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Murders in the Zoo (1933)

Passed | | Crime, Horror | 31 March 1933 (USA)
A monomaniacal zoologist is pathologically jealous of his beautiful but unfaithful wife Evelyn and will not stop short of murder to keep her.


A. Edward Sutherland (as Edward Sutherland)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Ruggles ... Peter Yates (as Charlie Ruggles)
Lionel Atwill ... Eric Gorman
Gail Patrick ... Jerry Evans
Randolph Scott ... Dr. Jack Woodford
John Lodge ... Roger Hewitt
Kathleen Burke ... Evelyn Gorman
Harry Beresford ... Professor G.A. Evans


Eric Gorman returns with his wife Evelyn from a trip to the Orient collecting zoo animals, having killed a member of his expedition who happened one day to kiss Mrs. Gorman. On board ship Evelyn meets Roger Hewitt, who falls in love with her. After delivering his animals to the zoo, Gorman plots a way to dispose of Hewitt using one of his latest specimens, then continues using the zoo's non-human residents to do his beastly work. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Horror


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Released on Lionel Atwill's 48th birthday See more »


Gorman invites Hewitt to the benefit dinner, which he says will be on Thursday. Moments later, we see a printed invitation, which says "Wednesday". See more »


Eric Gorman: Mr. Gates, never be afraid of a wild animal. Let it alone, and it'll leave you alone. That's more than we can say of most humans.
Peter Yates: You mean that you really like these, eh?
Eric Gorman: Beasts? I love them. They're honest in their simplicity, their primative emotions... They love, they hate, they kill.
See more »


Featured in Svengoolie: Murders in the Zoo (2016) See more »


Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Hummed and sung a cappella by Charles Ruggles
Played as background music at the end
See more »

User Reviews

Definitely worth a look!
11 April 2001 | by RamblerSee all my reviews

While not on the creepy level of Edgar Ulmer's "The Black Cat", this film shows that a studio OTHER THAN Universal was trying to make horror films in the early thirties. I will agree that Charlie Ruggles' tipsy clowning tends to diffuse the genuine horror of the situation, but this seems to almost have been a requirement of horror films of thirties, as this same type of character is found in "Mystery of the Wax Museum", and "Doctor X", both films starring Lionel Atwill. Maybe they just wanted to offset Atwill's natural creepiness, eh? At any rate, A big kudos to MCA/Universal for even releasing this film on home video, and for using one of the most beautiful prints I've ever seen! Now, if we can just get them to put out MURDER BY THE CLOCK...

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Release Date:

31 March 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder at the Zoo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording) (original)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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