The Ape Woman

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The Ape Woman
The Ape Woman.jpg
Film poster
Directed byMarco Ferreri
Written byRafael Azcona
Marco Ferreri
Produced byCarlo Ponti
StarringUgo Tognazzi
CinematographyAldo Tonti
Edited byMario Serandrei
Music byTeo Usuelli
Release date
  • 1964 (1964)
Running time
100 minutes

The Ape Woman (Italian: La donna scimmia, French: Le Mari de la femme à barbe) is a 1964 Italian-French drama film directed by Marco Ferreri. It was entered into the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.[1] The film was inspired by the real-life story of Julia Pastrana a 19th-century woman exploited as a freak show attraction by her manager Theodore Lent.

In 2008, the film was selected to enter the list of the 100 Italian films to be saved.[2][3][4]


Marie, the "Ape Woman", is completely covered with hair; the entrepreneur Focaccia discovers her in a convent in Naples; he marries her (a condition imposed by the nuns) and begins exhibiting her to the public. He tries to sell her to a man who insists on her virginity, but she is a little reluctant. After tasting success in Paris, she dies during childbirth. Focaccia recovers her mummy from the museum of natural history and exhibits it in Naples.



The Ape Woman was released in 4K restoration[5] on Blu-ray and digital platforms on 11 October 2021.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Ape Woman". Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  2. ^ Massimo Bertarelli, Il cinema italiano in 100 film: i 100 film da salvare, Gremese Editore, 2004, ISBN 88-8440-340-5.
  3. ^ Massimo Borriello (4 March 2008). "Cento film e un'Italia da non dimenticare" [One hundred films and an Italy not to be forgotten]. Movieplayer (in Italian). Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Ecco i cento film italiani da salvare" [Here are the hundred Italian films worth saving]. Corriere della Sera. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  5. ^ "The Ape Woman". Film Authority. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  6. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (7 October 2021). "The Ape Woman review – freakshow satire with bizarre alternative-ending payoff". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2021.

External links[edit]