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Gorilla, The


The three Ritz Brothers are fumbling detectives prowling an old dark house haunted by Bela Lugosi, an insane murderer and a giant gorilla.

The Gorilla is a 1939 comedy horror film starring the Ritz Brothers, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, and Patsy Kelly. It was based on a The Gorilla of the same name by Ralph Spence.

Plot outline

When a wealthy man (Lionel Atwill) is threatened by a killer known as The Gorilla, he hires the Ritz Brothers to investigate. A real escaped gorilla shows up at the mansion just as the investigators arrive. Patsy Kelly portrays a newly hired maid who wants to quit because the butler, played by Bela Lugosi, scares her.


By October 1938, 20th Century Fox bought the rights to Ralph Spence's play The Gorilla. Fox wanted production on the film to start in January, which would be when The Ritz Brothers finished their tour. The studio wanted Kane Richmond to play a part in the film, but Richmond was replaced by Edward Norris who signed on for the film Charlie Chan in Reno. Fox signed on Bela Lugosi for the film as the butler. This character was originally meant for Peter Lorre.</>

Release and reception

The Gorilla premiered on May 26, 1939. A negative review of the film was written in The New York Times stating, "It's all supposed to be either really funny or shockingly thrilling, depending on how you look at it. We couldn't see it either way."

See also

  • List of films in the public domain
  • Notes

  • Category:1939 films
    Category:1930s horror films
    Category:American films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:20th Century Fox films
    Category:Films directed by Allan Dwan
    Category:Films based on plays
    Category:American comedy horror films

  • 3.54
    Harry Joe Brown

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