Mighty Joe Young

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King Kong for kids, with the great ape shorn of myth, tamely housebroken, and even required to be the hero of an orphanage fire. But he does have an engagingly dotty showbiz act, holding up a platform on which Terry Moore sits strumming 'Beautiful Dreamer' at a grand piano. The whole 'Golden Safari' nightclub show is rather a splendid piece of kitsch, complete with voodoo dancers, ten circus strongmen in leopard-skins pitted against Joe in a tug-of-war, and a spiritedly destructive rampage when three drunken revellers go backstage to ply the already resentful ape with a bottle. For all the sneers cast at the film, it's in fact surprisingly well crafted (Willis O'Brien, technical creator), with position of tongue in cheek perfectly judged.

By: TM

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