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Captive Wild Woman (1943)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  4 June 1943 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 360 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 13 critic

An insane scientist doing experimentation in glandular research becomes obsessed with transforming a female gorilla into a human...even though it costs human life.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Acquanetta ...
...
Dr. Sigmund Walters
Evelyn Ankers ...
Beth Colman
...
Fred Mason
Lloyd Corrigan ...
John Whipple
Fay Helm ...
Nurse Strand
...
Dorothy Colman (as Martha MacVicar)
Vince Barnett ...
Curly, a rube
...
Gruen, the handler
Edit

Storyline

A mad scientist transplants human glands into a gorilla, turning the ape into a beautiful young woman (Acquanetta). However, a severe emotional jolt soon reverts her back into her primitive self with disastrous consequences. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A human form with animal instincts! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cativa Selvagem  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clyde Beatty receives special thanks for "His cooperation in staging the thrilling animal sequences in this film" See more »

Goofs

The same shot of two lions fighting in a circus cage that is used about 12 minutes into the film is re-utilized near the end of the film during the storm sequence. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dockworker: Clear the dock! Clear the dock!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Man-Made Monsters (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Not a bad programmer but Paula the Ape Woman was only good for one film.

Mad scientist Dr. Walters steals a tame gorilla named Cheela from animal trainer Fred Mason for use in his experiments. Through the use of sex hormones (!) and a brain transplant, Dr Walters turns Cheela into a beautiful woman whom he names Paula Dupree. When Walters brings Paula to the circus where Fred works, it is discovered that Paula has a hypnotic power over animals, and Fred uses her in his animal act. Paula becomes attracted to Fred, but she goes ape (literally) when she discovers Fred is engaged to Beth Coleman.

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN has an unjustified bad reputation among fans of the classic Universal horror films. Because the film spawned two poor sequels, this pretty good programmer shocker is often unfairly maligned. The film has good performances from Evelyn Ankers, Milburn Stone and especially John Carradine. John Carradine plays the mad scientist Dr. Walters with a cool icy demeanor. Its a surprisingly low key performance from Carradine. Acquanetta is perfect as the beautiful woman whom Dr. Walters creates from an ape. She projects a perfect exotic animal sensuality. Of course her role here is helped by the fact she does not utter a single line of dialog. Acquanetta was a fine looking woman, but she was never much of an actress. Edward Dmytrk handles the director chores well, the film is well paced and moves along at brisk 61 mins. One shudders to think what would the film would have been like if the studio brass handed the directorial chores to one of studio's standard hacks.

One problem with the film is inserting animal training sequences with Clyde Beatty from an old Universal film, THE BIG CAGE. While Stone resembles Beatty, some of these scenes are poorly inserted. In one scene we see Beatty in the cage with the lions and tigers. Then we see Stone enter the cage! The editor should of most certainly have caught this. To make matters worse, the same error turns up again when the studio used the same footage in the films sequel, JUNGLE WOMAN.

While CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN certainly doesn't rank among the classic the Universal horror films, its not a bad little saturday double bill shocker. However, the premise was only good for one film. The films two sequels were not warranted. I can't believe Universal actually thought Paula the Ape Woman was a potential classic monster like Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy and the Frankenstein Monster. They should have quit while they were ahead.


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