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Mighty Joe Young (1949)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy | 29 August 1949 (Sweden)
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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:

You See It All Happen ! 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 See more »

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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, ARKO 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

The poster in Max's office reveals that his previous show was called "Earthquake Ballet". At the end of the film this has been replaced with one announcing his next: "Underwater Babies". See more »

Goofs

When the hobo tries to enter the moving van at the gas station the handle is on the left rear door and it opens first. When the cops open the doors a few moments later the handle is on the right door and it opens first. 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 cast list: "AND Mr. Joseph Young As Himself" See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 1 April 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Decent stop-motion adventure
2 September 2013 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

MIGHTY JOE YOUNG is essentially a smaller, pared-down re-run of KING KONG, with everything taking place on a smaller scale and perhaps a slightly younger audience in mind. It's nevertheless an extremely watchable and at times powerful piece, one that's at its best when depicting the worst of human nature; namely Joe's transformation from king of the jungle to a side-show freak.

Such films are inevitably dated now, presenting a view of a world long forgotten. Despite this, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG is gripping and exhilarating in equal measure. The opening sequences are slightly twee, but once the action shifts to Hollywood it gets better and better, especially the extended "will they make it?" climax. The scene with the burning building is an incredibly complex set-piece and one which is executed beautifully.

KING KONG guru Willis O'Brien was the guy headlining this production, but by all accounts stop-motion king Ray Harryhausen did most of the work, and Joe is one of his best creations; not only is he a realistic monster, but like the best of the stop-motion beasties, he's a recognisable character too, and one you empathise with. The rest of the production is well-paced and well-made, with a level of finesse raising it above the level of the competition.


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