7 August 2005 | mail-671
One for the imagination
W W Jacobs was a well known & popular English short story writer of the 1930s - usually sea tales with mystery and The Monkey's Paw is about his best known and oft heard if not a great favourite with amateur dramatic groups (probably because of the small cast). It is a nice little creepy tale with a universal moral - be careful what you wish for.... it could come with a price tag! I originally heard it as a radio play and couldn't wait to read the play itself. This early film version is unknown to me although a variety of adaptations have been produced on film - in one inferior updated case(I forget the title),the paw was replaced by another gimmick. IMDb lists 8 versions including a TV production and it was also included in radio's Suspense & Lights Out! series because it is favourably compared with Lucille Fletcher's radio masterpiece Sorry Wrong No! as a classic of the short story and radio adaptation when only one's imagination can do justice to the imagery & action. The original background was a typical working class English home of the '30s - the rest of the background is just referred to. For once the premise is too possible! 8 out of 10 for the story.