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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:

Merian Cooper's amazing adventure in the unusual! 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)
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

The stock footage shot of New York's Times Square is actually from the mid-'20s. A marquee for Ernest B. Schoedsack's and Merian C. Cooper's "Grass, the Epic of a Lost Tribe", aka Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925) can be seen in the lower right corner. See more »

Goofs

When Mighty Joe Young is carrying the young girl up the burning tree a metal position gauge, a stop-motion special effects tool appears on screen for a single frame. See more »

Quotes

Jill Young: [after O'Hara and Crawford have fled] Aren't you afraid of Joe?
Gregg Johnson: I sure am, but I don't want him to know it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits cast list: "AND Mr. Joseph Young As Himself" See more »

Connections

Featured in Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fun, fast-moving with fantastic special effects
21 November 2000 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

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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