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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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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 IMDB.com)

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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