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Gorilla at Large (1954)

 -  Mystery | Thriller  -  May 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 381 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 12 critic

At a carnival called the Garden of Evil, a man is murdered, apparently by a gorilla...or someone in a gorilla suit.


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Title: Gorilla at Large (1954)

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Complete credited cast:
Joey Matthews
Laverne Miller
Detective Sgt. Garrison
Cy Miller
Charlotte Austin ...
Audrey Baxter
Peter Whitney ...
Joe, Detective
John Kellogg ...
Morse (as John G. Kellogg)


At sinister carnival The Garden of Evil, the main attraction is Goliath, "world's largest gorilla...cost the lives of 1,000 men before his capture." Barker Joey Matthews is about to enter the gorilla act, teamed with seductive mantrap Laverne, the owner's wife. Then a man is found dead of a broken neck. Was it Goliath or someone wearing Joey's gorilla suit? Detective Sgt. Garrison finds four interlocked romantic triangles among the suspects... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The hate-beast who lives to kill is loose! See more »


Mystery | Thriller


See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gorilla at Large  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the camera cuts to Laverne swinging on the trapeze an obvious stunt woman is used with much thinner legs and off color on her wig. See more »


Sgt. Garrison: You've always been this alert, Shaughnessy?
Shaughnessy: Always on my toes!
Sgt. Garrison: Well, get off 'em. You're a cop, not a ballet dancer.
See more »


Featured in Doogie Howser, M.D.: Doogie Got a Gun (1992) See more »


This Is My Favorite City
Music by Josef Myrow
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
See more »

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User Reviews

Glorious Techicolor
22 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

It's not so much that there's more than meets the eye as it is what

does meet the eye that makes this picture worth a look-see.

Sure, if you want to be all serious, then you could easily object to a

rather predictable plot, or some wooden performances (though I'd

have something to say about that), or a delightfully inept gorilla suit

that looks more like an animated swatch of shag carpet (the eyes

are so...human!). You could moan and groan about the film's

portrayal of women, etc., etc. You could call it a bad movie.

But you shouldn't! Firstly, it does offer the sorts of thrills that

B-movie fans relish: the lurid carny life, cartoonish violence,

trapeze artists in skimpy costumes, emotions writ large and

unambiguously (at least ostensibly).

In fact, I'd say that many of the performances are great, not

because they are especially moving or "realistic," but rather,

because the conventions of the genre frame them in such a way

as to be quite effective, and not least of all, gratifying. Anne

Bancroft smolders magnificently as a trapeze artist with quite a

shady past. Raymond Burr's controlling, yet ambiguous carnival

manager never fails to intrigue. Lee Marvin is great as a feckless,

blow-hard police officer. And perhaps most compellingly, there is

Lee J. Cobb, as a no-nonsense, cigar-chomping gumshoe. You

really get a sense of what an entirely watchable performer he is in

this picture, and personally I think he's better here than he is in "On

the Waterfront" (gasp!).

Camp values aside, the technical aspects of the film are

breathtaking. The picture's technicolors blast out of the screen,

aided by 3-D that is so sharply defined and brilliant that you feel

like you are watching some sort of moving ViewMaster reel. A

restored print has recently been struck and you'll be blown away if

you have a chance to see it. I'd say that its use of technicolor and

3-D are perhaps more impressive than even "House of Wax," and

certainly more accomplished than such unnecessarily 3-D'd

features such as "Dial M for Murder" or "Miss Sadie Thompson."

Color, violence, a beautiful girl and a gorilla--and in not one, nor

two, but THREE dimensions. What's not to like?

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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