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Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Monkey's Paw (1948)

Starring Milton Rosmer, Megs Jenkins, Michael Martin Harvey, Eric Micklewood, Brenda Hogan
Directed by Norman Lee
(actor & director credits courtesy

A shopkeeper comes into possession of an ancient monkey's paw, said to have the power to grant three wishes, but wishing on it will also result in tragedy.

Based on a short story by W.W. Jacobs, this British film is a fairly close adaptation of the tale, well-acted by a talented ensemble, although actor Michael Martin Harvey, playing a beggar with a thick Irish brogue, is at times a bit difficult to decipher.  The filmmakers do a good job of capturing the climax of the story exactly as written, in which a wish to bring someone back from the dead brings a clattering at the door, but I was a little disappointed they didn't try to play up the horror more in this scene or give the audience a glimpse behind the door.  Perhaps that approach wouldn't have passed the British censors of the time.  Nonetheless, the film does offer a strong adaptation of a classic tale, that has seen many different versions over the years.

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