Skullduggery (1970 film)

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Skullduggery (1970) is a science fiction film directed by Gordon Douglas, starring Burt Reynolds, Susan Clark, and Edward Fox, and produced by Saul David.

The screenplay is based on the French novel Les Animaux dénaturés (1952)—variously titled in English as You Shall Know Them, Borderline, and The Murder of the Missing Link—by Jean Bruller ("Vercors").


On an expedition in Papua New-Guinea a tribe of apelike creatures is found. They are named the Tropis. Quickly they are being used as slaves by humans.

Then one of the Tropis is allegedly murdered. The following murder trial centers round the question: are the Tropis a form of humans or a form of animals? The question is a form of the Sorites paradox.

Similar Story[edit]

The classic Sci-fi novel series Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper deals with deciding what sapience is. A murder of a Fuzzy leads to a trial.

Further reading[edit]

  • Vercors (1953), You Shall Know Them, translated by Rita Barisse, Boston: Little, Brown.

External links[edit]