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Bonzo Goes to College (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | 11 September 1952 (USA)
The educated chimp moves in with a college football coach's family.


Frederick De Cordova (as Frederick de Cordova)


Leo Lieberman (screenplay), Jack Henley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Marion Gateson Drew
Edmund Gwenn ... Ted 'Pop' Drew
Charles Drake ... Malcolm Drew
Gigi Perreau ... Betsy Drew
Gene Lockhart ... Clarence B. Gateson
Bonzo ... Bonzo
Irene Ryan ... Nancy
John Miljan ... Wilbur Crane
Frank Nelson ... Dick
Jerry Paris ... Lefty Edwards
Guy Williams ... Ronald Calkins
Richard Garrick ... Judge George Simpkins
Tom Harmon Tom Harmon ... Tom Harmon


In this fantasy-toned sequel, former lab chimp Bonzo, now literate (!), runs away from a carnival sideshow and hops a banana truck. He lands in college town Pawlton and is adopted by the granddaughter of football coach 'Pop' Drew, who sorely needs good players. Obvious but pleasant slapstick follows. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bonzo Futbolcu See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Follows Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Best to stick with the original, though this is oddly entertaining.
20 February 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In many ways, this sequel to "Bedtime for Bonzo" is more a stand-alone film. No mention is made of the first film nor its characters (aside from Bonzo) and you have no idea how Bonzo no longer is living with the professor and his lady love in the first movie (Ronald Reagan and Diana Lynn). Instead, the story begins with Bonzo working in a traveling show and only a bit later does he appear at a college--a different one from the first film. Confusing, huh?

After running away from a traveling show, Bonzo wanders about and arrives in a small college town. The football coach (Edmund Gwenn) and his hard luck team lost every game the season before and it looks like he'll soon get fired. But when they learn Bonzo can play football well AND is super-smart, they enroll him! But some evil gamblers kidnap Bonzo and it looks like the team won't win after all...or will it?

When you think about it, this is an awfully stupid plot...a chimp going to college and playing football. Well, it's certainly no dumber than Francis the Mule playing football...and he did during this same era! The film, though dopey, is cute and enjoyable because the actors try their best. But it's still a pale follow-up to the original...a film that I actually love and which worked much better than this one.

I'm giving this one a 4...and that might be a bit generous.

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