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Mighty Joe Young (1949)

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In Africa, the girl Jill Young trades a baby gorilla with two natives and raises the animal. Twelve years later, the talkative and persuasive promoter Max O'Hara organizes a safari to ... See full summary »


(screenplay), (from an original story by)
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Title: Mighty Joe Young (1949)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Robert Armstrong ...
Max O'Hara
Mr. Joseph Young ...
Frank McHugh ...
Denis Green ...
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Nestor Paiva ...
John Young
Lora Lee Michel ...
James Flavin ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Gordon ...
Old Woman (unconfirmed)


In Africa, the girl Jill Young trades a baby gorilla with two natives and raises the animal. Twelve years later, the talkative and persuasive promoter Max O'Hara organizes a safari to Africa with the Oklahoma cowboy Gregg to bring attractions to his new night-club in Hollywood. They capture several lions and out of blue, they see a huge gorilla nearby their camping and they try to capture the animal. However, the teenager Jill Young stops the men that intended to kill her gorilla. Max seduces Jill with a fancy life in Hollywood and she signs a contract with him where the gorilla Joseph "Joe" Young would be the lead attraction. Soon she realizes that her dream is a nightmare to Joe and she asks Max to return to Africa. However he persuades her to stay a little longer in the show business. But when three alcoholic costumers give booze to Joe, the gorilla destroys the spot and is sentenced by the justice to be sacrificed. Will Jill, Gregg and Max succeed in saving Joe? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Merian Cooper's amazing adventure in the unusual! See more »


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Release Date:

29 August 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mighty Joe Young  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


(Sepiatone) (some sequences)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Windy asks Gregg if he is from Texas, Gregg replies, "No, sir, Oklahoma; we rope and ride there, too." Ben Johnson grew up on a ranch near Foraker, Oklahoma, and had been a champion cowboy prior to coming to Hollywood as a horse wrangler. See more »


Wires visible when Joe throws down the piano. See more »


Max O'Hara: [clutching his chest and staggering] Oh! I think I'm gonna have another heart attack!
Schultz: [pushing O'Hara into a police car] Fine, have it in there!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"And Mr. Joseph Young As Himself" See more »


Beautiful Dreamer
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

Worthy successor to KING KONG
7 March 2001 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

From many of the same folks who gave us the classic KING KONG, we have Joseph Young of Africa.

The FX are great, especially considering that this film was done long before razzle-dazzle computer work. The movie is an interesting, amusing, and touching variation on KING KONG but stands up as a strong, entertaining film in its own right. Robert Armstrong is once again the big showman who has to knock the public dead. In this case, nobody dies, but the public is still impressed.

It's interesting to note the different reactions of the theater audiences when Kong was first displayed and when Joe is first seen on stage. Perhaps the audiences were actually getting more sophisticated in 1949, and the difference could be an interesting comment by the movie makers on how jaded people were getting by 1949.

In any event, Joe Young is definitely worth seeing.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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