The Monster Walks (February 10, 1932)
Released February 10, 1932: (running time 59 minutes) A murdering ape roams the mansion on a dark and stormy night.
Produced by Cliff P. Broughton and Ralph M. Like
Directed by Frank R. Strayer
Written by Robert Ellis
The Actors: Rex Lease (Dr. Ted Clayton), Vera Reynolds (Ruth Earlton), Sheldon Lewis (Robert Earlton), Mischa Auer (Hanns Krug, Emma's son), Martha Mattox (Mrs. Emma 'Taunty' Krug, housekeeper), Sidney Bracey (William Wilkes, family lawyer), and Willie Best (Exodus, Clayton's driver)
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The Heiress and the Ape
Robert Ellis du Reel was an actor and screenwriter who was married to May Allison. They probably got divorced before he met silent screen star Vera Reynolds in 1926. Actress Vera Reynolds had just divorced her first husband, and Robert Ellis proposed to her. He took her to Greenwich, Connecticut and they stood before someone who recited wedding vows to them, and Vera Reynolds assumed that they were legally married.
The following year, in August of 1927, police and an ambulance were dispatched to their Hollywood home, and they discovered Vera Reynolds writhing in pain in a bathroom with a half-empty bottle of poison on the shelf. Her mother was weeping loudly in the next room. Vera did not die, and later swore to the public that she only had a bit of indigestion.
In March of 1938, Vera Reynolds sued her husband Robert Ellis for Breach of Contract, claiming that he promised to marry her nine years earlier, but in fact had not. Robert Ellis claimed that he had given them the perfect relationship – the illusion and joys of marriage without the troublesome legal bonds. The frustrated actress dropped the suit, probably wondering what her path forward should be. Most of the world still believed that they were happily married.
On December 11, 1938, Vera Reynolds sued for divorce, but the next day instructed her lawyer to dismiss the action, claiming ‘a woman’s privilege to change her mind.’ Vera Reynolds stopped making movies and virtually disappeared from public view, spending her final days in the Motion Picture Country Hospital.
In this adventure, written by her ‘husband’ Robert Ellis, Vera Reynolds is the daughter of a doctor who experiments on apes. With the death of her father, she returns to the family mansion and discovers that she has inherited his vast fortune. Her crippled uncle, the housekeeper, and the housekeeper’s son are not at all happy that they did not get large amounts of money. Suddenly, as the thunder, lightning and heavy rain pound against the mansion, death visits them, possibly from an angry monster ape in the basement. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Mischa Auer, Sheldon Lewis
Rex Lease, Vira Reynolds
Sidney Bracey, Martha Mattox
Sidney Bracey, Mischa Auer
Vera Reynolds, Sheldon Lewis