June 29, 2014
Movie Night: Mighty Joe Young (1949).
Review #604: Mighty Joe Young.
Terry Moore (Jill Young), Ben Johnson (Gregg), Robert Armstrong (Max O'Hara), Frank McHugh (Windy), Douglas Fowley (Jones), and Denis Green (Crawford) Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack (#283 - King Kong)
King Kong was a massive success (so good they rushed out a sequel named Son of Kong only 9 months later), and a few re-releases inspired RKO to make another movie about an gorilla, with Willis O'Brien supervising the stop motion effects, with Ray Harryhausen assisting him. The gorilla isn't as big or tall as Kong, but he is more sympathetic (I suppose) and he even gets a happy ending. King Kong had an aura of mystery for the first half mainly because of Skull Island and what it would be. Mighty Joe Young just flat out brings you to Africa without much tension, but I guess at this point trying the same thing twice wouldn't work. The actors in this film are alright, and for once there isn't a shrieking character, and Armstrong (who was Carl Denham in King Kong) is certainly persuasive in the role, he's a very lovable figure, and the most noticeable actor in this film. The effects are great, even if Joe isn't as intimidating as it may seem. The climax of the movie is well enough, it's not everyday you see a gorilla on a moving van. This is an alright movie that runs short but means well. The effects are probably better than the actors, but it at least is good looking, and in the end, I guess that's all that counts to having a good time.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.