fought with the Wolf Man and succeed in killing him with the silver cane. Maleva crouched next to the Wolf Man's body as he resumed human form, muttering a prayer, "The way you walked was thorny; through no fault of your own. But as the rain enters the soil; the river enters the sea; so tears run to a predestined end". 
Four years later, Maleva was shocked to discover that Larry Talbot had rose from the dead. He had returned to Llanwelly and begged Maleva to help him to either cure him of his lycanthropy or, failing that, find a way to end his life forever. Maleva told him about a man named Doctor Frankenstein, whose knowledge of science might help him where occultism and superstition failed.
Maleva accompanied Talbot to the village of Vasaria, only to discover that Doctor Frankenstein had died some time earlier. Talbot refused to give up hope and he began making inquirires in the village as to who owned Frankenstein Castle. The villagers did not like hearing anything that had to do with the legacy of Frankenstein. Suspecting that Maleva might be a trouble maker, they had her arrested. Talbot and a woman named Elsa Frankenstein, liberated Maleva from prison and she accompanied them to Frankenstein Castle where they had hoped to find a cure for Larry's condition. Maleva kept a silent vigil over their work, occasionally helping them to renovate the old laboratory or ride into town for supplies. The curse could not be lifted however and Talbot became the Wolf Man once again. 
What became of Maleva following the affair in Vasaria is unknown.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- The character of Maleva the Gypsy was created by director George Waggner and screenwriter Curt Siodmak.
See also Edit
This article relates to characters featured in and pertaining to the Universal Monsters franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Universal Classics characters category.