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John Phillip Law,
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
Thanksgiving just can't be Thanksgiving without Mighty Joe Young. From as far back as I can remember, until about 10 years ago, WOR, channel 9 in New York City, played a King Kong festival on Thanksgiving day, and then a Godzilla festival on Friday, dubbing it "Monster Weekend." Of the 3 "ape movies" played back-to-back (King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young), this was far and away the best. There were several reasons for it. (1) Mighty Joe Young has the best special effects of all the ape movies (and, truth be known, far better than those of most of the Godzillas -- which were filmed 10-20 years later!). (2) Mighty Joe Young has the best story. It's about a little girl who adopts a young gorilla in Africa on her family's plantation, and she grows up with it. The gorilla turns out to be the largest in the world (but nowhere near the size of Kong). Joe is affectionate with his "sister", and very protective of her, and the animators gave him a wonderful range of facial expressions and emotions. (3) Mighty Joe Young has the best climax, and the best ending.
All told, Mighty Joe Young is a terriffic movie. It was light years ahead of its time in so many ways, including special effects. It is well worth the time to see it.
My score: 8/10
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