The Monster and the Girl
This article needs a plot summary. (June 2020)
The Monster and the Girl is a 1941 American black-and-white horror film. The film revolves around a small-town church organist named Scot Webster (Philip Terry) attempts to save his sister, Susan (Ellen Drew) from the clutches of big city gangster W. S. Bruhl (Paul Lukas). When one of Bruhl's gang members is double-crossed in Bruhl's rented room, and killed by a gunman, the man tosses him the gun and disappears. Scot is tried and executed. A scientist (George Zucco) salvages his brain and transplants it into a gorilla. Using the strength of his new, bestial body, Webster begins stalking the gangsters to exact his revenge.
|The Monster and the Girl|
|Directed by||Stuart Heisler|
|Produced by||Jack Moss|
|Screenplay by||Stuart Anthony|
|Edited by||Everett Douglas|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures, Inc.|
- Ellen Drew as Susan Webster
- Robert Paige as Larry Reed
- Paul Lukas as W. S. Bruhl
- Joseph Calleia as 'Deacon'
- Onslow Stevens as J. Stanley McMasters
- George Zucco as Dr. Perry
- Rod Cameron as Sam Daniels
- Phillip Terry as Scot Webster
- Marc Lawrence as Sleeper
- Gerald Mohr as Munn
- Bud Jamison as Jim
- Emory Parnell as Policeman
The Monster and the Girl was developed under the title of Dead On Arrival and was written as D.O.A..After the release of Michael Curtiz's film The Walking Dead in 1936, a few films combined genre themes of crime films and science-fiction horror. These included The Man They Could Not Hang , Before I Hang, and Black Friday all which starred Boris Karloff and featured individuals who return from being dead to exact revenge. The Monster and the Girl used these themes but applied it to a monster movie theme for The Monster and the Girl. The censorship board rejected original story ideas due the plot dealing with white slavery and homicide. The script was changed by to imply Susan's entrapment by Munn. This also changed Susan being forced into prostitution ans works as a bar hostess to pay off the debt for her apartment. The film went into production in Late July and finished filming in late August 1940.
The Monster and the Girl was distributed theatrically by Paramount Pictures on February 28, 1941. After its release, the Milwaukee Film Commission withdrew the film from theaters on the grounds that it was a "white slavery" film. The ban also stated that it showcased juries as being under gangster control which would make it impossible impossible for justice to be carried out.
The Monster and the Girl is set for release on blu ray by Scream Factory on June 16, 2020 as the fifth volume in their Universal Horror Collection, along with Captive Wild Woman, Jungle Woman and Jungle Captive.
Blair Davis, author of Recovering 1940s Horror Cinema described the reception of the film as positive. A review in The Chicago Tribune calling it "weird and skeery [sic] no end" but full of "snappy dialog [sic]| The review added that Ellen Drew "depicts stark terror so realistically that I feel she is scheduled to slip into the boot of Fay Wray." Variety called the film "a chiller-diller that will send fans of goose-pimply melodrama from the theaters amply satisfied" and "red meat of the bugaboo ticket buyers."
From retrospective reviews, Craig Butler of AllMovie declared the film as "definitely one of the strangest pictures ever made." that was still "fairly effective and entertaining little "B" flick -- and not one that gets by just on camp value." Noting that the stories plot points were ridiculous, but "has some very interesting points, including a mixture of noir and horror which, while not totally successful, offers some rewards" and that "the cast is also much better than one usually finds in horror films of this type."
- Davis, Blair (2014). "Of Apes and Men (and Monsters and Girls): The Ape Film and 1940s Horror Cinema". In Degiglio-Bellemare, Mario; Ellbe, Charlie; Woofter, Kristopher (eds.). Recovering 1940s Horror Cinema. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1-4985-0379-2.
- Butler, Craig. "The Monster and the Girl (1941)". AllMovie. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- Meehan, Paul (2014). Horror Noir: Where Cinema's Dark Sister Meet. McFarland. ISBN 0786462191.
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