The Monster and The Girl
Paramount 1941
Starring Ellen Drew, Robert Paige, Paul Lukas, Rod Cameron, Mark Lawrence, Joseph Caleir,
Phillip Terry, Skipper, Onslow Stevens, George Zucco, and Charlie Gemora.
Universal Home Video
VHS Only
Out of Print
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The title for this picture is grossly misleading. While there is a girl, there is no overt monster. There are, however, quite a few human monsters in this tearjerker photo play involving man's inhumanity to himself and the world around him (and her).

The story is a simple tale of revenge. The hero is framed by the mob and before the state takes his life, he swears to exact his revenge on the mobsters who done him wrong. The horror element is that his body is donated to science, and his brain is transplanted into the body of a mad scientist's ape. Like most films of the genre', the ape goes ape and snaps a lot of gangsters' spines, but there's a unique twist to this show. Like Universal's The Man Made Monster, a clever canine befriends the so-called monster and an element of pathos emerges and eventually dominates the film. The ape and dog become inseparable, even whe the ape goes on his murderous rampages, and their story is heartfelt offscreen as well.

In Monster Kid Memories (Dinoship Press 2003), Bob Burns relates a touching story to his co-author Tom Weaver about gorilla guy Charlie Gemora's relationship with his canine co-star Skipper. Skipper's trainer was concerned that the dog would react badly when Charlie was in the ape suit, so the trainer introduced Skipper to Charlie sans his simian costume. The dog was reintroduced to Charlie with the gorilla getup on, and the pooch reacted no differently to Charlie with or without the suit. When the dog followed the gorilla, it was out of genuine affection. Gemora also told Bob that The Monster and The Girl was a favorite, because he was allowed to play the gorilla realistically. Charlie played many gorillas in his long career, including the Universal classic Lugosi Murders in the Rue Morgue starring Bela Lugosi, and the fearsome "Sultan" in Phantom of the Rue Morgue. He also appeared in George Pal's War of the Worlds as the tri-lensed Martian.

The Monster and The Girl is one of Paramount's best B-flicks of the 1940s, with topnotch performances from the entire cast, and a script that reaches beyond the budgetary limits to provide maximum entertainment for all ages.

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