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Mighty Joe Young (1949)

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A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune in order to save her family's ranch.

Writers:

Ruth Rose (screenplay), Merian C. Cooper (from an original story by)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Terry Moore ... Jill Young
Ben Johnson ... Gregg
Robert Armstrong ... Max O'Hara
Mr. Joseph Young ... Himself
Frank McHugh ... Windy
Douglas Fowley ... Jones
Denis Green Denis Green ... Crawford
Paul Guilfoyle ... Smith
Nestor Paiva ... Brown
Regis Toomey ... John Young
Lora Lee Michel ... Jill Young, as a Girl
James Flavin ... Schultz
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Gordon ... Old Woman (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ten Terrific Thrills ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

29 August 1949 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Joesph Young of Africa See more »

Filming Locations:

Thousand Oaks, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,950,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argosy Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone) (some sequences)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was stop-motion animator Pete Peterson's first animating job. He was hired as a grip but became so enamored with stop-motion while watching Ray Harryhausen work that Willis H. O'Brien allowed him to try his hand at animating some scenes. See more »

Goofs

Max is sitting typing in his tent in Africa, a servant exits the tent, pulling back the net in front of the opening. For a brief moment a hand is visible pulling the net out of the shot. See more »

Quotes

Max O'Hara: [to Windy] Who's the greatest press agant in the world, you or me; don't answer that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Africa See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Mighty Peking Man (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great story, great effects.
3 October 2000 | by ChessackSee all my reviews

Thanksgiving just can't be Thanksgiving without Mighty Joe Young. From as far back as I can remember, until about 10 years ago, WOR, channel 9 in New York City, played a King Kong festival on Thanksgiving day, and then a Godzilla festival on Friday, dubbing it "Monster Weekend." Of the 3 "ape movies" played back-to-back (King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young), this was far and away the best. There were several reasons for it. (1) Mighty Joe Young has the best special effects of all the ape movies (and, truth be known, far better than those of most of the Godzillas -- which were filmed 10-20 years later!). (2) Mighty Joe Young has the best story. It's about a little girl who adopts a young gorilla in Africa on her family's plantation, and she grows up with it. The gorilla turns out to be the largest in the world (but nowhere near the size of Kong). Joe is affectionate with his "sister", and very protective of her, and the animators gave him a wonderful range of facial expressions and emotions. (3) Mighty Joe Young has the best climax, and the best ending.

All told, Mighty Joe Young is a terriffic movie. It was light years ahead of its time in so many ways, including special effects. It is well worth the time to see it.

My score: 8/10


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