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Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

Passed | | Horror | October 1951 (USA)
1:56 | Trailer

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The owner of a plantation in the jungle marries a beautiful woman. Shortly afterward, he is plagued by a strange voodoo curse which transforms him into a gorilla.


Curt Siodmak


Curt Siodmak



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Complete credited cast:
Barbara Payton ... Mrs. Dina Van Gelder
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Police Commissioner Taro (as Lon Chaney)
Raymond Burr ... Barney Chavez
Tom Conway ... Dr. Viet
Paul Cavanagh ... Klaas Van Gelder
Gisela Werbisek Gisela Werbisek ... Al-Long (as Giselle Werbisek)
Carol Varga ... Larina
Paul Maxey Paul Maxey ... Van Heusen
Woody Strode ... Nedo - Policeman
Martin Garralaga ... Native
Felippa Rock Felippa Rock ... Stella Van Heusen
Moyna MacGill ... Mme. Van Heusen


Deep in the South American jungle plantation manager Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills his elderly employer in order to get to his beautiful wife (Barbara Payton). However, an old native witch witnesses the crime and puts a curse on Barney, who soon after finds himself turning nightly into a rampaging gorilla. But is his transformation real or is it all in his head? Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Her marriage vows were more than fulfilled! See more »




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

October 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Face in the Water See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Partially based on director Curt Siodmak's original script for The Wolf Man (1941), which featured Lon Chaney Jr. in the title role. See more »


When Dina goes searching for Barney in the jungle for the first time, we see a quick shot of a leopard climbing up into a tree. Although this scene is supposed to be outdoors (the jungle), both the leopard and the leaves around him are casting shadows on the "sky" behind them. The sky is obviously a wall or backdrop. See more »


[first lines]
Police Commissioner Taro: [narration] This is Jungle - lush, green, alive with incredible growth - as young as day, as old as time. I, Taro, Police Commissioner of Itman County, which borders the Amazonas River, know it as well as any man will ever know it. Isn't it beautiful? But I have also learned that beauty can be venomous, deadly, something terrifying, something of prehistoric ages when monstrous superstitions ruled the minds of men, something that has haunted the world for millions of years rose out ...
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Featured in This Movie Sucks!: Bride of the Gorilla: Part 1 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Better Than Its Reputation
1 October 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Bride of the Gorilla (1951)

*** (out of 4)

Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills a man in cold blood so that he can steal his wife (Barbara Payton) and he thinks he's gotten away with it but he didn't realize that a voodoo witch has placed a curse on him. The curse turns him into a gorilla but he really changing or is it all in his mind?

Curt Siodmak wrote and directed this low-budget "B" film and that's worth noting because he wrote some of Universal's biggest hits of the 1940's. One such film was THE WOLF MAN, which was obviously the inspiration for this movie. If you're familiar with that 1941 film then you might remember that the screenwriter originally wanted to make it unclear whether the Lon Chaney, Jr. character was a werewolf or if it was all in his mind. Well, that scenario is basically what plays out there.

If you look around at the reviews you'll notice that the majority of them are negative but I feel that's a bit unfair. While this here certainly isn't a classic movie it's at least a lot more entertaining than a lot of the "B" horror movies that were out there around this time. The film obviously doesn't have much money and this is rather clear when you see how cheap some of the special effects are. In fact, the majority of them are off screen or POV shots.

I thought the film was at least entertaining enough to hold your attention throughout and I must admit that I really liked the Burr character even with what he did. I thought it was interesting seeing what he was going through and of course there's the mystery of what exactly is happening. Burr turns in a good performance as did Payton. Then you've got Chaney, Jr. in a supporting role and while it is a throwaway part he's at least fun.

BRIDE OF THE GORILLA is a bunch of low-budget non-sense but I've always found it to be mildly enjoyable.

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