Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
|Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla|
Theatrical release poster.
|Directed by||William Beaudine|
|Produced by||Maurice Duke|
|Written by||Tim Ryan|
|Music by||Richard Hazard|
|Cinematography||Charles Van Enger|
|Editing by||Philip Cahn|
|Distributed by||Realart Pictures Inc.|
|Release dates||September 4, 1952 (New York City, New York)|
|Running time||74 min|
Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla is a 1952 comedy film directed by William Beaudine and starring horror veteran Béla Lugosi and nightclub comedians Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo in roles approximating Martin and Lewis.
On their way to perform in Guam, 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.
The film was originally to have been titled White Woman of the Lost Jungle. The Gorilla title was thought up by Broder's ten year old son. Producer Herman Cohen decided it would be foolish not to exploit Bela Lugosi's appearance in the film.
Sammy Petrillo had established something of a career imitating Jerry Lewis, whom he resembled closely. Petrillo and Duke Mitchell - who took on the Dean Martin role - played in various clubs in Las Vegas among other cities. 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 movie. Once Jerry Lewis heard about the film he turned up at the studio offices threatening legal action against the producer and Petrillo for copying his act so closely. Petrillo continued to perform in night clubs through the years, keeping his Jerry Lewis impersonation as one part of his act. Years later, after Martin and Lewis had split up, Dean Martin almost surreptitiously arranged the production of a Mitchell and Petrillo television series until it fell through.
- Bela Lugosi (Dr. Zabor)
- Duke Mitchell (Himself)
- Sammy Petrillo (Himself)
- Charlita (Nona)
- Muriel Landers (Saloma)
- Al Kikume (Chief Rakos)
- Mickey Simpson (Chula, manservant)
- Milton Newberger (Bongo the witch doctor)
- Martin Garralaga (Pepe Bordo, waiter)
- Cheeta (Ramona the Chimp)
- Steve Calvert (Gorilla #1, uncredited)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.|
- Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla at the Internet Movie Database
- Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla at allmovie
- Sammy Petrillo Speaks Out; illustrated by Ward Sutton
- Interview with producer of Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
- Joe Dante on Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla at Trailers From Hell