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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 »

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(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 »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Robert Armstrong ...
Mr. Joseph Young ...
Himself
Frank McHugh ...
...
Jones
Denis Green ...
Crawford
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Smith
Nestor Paiva ...
Brown
...
John Young
Lora Lee Michel ...
James Flavin ...
Schultz
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Gordon ...
Old Woman (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 August 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Joseph Young of Africa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone) (some sequences)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "cowboys in Africa" sequence in this film used footage originally shot to be used in a planned but not completed follow-up to King Kong (1933), "The Valley of Gwangi". That film (as The Valley of Gwangi (1969)) was eventually made by Ray Harryhausen. See more »

Goofs

Max O'Hara challenges Mighty Joe Young with a tug of war against ten of the strongest men alive. Each man demonstrates a feat of strength as they are introduced with a different prop each is holding or wearing. Chains are ripped apart, crowbars and long steel bars are bent, a phone book ripped in half, a large wooden post broken, steel bands snapped off of bulging biceps. After the individual introductions are done the men are shown again as a group and you can see the props are all back to their original state. This is just a repeat of the previous shot of the group before they had a chance to mangle their props. See more »

Quotes

Jill Young: [after O'Hara and Crawford have fled] Aren't you afraid of Joe?
Gregg Johnson: I sure am, but I don't want him to know it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: Good bye from Joe Young See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Stuntmakers: Episode #1.0 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun, fast-moving with fantastic special effects
21 November 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Great film about an oversize gorilla (about 10-11 feet), its owner (Terry Moore) and what happens when an unscrupulous promoter Max O'Hara (Robert Armstrong) lures them from Africa to America to become a hit. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way--the story is nothing new; Terry Moore and Ben Johnson are among the worst actors I've ever seen and there's zero lack of characterization among the humans. But when Joe Young appears all is forgiven. He looks great, moves realistically and has incredible facial motions. You can tell exactly what he's thinking by his expressions! Also, the scenes where he's grappling with humans, horses, lions look extremely realistic--that's saying a lot for a film that's over 50 years old! A fun family film. Try to see restored prints--there's a final sequence involving a burning building in which the whole reel is tinted red--very nicely done.


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