6.6/10
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43 user 31 critic

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.

Director:

A. Edward Sutherland (as Edward Sutherland)
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Crime | Horror

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording) (original)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working title: "Murder at the Zoo" See more »

Goofs

The "green mamba" is very obviously a nonvenomous python. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Evans: [Releasing Peter, obviously in shock, from cage] Peter, Peter, listen to me! Say something to me!
Peter Yates: [With his knees bent and apart] Is there a good laundry in this town!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Please
(uncredited)
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 »

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User Reviews

Classic casting blunder
5 June 2002 | by campfireSee all my reviews

There's a famous gag that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee. Murders in the Zoo is a good, creepy early '30s thriller with one design flaw so wrong as to sink the whole thing. Every thriller has a little comic relief character. In this one it's the zoo's publicist who is afraid of animals. But somebody came up with the bright idea of casting Charlie Ruggles in this role. Now Ruggles is basically a one-note comic actor who inexplicably attained name-above-the-title stardom. And with his name in the cast, suddenly this supporting role became the starring role. You can see all the places where scenes were added or expanded to give the character more screen time. But he is still just the comic relief--he is not involved in any way with any major development in the storyline. He could be excised completely and never be missed. Randolph Scott is the hero and Lionel Atwill the villain, and both acquit themselves admirably. But every few minutes the forward movement of the story comes to a screeching halt while we are treated to the antics of the "star", and so the poor camel never quite gets his gait. The film has some genuinely classic "horror movie" moments, but it would be so very much better with a reliable character man providing the "comic relief" instead of making this relatively insignificant role into a star turn (for ANY star).


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