The Monster and the Girl (1941)

64 mins | Horror | 28 February 1941

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Writer:

Stuart Anthony

Producer:

Jack Moss

Cinematographer:

Victor Milner

Editor:

Everett Douglas

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Haldane Douglas

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Dead On Arrival , also written as D.O.A. Although there was a copyright statement on the film, it was not included in the Copyright Catalog. The film opens with a scene in which the character of "Susan Webster" emerges from a fog and speaks directly to the audience: "I'm Susan, the bad luck penny. I brought a million dollars worth of trouble for everybody. I reached so hard for the stars I forgot to look where I was walking. I wonder how things would be if...." The camera then fades out to the courtroom where "Scot Webster" is on trial.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA rejected the original story idea as it dealt with white slavery and homicide. Paramount got around the white slavery issue by altering the implications of Susan's entrapment by "Munn." Thus, rather than being forced into prostitution, Susan is forced into working as a "b-girl" (a bar hostess) to pay off the debt for the apartment and the party. A letter from Paramount to the PCA noted that "when [Susan] saw what this was leading to she made a determined effort to get out of the business before she became a prostitute, but that as far as the world at large was concerned, it was too late, as she was already a marked woman...." Nevertheless, after its release, the Milwaukee Film Commission withdrew the film from theaters as a "white slavery" picture, additionally noting the following in a letter to the PCA: "It holds up the court and the jury system ... More Less

The working title of this film was Dead On Arrival , also written as D.O.A. Although there was a copyright statement on the film, it was not included in the Copyright Catalog. The film opens with a scene in which the character of "Susan Webster" emerges from a fog and speaks directly to the audience: "I'm Susan, the bad luck penny. I brought a million dollars worth of trouble for everybody. I reached so hard for the stars I forgot to look where I was walking. I wonder how things would be if...." The camera then fades out to the courtroom where "Scot Webster" is on trial.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA rejected the original story idea as it dealt with white slavery and homicide. Paramount got around the white slavery issue by altering the implications of Susan's entrapment by "Munn." Thus, rather than being forced into prostitution, Susan is forced into working as a "b-girl" (a bar hostess) to pay off the debt for the apartment and the party. A letter from Paramount to the PCA noted that "when [Susan] saw what this was leading to she made a determined effort to get out of the business before she became a prostitute, but that as far as the world at large was concerned, it was too late, as she was already a marked woman...." Nevertheless, after its release, the Milwaukee Film Commission withdrew the film from theaters as a "white slavery" picture, additionally noting the following in a letter to the PCA: "It holds up the court and the jury system as being under gangster control, making it impossible for justice to be carried out. It also makes scientists appear as ego-maniacs, using our laboratories for a purpose which brings them in ill-repute. The transferring of human brain to a gorilla is very obnoxious and fantastic. The gruesomeness of this picture does not seem to set very well with the public...." The ape was played by an unbilled actor, according to the Var review. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Feb 1941.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1941.
---
Film Daily
24 Mar 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Feb 1941.
---
New York Times
20 Mar 41
p. 25.
Variety
26 Mar 41
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
George F. Meader
John H. Dilson
Edward Rickard
Billy Wilkerson
Harry M. Templeton
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
SOURCES
SONGS
"Without You," music and lyrics by Bob Page, Glen Alexander and Ormond Ruthven
"Heav'n, Heav'n," traditional Negro spiritual, arranged by Henry Thacker Burleigh.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dead on Arrival
DOA
Release Date:
28 February 1941
Production Date:
late July--late August 1940
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
64
Length(in feet):
5,806
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6778
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Scot Webster is on trial for the murder of Wade Stanton. Tips, a bellhop at the hotel where the murder occurred, testifies that he saw Scot holding a gun and standing over Wade's body. When Scot takes the stand, he says that he came into town two months earlier looking for someone named Larry Reed, and was led to a gangster named Bruhl: After Scot seeks out Bruhl to find Larry, Bruhl makes an appointment to meet him at Wade's room at the Regent Hotel, but when Scot arrives, he hears Wade arguing with Bruhl over money. When Wade opens the door, Bruhl's thug, Munn, shoots him, tosses the gun toward Scot and escapes, as Wade falls into Scot's arms. After Tips's testimony, prosecuting district attorney McMasters claims that no such person as Larry Reed exists. Scot's sister Susan demands to be heard and tells her story on the stand: Although Scot is happy playing the church organ and working at their small-town post office, Susan aspires to a more glamorous life and leaves for the big city, despite Scot's protest. Unable to find work, Susan meets Larry Reed at the employment agency. Susan falls in love with Larry, a charmer who says all the right things, and hastily marries him after only two weeks. Unknown to Susan, they are married by Deacon, a thug of Bruhl's posing as a priest. On their honeymoon night, a party awaits them at Larry's apartment, and Bruhl's thugs Munn and Sleeper are among the guests. The next morning, Susan awakens alone and discovers that she is being held prisoner by Munn, who now insists that "Larry" is a figment of her ... +


