A college professor attempts to salvage his personal and professional reputation by using a laboratory chimpanzee to prove that environment trumps heredity in behavioral development.

Director:

Frederick De Cordova (as Frederick de Cordova)

Writers:

Ted Berkman (story), Raphael Blau (story) (as Raphael David Blau) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Reagan ... Prof. Peter Boyd
Diana Lynn ... Jane Linden
Walter Slezak ... Prof. Hans Neumann
Lucille Barkley Lucille Barkley ... Dr. Valerie Tillinghast
Jesse White ... Babcock
Herbert Heyes ... Dean Tillinghast
Herb Vigran ... Police Lt. Daggett (as Herburt Vigran)
Harry Tyler ... Knucksy Breckenridge
Edward Clark ... Professor Fosdick (as Ed Clark)
Edward Gargan ... Policeman Bill (as Ed Gargan)
Joel Friedkin Joel Friedkin ... Mr. DeWitt
Brad Browne Brad Browne ... Chief of Police
Elizabeth Flournoy Elizabeth Flournoy ... Miss Swithen (as Elizabeth Flourney)
Howard Banks Howard Banks ... Policeman
Perc Launders Perc Launders ... Fireman
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Storyline

Professor Peter Boyd's engagement to the Dean's daughter is upset by the revelation that his father was a habitual convict. To prove the Dean's genetic theory of inherited traits as wrong, Boyd starts a 'secret' experiment. He borrows the science department's chimpanzee with the goal of showing that it is one's environment that affects your reaction to right and wrong. Written by Richard Stephens <richards@metronet.com>

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Taglines:

THE MOST UPROARIOUS NEW IDEA ON FILM SINCE "FRANCIS"! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

When Bonzo is passed through the window, he has a skirt on that soon disappears. See more »

Quotes

Peter Boyd: I'm going to make that old man change his attitude if it takes till I'm 90.
Hans Neumann: Good, Peter. Good, good.
Peter Boyd: Of course, Valerie probably won't be interested in me when I'm 90.
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Connections

Referenced in Family Ties: Don't Go Changing (1985) See more »

User Reviews

 
I'm Just Gonzo For Bonzo
31 March 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When Ronald Reagan, B picture actor became the 40th president of the United States on the way there he took a lot of criticism about his former profession as thespian. He always preferred his identification with the motion picture industry to be symbolized by playing George Gipp in Knute Rockne, All American. His supporters always referred to him as the Gipper. But his detractors always used Bedtime For Bonzo as the quintessential Reagan film.

It's both the title and the fact that Reagan is playing second fiddle to a young chimpanzee in the film that seem to resonate. Professors Reagan and Walter Slezak are conducting experiments as to just how close are the chimpanzees to man on the evolutionary scale. Reagan takes Bonzo home to live with him and treats him like a child and not a pet. For said experiment Bonzo needs a mother and Diana Lynn answers an advertisement for a chimp's mom.

It works out well on the scientific end, but plays havoc with Reagan's love life as he's slightly engaged to Lucille Barkley, daughter of college dean, Herbert Hayes. And Hayes just got an offer from Yale for Bonzo, but neither Reagan or Lynn want to part with him.

As a pet owner I can understand that, but the film does try to sell the point of view that Bonzo is more than a pet. That's a bit much for me to swallow.

Still Bedtime For Bonzo is an innocuous and pleasant comedy and could probably be remade today. Can you see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie being Bonzo's parents?


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bedtime for Bonzo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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