4.5/10
1,288
47 user 27 critic

The Ape (1940)

Approved | | Horror | 30 September 1940 (USA)
Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(suggested from the play: "The Ape") (as Adam Hull Shirk), (adaptation) (as Kurt Siodmak) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Ape Man (1943)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A crazed scientist accidentally turns himself into a half ape, half human creature, and scrambles to find a cure.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford
Doomed to Die (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Mr. Wong and a girl reporter investigate a shipping magnate's murder.

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers
Before I Hang (1940)
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Evelyn Keyes, Bruce Bennett
Dead Men Walk (1943)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

The twin of a kindly small-town physician returns from the grave for vengeance against his brother, who secretly killed him because the twin served Satan.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Nedrick Young
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A mad scientist changes his simple-minded handyman into a werewolf in order to prove his supposedly crazy scientific theories - and exact revenge.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: Johnny Downs, George Zucco, Anne Nagel
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

When Captain Street's best friend Dan Grady is murdered, Street enlists the help of Chinese detective James Lee Wong. Mr. Wong uncovers a smuggling ring on the waterfront of San Francisco ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers
The Gorilla (1939)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

When a wealthy man (Atwill) is threatened by a killer known as The Gorilla, he hires the Ritz Brothers to investigate. A real escaped gorilla shows up at the mansion just as the ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Jimmy Ritz, Harry Ritz, Al Ritz
Black Friday (1940)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A mad scientist injects his enemies with an acromegaly virus, causing them to become hideously deformed.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: J. Carrol Naish, Ralph Morgan, Tala Birell
Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A medical researcher visits the deserted home of a pioneer in cryogenic science who disappeared 10 years earlier and finds him frozen in ice but still alive.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox
Film-Noir | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Man investigates the disappearance of two of his friends who were the guests of a sinister Austrian count.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Richard Greene, Boris Karloff, Stephen McNally
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Gene O'Donnell ...
Danny Foster
Dorothy Vaughan ...
Mother Clifford
Gertrude Hoffman ...
Jane - Adrian's Housekeeper (as Gertrude W. Hoffman)
...
Sheriff Jeff Halliday
...
Dr. McNulty
Edit

Storyline

Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a vicious circus ape has broken out of its cage, and is terrorizing towns people. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These cold eyes have watched a thousand men die screaming! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gorilla  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming began July 29, 1940, the final feature in Boris Karloff's six-picture contract with Monogram, returning only once, in 1958 for Frankenstein 1970 (1958). See more »

Goofs

When the doctor is showing off his 'cured' guinea pigs, one of the poor critters falls off the table, at the end of the shot. See more »

Quotes

Danny Foster: I don't like things I can't understand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Screaming Skull (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish music
Played on a bugle by a relaxing circus worker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Spinal Fluid Seemed to Be at a Premium
14 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If it weren't for the presence of Boris Karloff, this would be pretty bad. Apparently there has been a bout with polio in the community (paralysis) and there is a pretty young victim who the doctor fancies as looking like his late daughter. He makes it his life work to cure her. Unfortunately, he needs the bodily fluids of others to bring about that cure. Of course, he chooses the base, the outcast, for his work because the young pretty girl has more worth in the society than these others. He chooses his victims by judging this worth. He kills them by dressing in the skin of an ape that he killed and skinned. If this sounds silly, it's hard to defend. There's also a subplot of the jealousy of a young man who loves the young woman but may feel if she recovers she will reject him. Karloff's doctor is the constant victim of the community. They don't know what he's doing in that house and so he is victimized by the local kids (your garden variety brats), and looked on with suspicion. He is such a kindly man, it seems odd that there is such venom when it comes to him. Anyway, it's a small town and people do need their preoccupations. It just seems that a doctor with this much imagination could be a little more creative in his methods than the one he chooses. Imagine how lacking in dexterity if you were about 60 years old, running around in an ape pelt. It's rather forgettable and predictable, but it's fun to see Karloff's character.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?