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Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

Passed | | Horror | October 1951 (USA)
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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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Cast

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

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 <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Her marriage vows were more than fulfilled! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Face in the Water  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Curt Siodmak considered interchanging the Raymond Burr and Lon Chaney Jr. roles, but because of Chaney's deteriorating looks, the idea was dropped. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Edited into Dark Jungle Theater: The Bride of the Gorilla (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
BRIDE OF THE GORILLA (Curt Siodmak, 1951) {Edited Version} **
23 January 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

The cast and crew of this cheap horror potboiler are more interesting than anything that occurs throughout the movie itself; we have Barbara Payton, Raymond Burr, Lon Chaney Jr., Tom Conway, Paul Cavanaugh and Woody Strode in front of the camera and writer-director Curt Siodmak, cinematographer Charles Van Enger, editorial supervisor Francis D. Lyon and production assistant Herman Cohen behind it. The ill-fated Payton turns the head of virtually every male she comes in contact with deep in the African jungle where she lives on husband Cavanaugh's plantation: doctor Conway secretly desires her while hot-headed foreman Burr's approach is, quite literally, more hands-on. On the other hand, Chaney is (surprisingly enough) the laid-back but knowing authoritarian figure and Strode is a native police official. The plot is very simple but, frankly, does not make a whole lot of sense: after a particularly agitated dinner complete with thunderstorm, Burr and Cavanaugh (art imitating life – more on that later) come to blows in the garden over their affection for Payton and, conveniently for Burr, a large snake just happens to be crawling near where Cavanaugh hits the ground! Witnessing the event from behind the bushes, Payton's enigmatic maid (a native witch, no less), for some inexplicable reason, puts a curse on Burr (who has in the meantime married Payton) that periodically turns him into a gorilla...starting from his very wedding day (when his hand briefly turns hirsute)! Consequently, Burr takes to losing himself in the jungle for days on end – even if the ape creature itself is barely glimpsed throughout the film. It must be said, however, that the version that I watched ran for just 56 minutes when the 'official' length is elsewhere given as either 66, 70 or 76!! Therefore, the film feels understandably rushed and disjointed if never less than campily enjoyable as it culminates in the gorilla's subjectively-shot chasing of Payton in the jungle, with the former being itself pursued by the gun-toting Chaney and Conway. To get back to the film's tragic blonde leading lady for a minute: after a promising start in movies next to such Hollywood legends as James Cagney and Gary Cooper – in, respectively, KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE and DALLAS (both 1950) – her career soon nose-dived into B (and lesser) grade territory thanks to her own 'colorful' off-screen antics: her most notorious misdemeanor was being the cause of a much-publicized bar-room brawl between suave husband Franchot Tone and brutish former lover Tom Neal which ended with the former in a coma and Payton actually deserting him for the latter shortly thereafter!! But that was not all: nymphomaniac Payton also boasted that Woody Strode was among her conquests (a controversial issue at the time); short-lived husband Tone, having caught Payton's infidelities on camera, spread the damning photographic evidence around Hollywood and this virtually served to end her days as a starlet – her last film appearance being Edgar G. Ulmer's MURDER IS MY BEAT (1955) which I happen to have in my "Unwatched Movies" pile. The last 12 years of her tumultuous life were spent on Skid Row in the throes of booze, drugs, prostitution, beatings, arrests and even a stabbing – before, eventually, dying in 1967 in her parents' home at the young age of 39!


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