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Hank Smith, a brutish stoker on board a freighter, is appalled when Mildred Douglas, a society girl forced by circumstance to travel as a passenger, visits the stokehold and recoils at the filthy, sweating Hank. A powerhouse of a man with a primitive confidence, Hank has never been looked down on before nor suffered the insult "hairy ape" flung at him by the rich girl. At first he seeks vengeance for the insult, but broods over it until more than anything, he desires to understand it. When the ship reaches port, he seeks her out in her upper class surroundings, determined to grasp the meaning of the encounter. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
A loose interpretation, a little "Hollywooded" up!
A few comments concerning Roman Bohnen. He was indeed a solid character actor. He did considerable stage work with the Group Theatre and worked with The Adlers, Lee J. Cobb, Francis Farmer, and John garfield to name just a few. One would think with his early professional associations he probably was a little left of center. BUT, he made over twenty films after The Hairy Ape, including The Best Years of Our Lives and Brute Force, both major films with substantial roles for him. He died 24 February 1949, well before Senator McCarthy hit the political scene. McCharthy had nothing to do with HUAC (the House UnAmerican Activities Committee -- note House not Senate). The Black LIst was essentially to work of The John Birch Society with the willing complicity of Studio Heads on the movie front and Advertisers and sponsors on the TV front.
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