IMDb > Monkey Shines (1988)
Monkey Shines
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Monkey Shines (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
6.2/10   8,127 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 36% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Michael Stewart (novel)
George A. Romero (screenplay)
View company contact information for Monkey Shines on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 July 1988 (USA) See more »
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil... See more »
A quadriplegic man has a trained monkey help him with his paralysis, until the little monkey begins to develop feelings, and rage, against its new master. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
7 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Interesting but this movie has problems See more (64 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jason Beghe ... Allan Mann

John Pankow ... Geoffrey Fisher

Kate McNeil ... Melanie Parker

Joyce Van Patten ... Dorothy Mann
Christine Forrest ... Maryanne Hodges

Stephen Root ... Dean Burbage

Stanley Tucci ... Dr. John Wiseman

Boo ... Ella

Janine Turner ... Linda Aikman
William Newman ... Doc Williams
Tudi Wiggins ... Esther Fry
Tom Quinn ... Charlie Cunningham
Chuck Baker ... Ambulance Driver

Patricia Tallman ... Party Guest
David Early ... Anesthetist
Michael Naft ... Young Allan
Tina Romero ... Child Playing
Mitchell Baseman ... Child Playing
Lia Savini ... Child Playing
Anthony Dileo Jr. ... Vandal (as Tim DiLeo)
Melanie Verlin ... Vandal
Dan Fallon ... Allan's Friend
Alice Shure ... Nurse
Leslie Dane Shapiro ... Nurse
Christina Galesi ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rik Billock ... Garbage Man (uncredited)
Kate English ... Scrub Nurse (uncredited)

Robert Hendren ... Orderly (uncredited)
Heidi Hinzman ... (uncredited)
Eric Morgan Stuart ... (uncredited)

Directed by
George A. Romero 
Writing credits
Michael Stewart (novel "Monkey Shines")

George A. Romero (screenplay)

Produced by
Charles Evans .... producer
Peter Grunwald .... executive producer
Peter R. McIntosh .... associate producer (as Peter McIntosh)
Gerald S. Paonessa .... executive producer
Original Music by
David Shire 
Cinematography by
James A. Contner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Pasquale Buba 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Production Design by
Cletus Anderson 
Art Direction by
James C. Feng  (as Jim Feng)
J. Mark Harrington 
Set Decoration by
Diana Stoughton 
Costume Design by
Barbara Anderson 
Makeup Department
Everett Burrell .... special makeup effects assistant
Jeannee Josefczyk .... hair artist (as Jeanee Josefczyk)
Jeannee Josefczyk .... makeup artist (as Jeanee Josefczyk)
Greg Nicotero .... special makeup effects assistant
Tom Savini .... special makeup effects
Mike Trcic .... special makeup effects assistant (as Michael Trcic)
Karyn Wagner .... hair assistant (as Karin Wagner)
Karyn Wagner .... makeup assistant (as Karin Wagner)
Production Management
Nicholas Mastandrea .... production supervisor
Todd Pinsky .... post-production supervisor
Chaim 'Hank' Sprei .... production manager (as Chaim Sprei)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Evans Jr. .... second assistant director
Nicholas Mastandrea .... assistant director (as Nick Mastandrea)
Grace Prinzi .... second assistant director
Art Department
Norman Beck .... carpenter
William H. Franko .... foreman
Marty Garrigan .... leadman
L. Paul Gratz .... property assistant (as Paul Gratz)
Frederika Gray .... scenic artist (as Fredericka Gray)
Michael Hissrich .... carpenter
Susan Hudak .... set dresser
Howard Jones .... head carpenter (as Howard L. Jones)
Gary Kosko .... property master
Celeste Parrendo .... scenic artist
Paula Payne .... scenic artist
Michael G. Richer .... carpenter (as Mike Richer)
Jim Schneider .... set dresser
Gary W. Self Jr. .... carpenter (as Gary W. Self)
Judy Stagg .... set dresser
Louis P. Taylor .... construction coordinator
Natalie Wilvers .... head scenic artist
Beth Zamborsky .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Ron Bartlett .... sound effects editor
Larry Blake .... sound effects editor
John J. Carr .... foley editor
Mick D'Andrea .... assistant sound effects editor
Carlos Delarios .... re-recording mixer (as Carlos De Larios)
Robert Deschaine .... adr mixer: Lion's Gate Studios
Carol Everson .... boom operator
Donald Flick .... supervising sound effects editor (as Donald S. Flick)
Michael J. Kohut .... re-recording mixer
Aaron Rochin .... re-recording mixer
George Simpson .... dialogue editor
John Sutton .... sound mixer
Christina Tucker .... adr mixer: Directors Sound (as Chris Tucker)
Elliott Koretz .... sound editor (uncredited)
David Williams .... sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Steven Kirshoff .... special effects (as Steve Kirshoff)
Visual Effects by
Leslie Bloom .... visual effects coordinator
Tony Venezia .... visual effects technical director
David M. Garber .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Alexandra Menapace .... motion control graphics (uncredited)
David Meeks .... stunts
Tom Savini .... stunts
Patricia Tallman .... stunts
Judy Zazula .... stunts
David John Adamson .... stunt player (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Abraham .... first assistant camera
Myles Aronowitz .... still photographer
Inspector Beal .... best boy electric
Steve Cohagan .... additional electric
Vincent Galindez .... second assistant camera (as Vinnie Galindez)
Joseph Grabowski .... electrician (as Jose Grabowski)
Phil Hedley .... generator operator
John Janusek .... best boy grip (as Beef Janusek)
Stan Keitt .... second assistant camera
Rango Kessler .... electrician
Gábor Kövér .... camera operator (as Gabor Kover)
Ed Letteri .... gaffer (as Teddy Jack Letteri)
John S. Moyer .... grip (as Buzz Moyer)
Pinky Rimmel .... key grip
John Roman .... camera trainee
Richard M. Sieg .... dolly grip (as Mr. French Sieg)
Robert E. Stanley .... first assistant camera
Nick Tallo .... grip (as Bomba Tallo)
Frank McGough .... grip (uncredited)
Frank A. Serrao .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Joy Dickson .... casting assistant
Christine Forrest .... local casting (as Chris Romero)
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Patricia Tallman .... local casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kathy Borland .... wardrobe assistant
Nancy A. Palmatier .... wardrobe supervisor (as Nancy Palmatier)
Editorial Department
John Stuart Bick .... assistant editor (as John Bick)
Ray Boniker .... assistant editor (as Raymond Boniker)
Location Management
Donna Schrager .... location scout
John 'Flash' Williams .... location coordinator (as John Williams)
Music Department
William David Brohn .... orchestrator (as William D. Brohn)
Andrew Hermant .... music recording engineer (as Andy Hermant)
Brenda Hoffert .... musical supervisor
Paul Hoffert .... musical supervisor
Steve Kujala .... musician: flute soloist (as Stephen Kujala)
Erma E. Levin .... music editor: Noteworthy Inc.
Emil Richards .... musician: percussion soloist
Ric Jurgens .... score assistant engineer (uncredited)
Lori Slomka .... music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Anthony J. Yannone .... transportation captain (as Anthony Yannone)
Frank A. Serrao .... production driver (uncredited)
Other crew
David John Adamson .... production assistant (as David Adamson)
Paul Barlow .... craft service
David Bender .... unit publicist
Monica Bielawski .... production assistant
Sanford Blatt .... technical consultant
Janice Bourquin .... assistant production accountant
Mark Chamlin .... legal services: Loeb and Loeb (as Marc Chamlin)
Christine Forrest .... assistant: Mr. Romero (as Chris Romero)
Katherine Frietsch .... assistant: Mr. Grunwald and Mr. Paonessa
Robin Grey .... production accountant
Christine Handlin .... monkey trainer
Maria H. Hust .... assistant production office coordinator
Ingrid Johanson .... production coordinator
Alice Levee .... owner and trainer: "Boo"
Richard Lorenzana .... production accountant
Susan Lorenzana .... assistant production accountant
Steve Macionsky .... production assistant
David Meeks .... monkey trainer
David Meyers .... production assistant
High Millstein .... production assistant
Nancy Musser .... script supervisor
Phill Norman .... title designer: main titles
Chris Noyes .... production assistant
Alison Pascoe .... monkey trainer
Melissa Smith .... director of operations
Marge Sperling .... production assistant (as Margie Sperling)
Marge Sperling .... production assistant
Marge Sperling .... set production assistant
Lee Steiner .... legal services: Loeb and Loeb
George Walden .... insurance supplier: Albert G. Ruben & Co.
Frank Welker .... special animal voices
Judy Zazula .... monkey trainer
Ronald C. Briggs Jr. .... dailies coordinator (uncredited)
George Cameron Romero .... production assistant (uncredited)
Alice Shure .... special thanks
M.J. Willard .... special thanks
Jean Williams .... special thanks (as Dr. Jean Williams)
Karen Wunch .... special thanks
Judy Zazula .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ella" - , USA (working title)
"Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear" - USA (promotional title)
See more »
113 min | West Germany:105 min (cut version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:12 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2012) | Iceland:16 | New Zealand:R16 | Portugal:M/16 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | USA:TV-MA (cable rating) | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

