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The Monkey's Paw (1933)

Passed | | Horror | 13 January 1933 (USA)
A mother wishes for the return of her dead son--a wish that is granted by the severed paw of a dead monkey.

Directors:

Wesley Ruggles, Ernest B. Schoedsack (uncredited)

Writers:

W.W. Jacobs (story), Graham John | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ivan F. Simpson ... Mr. White
Louise Carter ... Mrs. White
C. Aubrey Smith ... Sgt. Maj. Morris
Bramwell Fletcher ... Herbert White
Betty Lawford ... Rose
Winter Hall ... Mr. Hartigan
Herbert Bunston ... Sampson
Nina Quartero ... Nura
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Storyline

A mother wishes for the return of her dead son--a wish that is granted by the severed paw of a dead monkey.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See This Throbbing Drama Before You Play With Fire! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La main de singe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Often considered a lost (and much sought-after) film, a French copy is known to survive and screenshots from it have been posted on the internet. See more »

Connections

Version of The Monkey's Paw (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very scary movie, and not just because I was only 9 when I saw it!
30 December 2000 | by Dick-42See all my reviews

I remember this movie from seeing it on a kids' matinée at Peoples, a neighborhood theater in Dayton, Ohio, in 1933 or '34, when I was 9 years old. It was so scary that the memory has stuck with me for some 71 years.

I could not summarize the plot in any great detail; nor would I want to, since it would be a forbidden spoiler in case the film should ever turn up on the cable or elsewhere.

The story is set in a small European village -- in Transylvania, or some such place. It seems that it was always raining, with lightning and thunder, and people coming in wet and cold, and that most of the action took place at night -- a real film noir!

Mr. and Mrs. White somehow acquired a mummified hand or paw of a small monkey, perhaps from a stranger who came in from the cold. The paw was said to have magical or supernatural powers, endowing the owners with the privilege of making THREE wishes. (It's always three, isn't it?)

After a little discussion, Mrs. White convinced her husband to wish for a great deal of money, since the Whites were of modest means. White nervously held the paw in his hand and spoke the wish for money. At that instant, naturally, there was a blinding flash of lightning close by with an immediate crash of thunder! The dead hand of the monkey contracted into a fist momentarily, then returned to its curved-fingers relaxed position. I saw this clearly on the screen, but I'm not sure the characters in the movie saw it. In any case, nothing happened, and the Whites, and the others who were in the house laughed it off.

In a day or so, however, the Whites received word that they were to receive a large sum of money from an insurance settlement. That was the good news. The trouble was the event that caused the big payoff ... . You didn't think they'd get money for free, did you?

Well, as it turned out -- and as you'd no doubt guess -- the other two wishes were used up in a desperate attempt to recover from the disaster produced by the first. It was all tied up with ghostly illusions and thunder and lightning and rain and floods, and all kinds of troubles that scared the socks off the kids in the movie house. At least it did me.

After all these years, I have a very warm feeling about this movie. I believe it was a first rate horror film, though definitely a low budget, "B-movie" filler to kill time before they showed the cowboy movie that we had really paid our dime to see. I feel that my recollections of it are vivid enough and accurate enough to justify my entering a favorable vote for it in the Data Base. I wish a print of it were available somewhere so the cable people could show it to us.


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