31 user 43 critic

Captive Wild Woman (1943)

Passed | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 4 June 1943 (USA)
An insane scientist doing experimentation in glandular research becomes obsessed with transforming a female gorilla into a human...even though it costs human life.


Edward Dmytryk


Ted Fithian (original story), Neil P. Varnick (original story) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
John Carradine ... Dr. Sigmund Walters
Evelyn Ankers ... Beth Colman
Milburn Stone ... Fred Mason
Lloyd Corrigan ... John Whipple
Fay Helm ... Nurse Strand
Martha Vickers ... Dorothy Colman (as Martha MacVicar)
Vince Barnett ... Curley
Paul Fix ... Gruen
Acquanetta ... Paula Dupree -


Dr. Sigmund Walters, an expert in glandular research, becomes convinced that his experiments involving lower animal species cannot succeed, so he arranges to have a very intelligent female gorilla kidnapped from the circus and brought to his lab. Using the glands of a patient and the brain of his faithful nurse, he performs transplant surgery on the intelligent simian. When the ape morphs into exotic and sexy Paula Dupree, the experiment seems to be s success. She even finds a place for herself at her old circus assisting lion tamer Fred Mason. Unfortunately when aroused by desire and jealousy over the affections of Mason, her delicate metabolism breaks down, and she regresses to her ape form. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


STRANGEST OF SIGHTS... The brain of an animal... the form of a woman! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Acquanetta never speaks during her time on screen. See more »


When Beth first greets Fred on the dock at the very start of the film, her lips don't move. See more »


[first lines]
Dockworker: Clear the dock! Clear the dock!
See more »


Followed by The Jungle Captive (1945) See more »

User Reviews

So good they created a sequel...well, perhaps not...but at least they did a sequel!
1 April 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I watched the films in the wrong order, though it hardly seemed to matter as the second film, "Jungle Woman" isn't exactly a sequel as so much of the story has been changed. Instead of being the product of a truly evil scientist (John Carradine), the ape is transformed into a hot woman by a nice scientist and there's also no mention of the story in "Captive Wild Woman". Odd...but this sort of thing was not unusual in Universal's horror films of the 1940s...they often contradicted each other.

A lady has a sister with some odd glandular disorder...so she takes him to Dr. Walters (Carradine). Little do they know that the nice scientist is actually completely evil and plans on experimenting on the sick sister. He plans on using her body to help turn an ape he stole become human-looking...all thanks to the miracle of glands. Along the way, his stupid assistant* gets in the way, so he sacrifices her...all in the name of scientist.

The new creation Walter dubs 'Paula Dupree' and she soon becomes the assistant to Fred the lion and tiger tamer. This is because Paula can hypnotize animals to do her bidding just by staring at them...and staring is what Acquanetta was REALLY good at doing throughout this film. Apart from a little tantrum and sequence where she looks a bit like a cheap wolfman, she really isn't given much to do other than stare. And, this staring she-freak is in love with Fred...but without a conscience, there's no telling WHAT she'll do!

This is not a terrible film but is about what you'd expect from a second-tier Universal horror movie. It entertains (particularly because of Carradine's cool performance as the goofy doc!) and is pretty much what fans of the genre will enjoy. It's also just a bit better than its sequel.

By the way, the exotic looking Acquanetta was actually originally Mildred Davenport...from Wyoming! So, despite the press releases from Universal, she was NOT the Venezuelan Volcano!

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Release Date:

4 June 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Captive Wild Woman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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