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Mighty Joe Young (1949)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy | 29 August 1949 (Sweden)
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A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune in order to save her family's ranch.

Writers:

(screenplay), (from an original story by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Mr. Joseph Young ...
Himself
...
Windy
...
Jones
Denis Green ...
Crawford
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Smith
...
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 nightclub set was based on a real-life club called the Cocoanut Grove, which was located at the famous Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. See more »

Goofs

When Joe makes his first appearance, and starts poking around the wagons containing the lions, watch the background carefully. Immediately to the left of Joe, between him and the far left wagon is a large bush. Just after Joe shoves the wagon the first time a light suddenly shines on the bush (presumably someone had repositioned a spotlight between shots) and from that point on you can see the reflection of Joe and the wagon reflected in what appears to be an unpainted area of the glass painting behind him. 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

Opening credits cast list: "AND Mr. Joseph Young As Himself" See more »

Connections

Remade as Mighty Joe Young (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Absolutely Charming!

Of all the great ape films, this one made by the same folks that brought us King Kong and Son of Kong has to be the most charming. The story is simple enough about a young girl that raises a gorilla from infancy in the wilds of Africa to be wooed and wowed by an American showman looking for acts in Africa. The showman sees her gorilla and the way she can make it listen and do tricks...and soon both beast and beauty are off to the US to star in a night club act of all things. Terry Moore is a real cutie portraying the girl. The showman is played by...well who else but the same man responsible for bringing King Kong to New York City 16 years earlier...Robert Armstrong. The rest of the cast is adequate with Nestor Paiva in a small but crucial role standing out. The real star, however, is the ape itself and the special effects centered around it. This gorilla is brutish yet humane. He is playful and yet serious and somber at times. Willis O'Brien has done it again with the effects and his stop motion animation, with a great deal of improvement since Kong. The best thing about this movie is its heart, and the heart shown between the young girl and her pet/child. Some scenes are very striking in the film. One that stands out the most is the introduction of Mighty Joe Young in the night club with Terry Moore playing the piano. It looks like Busby Berkley choreographed it. Another very powerful scene involves Joe with an orphanage on fire. The scene is tremendous and even tinted red. Very impressive for its release. A True Classic!


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