6.2/10
9,675
69 user 69 critic

Monkey Shines (1988)

A quadriplegic man has a trained monkey help him with his paralysis, until the little monkey begins to develop feelings, and rage, against its new master.

Director:

George A. Romero

Writers:

Michael Stewart (novel), George A. Romero (screenplay)

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7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Beghe ... Allan Mann
John Pankow ... Geoffrey Fisher
Kate McNeil ... Melanie Parker
Joyce Van Patten ... Dorothy Mann
Christine Forrest Christine Forrest ... Maryanne Hodges
Stephen Root ... Dean Burbage
Stanley Tucci ... Dr. John Wiseman
Boo ... Ella
Janine Turner ... Linda Aikman
William Newman ... Doc Williams
Tudi Wiggins Tudi Wiggins ... Esther Fry
Tom Quinn Tom Quinn ... Charlie Cunningham
Chuck Baker Chuck Baker ... Ambulance Driver
Patricia Tallman ... Party Guest
David Early David Early ... Anesthetist
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Storyline

When Allan becomes a quadriplegic he loses all hope for living until he meets Ella - a monkey trained to fetch and carry for him around the house, obeying him in all things. But Ella is part of another experiment, and when she starts responding to Allan's underlying rage and frustration she has the ability to carry out her master's darkest wishes. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Experiment In Fear See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,344,577
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the very few films depicting a quadriplegic having sex. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) Ella urinates on Allan as a sign of mating, but it's actually the male capuchin who urinates on its mate. This would suggest that Ella is in fact a male capuchin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Allan Mann: [after waking up] Linda? I'm gonna go run.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Introducing Boo as Ella" See more »

Alternate Versions

Earlier versions of Monkey Shines allegedly contained a bizarre brain surgery scene, as well as several abusive scenes involving the small monkey, Ellie. Although the scenes were all staged and no animals were harmed in the making of the movie, the filmmakers decided it would be better to simply leave them out to avoid conflicts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Yang 3 in 2D (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't We Got Fun
Written by Richard A. Whiting (as Richard Whitting), Ray Egan (as Raymond B. Egan) and Gus Kahn
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from Capitol Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Interesting but this movie has problems
28 October 2005 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) becomes paralyzed from the neck down after a car hits him. He falls into a deep depression until a scientist friend (John Pankow) gets him a trained monkey named Ella (Boo) to help him. Allan also begins to fall in love with Ella's trainer (Kate McNeil)...but Ella begins to get very attached to Allan--TOO attached.

This was supposed to be director/writer George Romero's comeback film. He said the studio loved it and was going to put a big promotional push behind it. But, for whatever reason, when this came out in the summer of 1988 the studio just dumped it. There was next to no ads for it or coming attractions. Romero remains bitter about it to this day. It's too bad this film was just ignored. It's no masterpiece but it isn't bad.

The movie does have problems--it's far too long (almost two hours), the ending goes on forever and some of the plot is really hard to believe (I thought the psychic link between Allan and Ella was really stupid). Also the POV by the monkey was annoying and overused and there's a REAL embarrassing sex scene between Beghe and McNeil. Still I do like this movie.

As I said it's too long but I was never really bored. Beghe is excellent in a very difficult role; Pankow nicely underplays the scientist and McNeil is fresh and appealing. Also Boo (who plays Ella) is a good "actor". I realize she was just trained for her role but the expressions on her face and body movement was incredible. The plot is also quite interesting--until the end when it just strains credibility.

So not a bad film or a good one but worth catching. I give it a 7.


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