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The Gorilla (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Horror | 26 May 1939 (USA)
When a wealthy man 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.


Allan Dwan


Ralph Spence (play), Rian James (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
The Ritz Brothers ... Defective Detectives
Jimmy Ritz ... Garrity
Harry Ritz ... Harrigan
Al Ritz ... Mulligan
Anita Louise ... Norma Denby
Patsy Kelly ... Kitty
Lionel Atwill ... Walter Stevens
Bela Lugosi ... Peters
Joseph Calleia ... Stranger
Edward Norris ... Jack Marsden
Wally Vernon ... Seaman
Paul Harvey ... A.P. Conway
Art Miles Art Miles ... Poe the Gorilla


When a wealthy man 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Ritz is afraid of nothing ... but ... THIS ... IS ... SOMETHING! See more »


Comedy | Horror


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gorila See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The role played by Bela Lugosi was originally intended for Peter Lorre. See more »


The sailor is bareheaded when the group go to search the garage, but his hat appears suddenly in his hand when he is at the cage and looking for the keys. See more »


Poe's keeper: Don't you know Poe hates women?
Kitty: So does Kipling.
See more »


Remake of The Gorilla (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

The Ritz Brothers Finest Film
15 February 2004 | by kilgore2345See all my reviews

When I saw this Bela Lugosi "Horror Classics" boxed DVD set at Best Buy for something like $4.99, I thought that I would be watching classic B-Horror fare (i.e. _The Devil Bat_, _The Ape Man_, and _Carnival of Souls_). The first title of the "11 hours of entertainment" was _The Gorilla_. Believe it or not, this would be the first Lugosi movie I would ever see outside of his small role in _The Wolf Man_. Yet, I was refused a good look at a non-Dracula/non-Universal Bela Lugosi. Instead I was introduced to the horrific comic stylings of the Ritz Brothers and Patsy Kelly. Upon first viewing, I said out loud, "Are these guys suppose to be funny?" (By the way, they are supposed to be a comedy TEAM, but from what I saw the one Ritz brother cracked all the jokes as the other two made faces.) Yes, I am aware that their slapstick humor would be extremely sweet with movie-goers of the 1930s ad 1940s -BUT- these guys are so very lame. And, Dear Lord, Kelly's screaming is a steak knife scratching over and over again on a plate. Regardless, out of all the movies in this set, I cannot stop watching _The Gorilla_. After a couple of screenings, I hate to admit it, but the Ritz Brothers have grown on me (sorry, Kelly hasn't). Not because they are funny, but because their performance is so ridiculously terrible, that it evolves into funny.

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