Scot Webster is on trial for the murder of Wade Stanton. Tips, a bellhop at the hotel where the murder occurred, testifies that he saw Scot holding a gun and standing over Wade's body. When Scot takes the stand, he says that he came into town two months earlier looking for someone named Larry Reed, and was led to a gangster named Bruhl: After Scot seeks out Bruhl to find Larry, Bruhl makes an appointment to meet him at Wade's room at the Regent Hotel, but when Scot arrives, he hears Wade arguing with Bruhl over money. When Wade opens the door, Bruhl's thug, Munn, shoots him, tosses the gun toward Scot and escapes, as Wade falls into Scot's arms. After Tips's testimony, prosecuting district attorney McMasters claims that no such person as Larry Reed exists. Scot's sister Susan demands to be heard and tells her story on the stand: Although Scot is happy playing the church organ and working at their small-town post office, Susan aspires to a more glamorous life and leaves for the big city, despite Scot's protest. Unable to find work, Susan meets Larry Reed at the employment agency. Susan falls in love with Larry, a charmer who says all the right things, and hastily marries him after only two weeks. Unknown to Susan, they are married by Deacon, a thug of Bruhl's posing as a priest. On their honeymoon night, a party awaits them at Larry's apartment, and Bruhl's thugs Munn and Sleeper are among the guests. The next morning, Susan awakens alone and discovers that she is being held prisoner by Munn, who now insists that "Larry" is a figment of her imagination. Munn insists that she is in debt for the party and the apartment, and threateningly recommends that she entertain male guests at a low-class cabaret run by Bruhl. On the stand, Susan insists that Scot was only trying to protect her, but McMasters discredits her because of her profession, and the judge declares her testimony inadmissible. Scot is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to execution. Before he is taken from court, Scot looks directly at his enemies and vows that he will avenge himself, while Susan is comforted by reporter Sam Daniels, who takes her home to live with his aunt Della. In prison, an hysterical Scot agrees to allow scientist Dr. Parry to use his brain for an experiment after he is executed. Later, Susan goes to see Bruhl to plead for Scot's life, and is surprised to see Larry among Bruhl's company. Bruhl refuses to assist her, and Sam takes Susan home. After Scot is executed, Parry immediately performs surgery and implants Scot's brain into an ape, who then becomes animated by Scot's thoughts. Recalling the injustice of his imprisonment and death, the ape escapes from his cage and goes on a rampage, first killing McMasters. Bruhl is alarmed by news of McMasters' death, and when Sleeper becomes unnerved by the thought that Scot is somehow meting out his revenge, Bruhl sends him home, but sends Deacon to follow and finish him off. The ape is drawn to Sam's house, where he looks fondly on a sleeping Susan, and is recognized by Scot's pet dog, Skipper. When Bruhl sends Munn to kidnap Susan, the ape murders the thug. Dimwitted homicide investigators Captain Alton and Lieutenant Strickland imagine that Susan is behind the murders, although all of the victims have been crushed to death. Deacon kidnaps Susan, while the ape, followed by Skipper, murders Sleeper at his apartment. Although Sleeper is dead when Deacon arrives, the killer thinks he is only sleeping and shoots him. The ape then kills Deacon and escapes to the roof after the police arrive. Suspecting the truth, Parry arrives at the scene and, seeing the ape on the roof, tips off a policeman as to the identity of the killer. However, the ape overhears him and continues on to Bruhl's apartment, where Bruhl is hitting Susan to make her talk. Outraged that she is being brutalized, the ape crashes through a window. Larry attempts to shoot the ape, but kills Bruhl instead. Larry then unloads his gun into the ape, and the ape kills him. After giving Susan a long, beseeching look, the ape collapses and dies. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.