Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
Poster183.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by William Beaudine
Produced by Maurice Duke
Written by Tim Ryan
Starring Bela Lugosi
Duke Mitchell
Sammy Petrillo
Music by Richard Hazard
Cinematography Charles Van Enger
Edited by Philip Cahn
Distributed by Realart Pictures Inc.
Release date(s)
Running time 74 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12,000[1]
Mitchell and Petrillo in Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (also known as The Boys from Brooklyn) is a 1952 American comedy horror science fiction film directed by William Beaudine and starring horror veteran Bela Lugosi and nightclub comedians Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo in roles approximating the then popular duo of Martin and Lewis.

Pre-production[edit]

Comedian Sammy Petrillo had established something of a career imitating comedian Jerry Lewis, whom he resembled closely. Petrillo and singer Duke Mitchell - who took on the Dean Martin role - played in various clubs in Las Vegas among other cities. Maurice Duke, who managed the duo, had pitched the idea of Petrillo and Mitchell starring in a movie to several studios. Duke eventually pitched the idea to Realart Pictures Inc. co-owner Jack Broder and his assistant, producer Herman Cohen. Duke then took Broder to see Petrillo and Duke perform in Culver City. While Broder thought the duo was hilarious, Herman Cohen (who saw the duo's act later) said he thought Petrillo and Mitchell "stunk".[2] Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla was to be the first in a series of films starring Mitchell and Petrillo, but this wound up as their only film together.[3]

According Herman Cohen, Jerry Lewis was furious when he heard that Sammy Petrillo and Duke Mitchell were to appear in a film. Lewis, who knew Jack Broder through the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, showed up at Jack Broder's office. The two got into a screaming match over the film and Lewis stormed out yelling obscenities.[4] Paramount Pictures producer Hal B. Wallis, who then had Martin and Lewis under contract and also knew Broder through the Friars Club, threatened to sue Broder for releasing a film that featured a duo that closely resembled Martin and Lewis.[5] Wallis and Broder later had a meeting after filming had completed and, according to Herman Cohen, Broder offered to sell Hal Wallis the negative to the film for a substantial amount of money. Wallis agreed to buy it so he could destroy it but Broder and Wallis could not agree on price. Broder released the film and Wallis never spoke to Broder again.[6]

Bela Lugosi was cast because Realart Pictures Inc., the company that produced the film, had reissued many of Lugosi's Universal horror films from the 1920s and 1930s. By 1952, Lugosi's career had sharpy declined and he hadn't worked in years. The film's associate producer Herman Cohen later recalled that Lugosi was quite ill at the time due to his addiction to morphine but acted professionally and was nice.[7] The film was originally to be titled White Woman of the Lost Jungle. The Gorilla title was thought up by Jack Broder's ten year old son. Associate producer Herman Cohen decided it would be foolish not to exploit Bela Lugosi's appearance in the film and decide to retitle the film using Lugosi's name.[8]

Plot[edit]

On their way to perform in Guam for the troops, nightclub performers Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo find themselves stranded on a seemingly treacherous island, known by the natives as "Kola Kola". The natives are quite friendly, especially Nona, the tribal chief's daughter, who tries to help the two get off the island. Though Paradise has been found, for the time being, the duo soon discovers that a mad scientist named Dr. Zabor (Bela Lugosi), lives on the other side of the island. Seeing a chance to get help, the two visit the strange doctor. Tension mounts as Duke falls in love with Nona. Seeing Duke as a threat, a jealous Dr. Zabor plans to literally make a monkey out of Duke, for he too loves Nona. Sammy tries to help his pal, with unexpected results.

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla was filmed over a six day period at the General Service Studios (now the Hollywood Center Studios) in Los Angeles.[10][1] The film's budget was $12,000.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Frank, Alan G. (1982). The Horror Film Handbook. Barnes & Noble Books-Imports. p. 49. ISBN 0-389-20260-6. 
  2. ^ Weaver 2010 p.93
  3. ^ Weaver 2010 p.97
  4. ^ Weaver 2010 p.94
  5. ^ Rhodes, Gary Don (1997). Lugosi: His Life in Films, on Stage, and in the Hearts of Horror Lovers. McFarland. p. 141. ISBN 0-786-40257-1. 
  6. ^ Weaver 2010 pp.96-7
  7. ^ Weaver, Tom (2010). A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interviews with 62 Filmmakers. McFarland. pp. 95–96. ISBN 0-786-45831-3. 
  8. ^ Tom Weaver, "Herrrman, I vant to talk vith yyyooouuu…!" hermancohen.com
  9. ^ a b Weaver 2010 p.96
  10. ^ Weaver, Tom (2003). Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews. McFarland. p. 49. ISBN 0-786-41366-2. 

External links[edit]