IMDb > Koko, a Talking Gorilla (1978)

Koko, a Talking Gorilla (1978) More at IMDbPro »Koko, le gorille qui parle (original title)

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Release Date:
4 December 1979 (USA) See more »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
All In The Name Of Scientific Research? See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)
Koko ... Le Gorille
Penny Patterson ... Herself
Saul Kitchener ... Directeur du Zoo de San Francisco
Carl Pribram ... Le professeur de Neuroscience
Roger Fouts ... Le docteur en psychologie

Directed by
Barbet Schroeder 
Produced by
Dale Djerassi .... associate producer
Margaret Ménégoz .... producer
Barbet Schroeder .... associate producer
Original Music by
Guta Cattoni 
Maris Embiricos 
Cinematography by
Néstor Almendros 
Film Editing by
Dominique Auvray 
Denise de Casabianca 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Georges Csicsery .... assistant director
Sound Department
Lee Alexander .... sound
Jonathan Liebling .... foley artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Ned Burgess .... assistant camera
Leslie Otis .... camera operator
Hal Trussell .... gaffer
Editorial Department
Roselyne Petit .... assistant editor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Koko, le gorille qui parle" - France (original title)
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85 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
All In The Name Of Scientific Research?, 28 September 2015
Author: Dalbert Pringle from New Zealand

Meet Koko, all-American girl-rilla.... The reason why I refer to Koko as I do has to do with Koko's trainer, Penny Patterson's justification for why (as a scientific researcher) she is teaching this gorilla to communicate as a human being by using sign language.

Believe me, what Patterson says in her rationale is totally laughable (and embarrassing), especially since she says it with such straight-faced sincerity.

Anyway - For the most part, this 1978 documentary was an fairly interesting view, which certainly had its equal share of good points, as well as its not-so-good points.

But, from where I am sitting - I'm dead-set against this whole idea of trying to make another animal view the world from a strictly human perspective. What I saw Penny doing was destroying the gorilla in Koko and, with that, turning her into just another spoilt, pampered, American, brat.

I really felt sorry for Koko having to endure Penny in her face all the time, demanding that she "talk" (sign) and, otherwise, behave like a human instead of a gorilla.

Yes. The viewer does hear both sides of this whole argument, regarding Koko's language learning, etc. - But, if you ask me - Way too much bias was shown towards Penny's side, as though what she was doing with Koko was the "right" thing.

Anyway - See for yourself. And then, you can be your own judge on the matter.

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