Two ghosts who were mistakenly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War return to 20th century New England to retrieve a letter from George Washington which would prove their ... See full summary »
Scot Webster tries to save his sister Susan from the clutches of gangster W.S. Bruhl. When Scot comes to Bruhl's rented room, one of the gangster's henchmen collapses into his hands, killed by a gunman. The murderer tosses his gun to Scot and disappears. Since all the evidence points at him, Scot is arrested, tried and sentenced to death. A mad scientist uses his brain to transplant it into a gorilla. After the operation Scot wakes up in the body of a gorilla, eager to get his revenge... Written by
When the dog comes out into the alley and looks up at the ape/monster the camera pans up the side of the apartment building. However, mid-pan the scene apparently jumps to another shot/location as there is a break in the pan. See more »
Paramount makes a rare excursion into Universal territory
1940's THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL, not to be confused with Republic's 1944 THE LADY AND THE MONSTER, was a rare Paramount excursion into Universal horror territory. This was the studio that brought genre fans the 1931 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, 1932's ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, 1933's MURDERS IN THE ZOO, 1939's DR. CYCLOPS, and 1940's THE MAD DOCTOR, all quite distinctive and respectable. Leonard Maltin's review praises the originality of the white slavery angle, depicting how poor Ellen Drew is lured into a life of prostitution, while her brother (Phillip Terry) is executed for a murder he didn't commit, donating his brain to Dr. Parry (the great George Zucco) to use in a surgical procedure that puts his mind in the body of a gorilla. Maltin dismisses the mad doctor stuff as clichéd, but the truth is, all the characters are strictly by the numbers; it's quite possible that if it consisted of one storyline over the other, the results would never be remembered today. Like Boris Karloff in Warners' 1936 THE WALKING DEAD, the vicious racketeers are marked for death from beyond the grave, and the second half of the film shows how the gorilla (Charles Gemora) manages to escape detection as it travels around town, executing all the gangsters with virtually no interference, aided by his faithful dog (!). This is not A BOY AND HIS DOG, and it really is better than it sounds, it's only disappointing in that little is made of Zucco's experiment, and his role is very small. Best of all is Charles Gemora's sensitive portrayal of a gorilla with a human mind, and it is excellent; it couldn't have been easy to act in such a costume, but it looks as good as any from old Hollywood, and is light years superior to Emil Van Horn's embarrassment in Bela Lugosi's THE APE MAN. A remarkable cast of familiar faces make this an easy watch, apart from the condescending Paul Lukas, whose accent was no match for Lugosi's (surely he would have been available). Look fast for unbilled Edward Van Sloan, veteran of Dracula, FRANKENSTEIN, and THE MUMMY, playing the prison warden who helps Zucco get the plot moving toward its inevitable climax (Zucco proved to be even busier than Lionel Atwill in that department).
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