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Mighty Joe Young (1949)

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1:39 | Trailer
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:

Striking! Startling! Staggering! See more »


Certificate:

18 | 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. Joseph Young of Africa See more »

Filming Locations:

Thousand Oaks, California, USA

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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 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

A sequel called "Joe Meets Tarzan" was planned in 1950 and would have had Mighty Joe Young team up with Tarzan, played by Lex Barker, who had just filmed Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950). The film was canceled due to the disappointing box office of "Mighty Joe Young". See more »

Goofs

When Joe pushes the truck free, his shadow is cast against the "distant" landscape, revealing it to be a backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Max O'Hara: [to a table of drunks] Listen you guys, cut out the rough stuff or I'll feed you to the lions. The kid's cigarettes will be on your check. Enjoy yourselves... gentlemen.
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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Black Scorpion (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Am I dreamin' or did I just see a gorilla?"
31 March 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

An African girl (Terry Moore) is best friends with a twelve-foot tall ape named Joe she grew up with. American promoter Max O'Hara (Robert Armstrong) persuades the girl to bring her ape to America to take part in his show. You can pretty much guess how this will go wrong even if you haven't seen King Kong.

First big role for Ben Johnson as a cowboy who falls for Moore. He's pretty wooden here but then again he was a fairly wooden actor throughout his career. He does his usual John Wayne, Jr. routine. Lots of "Yassir" and "Ah reckon" type stuff. Robert Armstrong plays a role very much like Carl Denham from King Kong, although a little more comedic. Terry Moore is more Helen Mack than Fay Wray. That is to say she's cute but not much screen presence.

Re-teaming of many of the King Kong team for a story that is very similar to that film, although different enough to keep this from being considered a remake. The story is mostly kid stuff and fluff but cute nonetheless. The Willis O'Brien/Ray Harryhausen special effects alone are worth checking this movie out.


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