Gorilla at Large


Crime / Film-Noir

IMDb Rating 5.4


Downloaded 103 times
10/23/2020 10:25:22 AM

83 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by telegonus 9

This semi-indie murder mystery from the fifties has a little bit of something for everyone. For one thing, it has an amazing cast: Anne Bancroft, Cameron Mitchell, Lee Cobb, Lee Marvin and Raymond Burr. It captures perfectly the tail-end of the amusement park era that was drawing to a close at this time due to television and Disneyland. Men dress in garish suits in this one, and smoke cigars, and there is, as always seemed to be the case with films with a circus or carnival setting, the air of an alternate reality just around the corner, in a sideshow or a funhouse.<br/><br/>This picture was an oddity even when it was new, feeling at times more like an episode of Superman than a movie. The gorilla looks exactly like what it is, a man in a gorilla suit, yet somehow this is acceptable, the way painted backdrops in silent movies are acceptable. If the big ape were presented realistically it would throw the whole film off. Method actors Mitchell and Cobb deliver fine B movie performances that give no hints that they were in fact classically trained, not to mention that they had once played together as father and son in the original Broadway production of Death Of a Salesman. Miss Bancroft was a babe, yet restrains her natural talent to give the sort of Suzanne Pleshette performance her part demands. Raymond Burr, still a few years away from Perry Mason, draws on his natural and inscrutable saturninity. His occasional moments of smiling and bonhomie remind me a little of Peter Lorre at his most forlorn, as he comes off like a grim, serious man trying awfully hard to be a good sport, which in turn makes him a perfect red herring. Lee Marvin plays a dumb cop named Shaughnessy, a good indication of the cleverness of the script.<br/><br/>Yet the movie works on its own terms. The color is well above average for this basically small-scale picture. Director Harmon Jones was a seasoned Hollywood veteran and knew how to slow down the action to create a sense of place, whether a policeman&#39;s office, a pier, a trailer or the ersatz jungle set, complete with trapeze. This sort of stylized, non-realistic movie was, like amusement parks, going out of fashion at the time it was made, and yet it has its virtues, notably a commitment to artifice rather than a representation of the real world, which freed the imaginations of the men behind the camera, allowing them to make little experiments with color, space and lighting. The movie is much better than camp. It&#39;s more like Edward Hopper Goes To the Circus.

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Reviewed by vanderbilt651 7

It&#39;s not so much that there&#39;s more than meets the eye as it is what<br/><br/>does meet the eye that makes this picture worth a look-see.<br/><br/>Sure, if you want to be all serious, then you could easily object to a<br/><br/>rather predictable plot, or some wooden performances (though I&#39;d<br/><br/>have something to say about that), or a delightfully inept gorilla suit<br/><br/>that looks more like an animated swatch of shag carpet (the eyes<br/><br/>are so...human!). You could moan and groan about the film&#39;s<br/><br/>portrayal of women, etc., etc. You could call it a bad movie.<br/><br/>But you shouldn&#39;t! Firstly, it does offer the sorts of thrills that<br/><br/>B-movie fans relish: the lurid carny life, cartoonish violence,<br/><br/>trapeze artists in skimpy costumes, emotions writ large and<br/><br/>unambiguously (at least ostensibly).<br/><br/>In fact, I&#39;d say that many of the performances are great, not<br/><br/>because they are especially moving or &quot;realistic,&quot; but rather,<br/><br/>because the conventions of the genre frame them in such a way<br/><br/>as to be quite effective, and not least of all, gratifying. Anne<br/><br/>Bancroft smolders magnificently as a trapeze artist with quite a<br/><br/>shady past. Raymond Burr&#39;s controlling, yet ambiguous carnival<br/><br/>manager never fails to intrigue. Lee Marvin is great as a feckless,<br/><br/>blow-hard police officer. And perhaps most compellingly, there is<br/><br/>Lee J. Cobb, as a no-nonsense, cigar-chomping gumshoe. You<br/><br/>really get a sense of what an entirely watchable performer he is in<br/><br/>this picture, and personally I think he&#39;s better here than he is in &quot;On<br/><br/>the Waterfront&quot; (gasp!).<br/><br/>Camp values aside, the technical aspects of the film are<br/><br/>breathtaking. The picture&#39;s technicolors blast out of the screen,<br/><br/>aided by 3-D that is so sharply defined and brilliant that you feel<br/><br/>like you are watching some sort of moving ViewMaster reel. A<br/><br/>restored print has recently been struck and you&#39;ll be blown away if<br/><br/>you have a chance to see it. I&#39;d say that its use of technicolor and<br/><br/>3-D are perhaps more impressive than even &quot;House of Wax,&quot; and<br/><br/>certainly more accomplished than such unnecessarily 3-D&#39;d<br/><br/>features such as &quot;Dial M for Murder&quot; or &quot;Miss Sadie Thompson.&quot;<br/><br/>Color, violence, a beautiful girl and a gorilla--and in not one, nor<br/><br/>two, but THREE dimensions. What&#39;s not to like?

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Reviewed by pete4winds 8

This movie was an annual tradition for many years in Boston, and I remember, as a kid, getting my 3-D glasses at the supermarket weeks in advance. &quot;Gorilla at Large&quot; is, in my humble opinion, a cult classic in every way. SEE THIS MOVIE!!! If you can get the 3-D version, definitely do that!

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