In Africa, the girl Jill Young trades a baby gorilla with two natives and raises the animal. Twelve years later, the talkative and persuasive promoter Max O'Hara organizes a safari to Africa with the Oklahoma cowboy Gregg to bring attractions to his new night-club in Hollywood. They capture several lions and out of blue, they see a huge gorilla nearby their camping and they try to capture the animal. However, the teenager Jill Young stops the men that intended to kill her gorilla. Max seduces Jill with a fancy life in Hollywood and she signs a contract with him where the gorilla Joseph "Joe" Young would be the lead attraction. Soon she realizes that her dream is a nightmare to Joe and she asks Max to return to Africa. However he persuades her to stay a little longer in the show business. But when three alcoholic costumers give booze to Joe, the gorilla destroys the spot and is sentenced by the justice to be sacrificed. Will Jill, Gregg and Max succeed in saving Joe?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The version of this shown on TCM features the "burning orphanage" sequence overlaid with an orange filter for dramatic effect, just as it had been in its original 1949 release. See more »
When Joe makes his first appearance, and starts poking around the wagons containing the lions, watch the background carefully. Immediately to the left of Joe, between him and the far left wagon is a large bush. Just after Joe shoves the wagon the first time a light suddenly shines on the bush (presumably someone had repositioned a spotlight between shots) and from that point on you can see the reflection of Joe and the wagon reflected in what appears to be an unpainted area of the glass painting behind him. See more »
Opening credits cast list: "AND Mr. Joseph Young As Himself" See more »
Although current prints include the restored sepia-tone in some of the later scenes (as presented in the original theatrical release) older television prints are shown in black-and-white only. See more »
Great film about an oversize gorilla (about 10-11 feet), its owner (Terry Moore) and what happens when an unscrupulous promoter Max O'Hara (Robert Armstrong) lures them from Africa to America to become a hit. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way--the story is nothing new; Terry Moore and Ben Johnson are among the worst actors I've ever seen and there's zero lack of characterization among the humans. But when Joe Young appears all is forgiven. He looks great, moves realistically and has incredible facial motions. You can tell exactly what he's thinking by his expressions! Also, the scenes where he's grappling with humans, horses, lions look extremely realistic--that's saying a lot for a film that's over 50 years old! A fun family film. Try to see restored prints--there's a final sequence involving a burning building in which the whole reel is tinted red--very nicely done.
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