This was George A. Romero's first studio film. However, the studio he was working with, Orion Pictures, had re-cut the film against Romero's wishes which contributed to the box office failure of the film. Afterwards, Romero went back to independent filmmaking until The Dark Half (1993) (also from Orion).See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Ella urinates on Allan as a sign of mating, but it's actually the male capuchin who urinates on it's mate. This would suggest that Ella is in fact a male capuchin.See more »
Geoffrey Fisher:[dazed] Sorry. She got me.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Kicking and Screaming (1995)See more »
There'll Be Another SpringSee more »


Do disabled people in real life ever use monkeys for help around the house?
See more »
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Interesting but this movie has problems, 28 October 2005
Author: preppy-3 from United States

Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) becomes paralyzed from the neck down after a car hits him. He falls into a deep depression until a scientist friend (John Pankow) gets him a trained monkey named Ella (Boo) to help him. Allan also begins to fall in love with Ella's trainer (Kate McNeil)...but Ella begins to get very attached to Allan--TOO attached.

This was supposed to be director/writer George Romero's comeback film. He said the studio loved it and was going to put a big promotional push behind it. But, for whatever reason, when this came out in the summer of 1988 the studio just dumped it. There was next to no ads for it or coming attractions. Romero remains bitter about it to this day. It's too bad this film was just ignored. It's no masterpiece but it isn't bad.

The movie does have problems--it's far too long (almost two hours), the ending goes on forever and some of the plot is really hard to believe (I thought the psychic link between Allan and Ella was really stupid). Also the POV by the monkey was annoying and overused and there's a REAL embarrassing sex scene between Beghe and McNeil. Still I do like this movie.

As I said it's too long but I was never really bored. Beghe is excellent in a very difficult role; Pankow nicely underplays the scientist and McNeil is fresh and appealing. Also Boo (who plays Ella) is a good "actor". I realize she was just trained for her role but the expressions on her face and body movement was incredible. The plot is also quite interesting--until the end when it just strains credibility.

So not a bad film or a good one but worth catching. I give it a 7.

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