Bedtime for Bonzo (1951)

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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 692 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 7 critic

College prof Peter Boyd tries to salvage his professional and personal reputation by using a lab chimp to prove that environment trumps heredity in behavioral development.


(as Frederick de Cordova)


(story), (story) (as Raphael David Blau) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Prof. Peter Boyd
Jane Linden
Walter Slezak ...
Prof. Hans Neumann
Lucille Barkley ...
Dr. Valerie Tillinghast
Herbert Heyes ...
Dean Tillinghast
Herb Vigran ...
Police Lt. Daggett (as Herburt Vigran)
Harry Tyler ...
Knucksy Breckenridge
Edward Clark ...
Professor Fosdick (as Ed Clark)
Edward Gargan ...
Policeman Bill (as Ed Gargan)
Joel Friedkin ...
Mr. DeWitt
Brad Browne ...
Chief of Police
Elizabeth Flournoy ...
Miss Swithen (as Elizabeth Flourney)
Howard Banks ...
Perc Launders ...


Professor Peter Boyd's engagement to the Dean's daughter is upset by the revelation that his father was a habitual convict. To prove the Dean's genetic theory of inherited traits as wrong, Boyd starts a 'secret' experiment. He borrows the science department's chimpanzee with the goal of showing that it is one's environment that affects your reaction to right and wrong. Written by Richard Stephens <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The funniest new idea on film since "FRANCIS!"


Comedy | Family | Romance


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Release Date:

28 September 1951 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Apan August på äventyr  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the 1980 US Presidential campaign when Ronald Reagan was the Republican nominee; this film suddenly became extremely popular again and was frequently shown on television. The joke in Washington was that "Bedtime for Bonzo" was a "favorite of old movie buffs and Democrats". See more »


When Bonzo is passed through the window, he has a skirt on that soon disappears. See more »


Hans Neumann: Who expects a psychologist to think? Especially when you are so busy thinking what you think other people are thinking.
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References Harvey (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

Not what you might expect
1 February 2014 | by (Colombia) – See all my reviews

There has been a lot of negative stuff over the years about this film... It really is much funnier than you might expect...And a lot of it is done with an ironic tongue in cheek...If you decide to see it...Do so with an open mind! Ronald Reagan is more than competent in his leading role...A rather interesting accomplishment when you consider he had to play opposite a Chimp! At times the production values do leave a bit to be desired, but then, you could make the same comment about a LOT of films that are over 60 years old! It's not the most original film in the history of the cinema...But it certainly is much better than most!

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