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