Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

I also cover vintage television at my sister site, CLASSICS ON THE TUBE , so please feel free to check that out as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mighty Joe Young (1949)

Starring Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong, Frank McHugh, Douglas Fowley
Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack
(actor & director credits courtesy

A producer of stage shows brings back from Africa a giant gorilla and the girl who can control him to star in a new nightclub he's opening.

The creators of King Kong deliver another giant ape tale, and though it's not the grand adventure Kong was, it's a charming film with impressive technical wizardry in its own right.  Willis O'Brien returned to supervise the special effects and employed a young Ray Harryhausen, on the cusp of his own brilliant career, as his first technician.  Together with other animators, they create a living breathing character with his own personality, and although the film borrows several elements from Kong, including star Robert Armstrong, its comes into its own with a fiery climax that shows off the ape's heroism.  The reddish-tinted shot of Joe Young clinging to a tree with a vivid fearful expression at the peril Moore faces atop a burning orphanage is one of my all-time favorites.

No comments:

Post a Comment