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Several murders of nuclear scientists, that baffles Scotland Yard, occur in London about the same time that Bill Locklin, a special officer from the United States State Department, arrives to oversee the transfer of Professor Leon Dushenko, a Russian scientist who as fled the U.S.S.R. An attempt is made on Dushenko's life with a monkey's paw-print found at the scene. Newspaperman reporter Harry Martin is covering the story. Duskenko is moved secretly to a nursing home, while Locklin stumbles onto the hideout of the gang behind the killings. He is captured along with Julia Jackson, niece of Superintendent John Harrington. Locklin is tortured to reveal Dushenko's hiding place but escapes in time to avert Duskenko's murder at the hands of the gang's hired-killer---a midget who is aided by a monkey. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This is a mid-fifties British B picture (aka LITTLE RED MONKEY, the original title, which is on the DVD) for which they brought in the American Richard Conte as a visiting FBI agent, to fetch a Russian scientist defector to America. The script was co-written by Ken Hughes (1922-2001), who also directed it, and whom I knew rather well. Ken was never a highbrow when it came to literature, though his taste in art was good because of his obsession with the paintings of Delvaux, of which he had a gigantic example on his wall above his sofa. (It is now in a national museum somewhere.) I must say, Richard Conte makes just about the least sentimental lover in the history of the cinema. The way he treats the girl who falls in love with him is so rude and inconsiderate that one wonders about his orientation. Never mind. The British police and secret service bungle spectacularly throughout this tale, making mistake after mistake, taking no basic safety or security precautions, and the attempt to look after a major defector is portrayed as an utter farce. A bit too close to real life. It reminds me of the dealings between MI6 and Gaddafi. What is there about the word 'incompetence' that the British security experts do not understand? They presumably have their noses buried too deep in dodgy dossiers, of which there has been a spectacular example recently, something to do with the number 70,000. Hahaha. Well here they go again in this film, letting everybody get killed, with the almost equally hapless Yank finally saving them, more or less by chance. The monkey of the title really exists and climbs up buildings and opens windows for entry by humans to commit dastardly deeds. There are other elements revealed at the end which I shall duly keep top secret, something which no one in the film seems to know the meaning of.
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