6.7/10
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42 user 25 critic

Murders in the Zoo (1933)

Passed | | Crime, Horror | 31 March 1933 (USA)
A monomaniacal zoologist is pathologically jealous of his beautiful but unfaithful wife Evelyn and will not stop short of murder to keep her.

Director:

(as Edward Sutherland)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Peter Yates (as Charlie Ruggles)
...
Eric Gorman
...
Jerry Evans
...
Dr. Jack Woodford
...
Roger Hewitt
...
Evelyn Gorman
...
Professor G.A. Evans
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nancy Crowley ...
Little Girl at the Zoo
Charlie Schneider ...
Little Boy
Jerome Storm
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Storyline

Eric Gorman returns with his wife Evelyn from a trip to the Orient collecting zoo animals, having killed a member of his expedition who happened one day to kiss Mrs. Gorman. On board ship Evelyn meets Roger Hewitt, who falls in love with her. After delivering his animals to the zoo, Gorman plots a way to dispose of Hewitt using one of his latest specimens, then continues using the zoo's non-human residents to do his beastly work. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Horror

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder at the Zoo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording) (original)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Goofs

Gorman invites Hewitt to the benefit dinner, which he says will be on Thursday. Moments later, we see a printed invitation, which says "Wednesday". See more »

Quotes

Eric Gorman: [to his wife] You don't think I sat there all evening with an eight-foot mamba in my pocket?
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Connections

Featured in Svengoolie: Murders in the Zoo (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses from the South
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played as background music aboard ship
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User Reviews

He's the zoo keeper!
4 August 2010 | by (Cleburne, TX) – See all my reviews

Eric Gorman (Lionel Atwill) hunts down exotic wildlife for a zoo back in the States. He also has an intense jealous streak when it comes to men interacting with his wife (Kathleen Burke from THE horror film of the 30's, Island of Lost Souls). So jealous that he's more than willing to kill any man he deems a threat, and his weapons of choice are the animals that he has access to.

This is a solid 30's horror picture with a unique storyline. It also has a pretty potent mean streak for a film of it's time, one scene involving an alligator pit coming immediately to mind. Lionel Atwill has an effective screen presence as the sinister Gorman. As murderous as he may be, I found it hard to root against the man. What can I say? I'm not remotely sympathetic towards philanderers. His idea to utilize animals as murder weapons is both one of convenience and a clever way to be free of incriminating evidence. The animal attacks, including an encounter with a large python, are intense and believable.

My main qualm with the film is a problem that plagues many pictures of the era, that being the style of comic relief that was popular back then. The Peter Yates character is pretty annoying, and we're treated to a particularly absurd scene where he pops a lion on the head. Charlie Ruggles plays Yates, and he's about as unfunny as it gets. Why he has such a prevailing presence in an otherwise serious film is beyond me. The time taken up by his antics could have been used to further develop our main storyline.

However, this is worth seeing. It's also well-paced, clocking in at just a little more than an hour in length.


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