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The Hairy Ape (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 2 July 1944 (USA)
During the 1940s, social class conflict is depicted when a spoiled socialite, traveling on a freighter, calls the ship's head stoker a hairy ape, provoking him into stalking the rich woman once ashore in New York.

Director:

Alfred Santell

Writers:

Eugene O'Neill (play), Robert Hardy Andrews (screenplay) (as Robert D. Andrews) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Bendix ... Hank Smith
Susan Hayward ... Mildred Douglas
John Loder ... Tony Lazar
Dorothy Comingore ... Helen Parker
Roman Bohnen ... Paddy
Tom Fadden ... Long
Alan Napier ... MacDougald, Chief Engineer
Charles Cane Charles Cane ... Gantry
Charles La Torre Charles La Torre ... Portuguese Proprietor
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Storyline

Hank Smith, a brutish stoker on board a freighter, is appalled when Mildred Douglas, a society girl forced by circumstance to travel as a passenger, visits the stokehold and recoils at the filthy, sweating Hank. A powerhouse of a man with a primitive confidence, Hank has never been looked down on before nor suffered the insult "hairy ape" flung at him by the rich girl. At first he seeks vengeance for the insult, but broods over it until more than anything, he desires to understand it. When the ship reaches port, he seeks her out in her upper class surroundings, determined to grasp the meaning of the encounter. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Legend of the Damned! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasión salvaje See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Quotes

Mildred Douglas: Get away from me. Don't touch me, you ape. You hairy ape!
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User Reviews

Only Die-Hard Bendix Fans Need Apply!
30 November 2001 | by orsonwelles-1941See all my reviews

Only the most ardent fans of the man best known to the nostalgia-minded as the title character in the radio/TV sitcom THE LIFE OF RILEY have any business viewing this weak Eugene O'Neill adaptation. The impact of its contemplative dialogue is drastically lessened by static characters and a frustratingly implausible ending. For example, are we to believe that Bendix can get away with breaking into Susan Hayward's apartment tote her around in his arms while leering perversely at her and dump her on the sofa with the close-up clearly showing she will doubtlessly be traumatized for life by this experience and then have the film end with him yucking it up with his fellow coal stokers? This damaging flaw could have easily been replaced by a complete plot rearrangement in which Bendix softens Hayward's callous snobbishness through a comically developed friendship/romance with her. Instead all we get are 90 minutes of Bendix grunting and leering in one of the most unsatisfying and disturbingly sexist pictures to come out of the Second World War.


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