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Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

Passed  |   |  Horror  |  October 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 737 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 27 critic

The owner of a plantation in the jungle marries a beautiful woman. Shortly afterward, he is plagued by a strange voodoo curse which transforms him into a gorilla.



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Title: Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

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Complete credited cast:
Police Commissioner Taro (as Lon Chaney)
Barney Chavez
Klaas Van Gelder
Gisela Werbisek ...
Al-Long (as Giselle Werbisek)
Carol Varga ...
Paul Maxey ...
Van Heusen
Nedo - Policeman
Martin Garralaga ...
Felippa Rock ...
Stella Van Heusen
Moyna MacGill ...
Mme. Van Heusen


Deep in the South American jungle plantation manager Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills his elderly employer in order to get to his beautiful wife (Barbara Payton). However, an old native witch witnesses the crime and puts a curse on Barney, who soon after finds himself turning nightly into a rampaging gorilla. But is his transformation real or is it all in his head? Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Blonde Beauty and a Savage Beast... alone in the Jungle! See more »




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Face in the Water  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although it only took seven days to shoot the movie, Lon Chaney Jr. was scheduled to go on a ten-day publicity tour on behalf of the film, which eventually grew to 4-1/2 months, according to Chaney biographer Don Smith. See more »


When Dina goes searching for Barney in the jungle for the first time, we see a quick shot of a leopard climbing up into a tree. Although this scene is supposed to be outdoors (the jungle), both the leopard and the leaves around him are casting shadows on the "sky" behind them. The sky is obviously a wall or backdrop. See more »


[first lines]
Police Commissioner Taro: [narration] This is Jungle - lush, green, alive with incredible growth - as young as day, as old as time. I, Taro, Police Commissioner of Itman County, which borders the Amazonas River, know it as well as any man will ever know it. Isn't it beautiful? But I have also learned that beauty can be venomous, deadly, something terrifying, something of prehistoric ages when monstrous superstitions ruled the minds of men, something that has haunted the world for millions of years rose out ...
See more »


Edited into Dark Jungle Theater: Episode #1.2 (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lon Chaney dances a mediocre jungle-boogie!
12 June 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Certainly not a bad little low budget film, this "Bride of the Gorilla", but nothing special, neither, and not memorable enough to be ranked among the meaningful Sci-Fi efforts of its time. Director Curt Siodmak was an eminent scriptwriter during the 1930's and 1940's and delivered stories for some true genre classics ("I walked with a Zombie", "The Wolf Man") but, as a director, he obviously lacked the required competences. "Bride of the Gorilla" is similar to the aforementioned "The Wolf Man" in story and atmosphere, but the film looks a lot more amateurish and pitiful. Both handle about cursed men that turn into large animals at night, but the titular gorilla doesn't look half as threatening as the werewolf, even though the film got released a whole decade later. During a cheesy opening speech, actor Lon Chaney tries to convince us that the jungle is an ominous place and hiding many mysteries, but actually there's no real mystery in the plot. It's just handles about a plantation manager who's jealous at his older colleague for having such a beautiful young wife and he kills him. A native woman witnesses his crime and puts a spell on Barney that causes him to transform into a hideously big gorilla at night... Or maybe she just wants him to believe he's turning into a hideously big gorilla…Lon Chaney himself plays the police commissioner charged with the murder investigation while Raymond Burr (who starred in about a thousand Perry Mason TV-movies) portrays the greedy plantation manager/nightly gorilla. Siodmak attempts to make the film look like a supernatural thriller – is it or is it not all just happening in Barney's head? – fail miserably and it causes way too much talking and too few jungle-action. Several of the jungle-settings are nicely pictured but the rest of the "special" effects are tacky and poorly done. Still the acting is pretty good, Barbara Payton is looking beautiful and – although very predictable – the story is strangely compelling until the very end. Weird movie, it probably voodoo-cursed me…

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