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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
I remember seeing Mighty Joe Young before I ever saw King Kong, and for the longest time I preferred it to Kong because it seemed newer, with better effects, and more familiar actors, while Kong seemed older and a little creakier with a less familiar cast of characters. Over the years I've come to appreciate both as great movies, the same basic story or premise, but with a slightly different spin, one as a grand thrilling epic, and one as a heartwarming story with laughs and thrills. Where Kong is the tragic violent figure meeting his fate for the love of a woman, Joe Young is a warm cuddly teddy bear of a creature trying to stave off that wild beast that lives inside of him for the affection of a woman. Where Kong wouldn't expend a drop of sweat helping a human, except for Ann Darrow, Joe Young appears more than human in that he would sacrifice himself to save the children and adults in an orphanage engulfed in flames. And although Robert Armstrong doesn't play the same character in both movies, just the same type of character, it's kind of nice to see him learn from his mistakes in the previous film and early on in this one so that he can make a determined effort to have this story end differently. While King Kong may have been a grand slam out of the park, Mighty Joe Young still comes out as a solid home run.
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