6.3/10
281
16 user 1 critic

The Hairy Ape (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 2 July 1944 (USA)
During the 1940s, social class conflict is depicted when a spoiled socialite, traveling on a freighter, calls the ship's head stoker a hairy ape, provoking him into stalking the rich woman once ashore in New York.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Writer Harry Street reflects on his life as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of Mount Kilamanjaro.

Directors: Henry King, Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A trio of American adventurers marooned in rural Mexico are recruited by a beautiful woman to rescue her husband trapped in a cave in Apache territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A ruthless fashion designer steps on everyone in her way in order to reach the top of her profession. Eventually she is forced to choose between her ambition and the man she loves.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Susan Hayward, Dan Dailey, George Sanders
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After King David sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing from the palace roof, he enters into an adulterous affair which has tragic consequences for his family and Israel.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A happily married London barrister falls in love with the accused poisoner he is defending.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Angie Evans, fast-rising nightclub singer, interrupts her career to marry struggling songwriter Ken Conway. When Ken lucks into a career as chart-topping radio crooner, Angie is forced into... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Susan Hayward, Lee Bowman, Marsha Hunt
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A mentally unstable man, who has been kept in isolation for years, escapes and causes trouble for his identical twin brother.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Albert Dekker, Susan Hayward, Frances Farmer
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man seeks revenge but will he destroy himself in the process? After a long jail term for a crime he did not commit, a man is torn between revenge (which will probably destroy him) or ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

For those, if any, who have wondered why so many Paramount contractees appeared in United Artists' films during the war years, this is another one of the Paramount productions that was sold... See full summary »

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Robert Benchley
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The arrival in Las Vegas of a businessman and his glamorous wife creates a complex web of murder and deceit.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Jane Russell, Victor Mature, Vincent Price
Tulsa (1949)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

It's Tulsa, Oklahoma at the start of the oil boom and Cherokee Lansing's rancher father is killed in a fight with the Tanner Oil Company. Cherokee plans revenge by bringing in her own wells... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Preston, Pedro Armendáriz
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mildred Douglas
...
Tony Lazar
...
Helen Parker
...
Paddy
Tom Fadden ...
Long
...
MacDougald, Chief Engineer
Charles Cane ...
Gantry
Charles La Torre ...
Portuguese Proprietor
Edit

Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | insult | hose | jail | rich woman | See All (51) »

Taglines:

The Legend of the Damned! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasión salvaje  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Hank Smith: Dames, huh? That's a lot of tripe. They'll double cross you for a nickel or even nothing. Treat 'em rough - that's me, the whole bunch of 'em. They don't belong. They don't amount to nothing. Who makes the old tub go? It's us guys. Me! Me! I make her go.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Inspiration For Tennessee Williams?
9 August 2006 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

I never saw or read the Eugene O'Neill play of this title, but the movie is little seen so I jumped at the chance to view it. Despite many drawbacks, it is a curiosity and definitely worth a look. And it does contain an extraordinary scene, a moment that I feel must have inspired a greater and more famous play.

Among the more serious flaws are a too schematic, over-determined plot, sluggish pacing and murky photography. Obviously shot on a low budget by an 'independent' (or as close to it as one came during the studio days) none of this is a surprise. If the picture was good or had been more popular at the time, it would be better known today. The information provided by commentators here is interesting in the way it fills in the lefty backgrounds of many of the talents behind and in front of the camera, though all inexplicably fail to mention Dorothy Comingore. Famous for CITIZEN KANE, most of us have never seen her in any other picture and it has often been reported that her career suffered from the blacklist. This would make her, not director Santell or Bohnen perhaps this pictures' greatest victim of that injustice.

The liberties taken with O'Neill's play are pointedly sexual, and they make commercial sense, though they render the plot both melodramatic (in a different way than in the play) and ludicrous. Here, both Hank and Mildred are deeply affected by their first long look at each other, and the iconography of KING KONG and decades of melodramas have led us to expect Hank to menace and possibly rape and murder Mildred, the beautiful, disdainful rich bitch he cannot forget. Instead, there is wisdom, humor and a happy ending for all. But that isn't what the viewer is left with.

William Bendix makes a very strong impression as a bully with a frightening, unstoppable power and potential for violence. But his performance isn't quite as nuanced as his fan club here suggests. At the time, Susan Hayward made a bigger splash, garnering some good notices from critics and the film industry after languishing for years at Paramount as house ingénue and support to bigger stars. It was as a strong-willed, sometimes shrewish woman that she began to make her name, and here she is fresh, insolent and lovely, without the calculating hardness that had set in by the '50s. And Santell gives her (not Bendix) the single greatest and most haunting moment in the film and the best acting opportunity. It happens as Mildred enters the infernal engine room in her white dress and first spies Hank in all his grotesque power and virility. As she enters the closeup frame and the camera tracks in on her face, Hayward must suggest all that the script could not because of censorship restrictions. For that suspended few seconds we see she is transfixed, fascinated, aroused, repulsed -- disgusted as much by her own attraction to Hank as by his ugliness and brutishness. It is a revelation that seems to shatter both of them. The next scenes suggest they have had a kind of breakdown, that they are linked by destiny, are under a sort of sexual spell of what each represented to the other. This and not what follows provides the real emotional climax of the film.

It's an indelible movie moment, and the match-up of sheltered girl and animalistic male suggests the Blanche-Stanley relationship at the heart of the great A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. There too, the working class slob goads the archly feminine upper class lady. Except in STREETCAR it is the woman who is insecure and fragile and the man who is beautiful and arrogant. In THE HAIRY APE, rape seems a likely outcome because Santell daringly implies it is what both characters fear and long for. In STREETCAR it actually does come to pass and forms the climax of the play. It is as if Williams had seen HAIRY APE, was provoked, inspired and aroused by its one sexually galvanizing moment, but rethought the form and implications of the plot to serve his own art and suit his own demons


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?