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Born to Be Wild (1995)

Rick Heller is a juvenile delinquent who keeps getting himself into trouble. To keep him out of trouble his mother puts him to work cleaning the cage of a gorilla named Katie which she is ... See full summary »


John Gray


Paul Young (story), John Bunzel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wil Horneff ... Rick Heller
Jean Marie Barnwell Jean Marie Barnwell ... Lacey Carr
Helen Shaver ... Margaret Heller
John C. McGinley ... Uncle Max Carr
Marvin J. McIntyre ... Bob the Paramedic
Peter Boyle ... Gus Charnley
Gregory Itzin ... Walter Mallinson
Titus Welliver ... Sergeant Bo Markle
Thomas F. Wilson ... Det. Lou Greenberg (as Tom Wilson)
Alan Ruck ... Atty. Dan Woodley
Janet Carroll ... Judge Billings
John Procaccino ... Ed Price
Obba Babatundé ... Interpreter
David Wingert David Wingert ... Gary James
John Pleshette ... Donald Carr


Rick Heller is a juvenile delinquent who keeps getting himself into trouble. To keep him out of trouble his mother puts him to work cleaning the cage of a gorilla named Katie which she is teaching to communicate through the use of sign language. When the owner of the gorilla takes her back to become a flea market freak Rick takes it upon himself to break Katie out and take her on an adventureous journey to get her out of the country. Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What do you do when your best friend's a 400-pound gorilla? Anything she likes. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »



USA | Japan



Release Date:

31 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Katie See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At approximately 31:25, Thomas F. Wilson's character (Detective Lou Greenberg) and his partner approach Gus Charnley (Peter Boyle). After realizing the attitude of Gus, Detective Greenberg looks to his partner and says the word "butthead", then looks back at Charnley. Thomas F. Wilson is popularly known for playing Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future series. Biff Tannen uses the word butthead approximately 9 times collectively in Back to the Future. See more »


The rock that Katie climbs at the beach is far inland on the shore. The water shouldn't be more than ankle deep when she falls in. See more »


Rick Heller: [annoyed] I can't believe I'm wrestling a gorilla for my dinner!
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Featured in Executive Decision (1996) See more »


Born To Be Wild
Written by Mars Bonfire
Performed by Steppenwolf
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User Reviews

the end made me cry
25 June 2006 | by sarajeanne30See all my reviews

I love this movie. It's really good in showing the bond very powerful bond between animals and humans. Rick is 14 turning 15 in this movie and he knows that this very intelligent gorilla(Katie) should be free and not miss treated in a cage. There are a lot of depth and meaning to this movie and it's not just about saving the gorillas. The best part of the movie is definitely after Katie falls in the water and that Rick's talks about his dad and how he left. I love the continuum to this because at the end of the movie when Rick lets Katie in Hawaii she asks him if he's a father now because he won't come back. This is a great movie that everyone can enjoy young and old.(I'm 14 and the end made me cry)

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