Mighty Joe Young

Synopsis: The baby gorilla left in her care grows up to become a hugely tall and broad specimen by the name of Joe, living in the mountains as a mostly unseen legend among people who live there. Along comes an eco-minded emissary from a California sanctuary, who talks the jungle girl into providing safe haven for Joe at the L.A. facility. The transition is not without discomfort, but everything is aggravated via a conspiracy of poachers to get Joe into their own greedy hands!
Director(s): Ron Underwood
Production: Buena Vista
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Jill! Jill!

Jill, what did I tell you?

- But Joe started it.

- Well, it's not good for them to interact with us.

Besides, that wasn't Joe,

that was Marley.

- No, it wasn't. It was Joe.

- Joe is just a baby, Jill.

- He's too big to be Joe.

- Check. Check the pictures.

Hey. I said into bed.

I am in bed.

Jill, what made you think

that that gorilla we saw today was Joe?

- I was right, wasn't I?

- Yeah.

My notes say that Joe

is only six months old.

Either I got confused

or Joe is a very unusual gorilla.

- I told you so.

- Yeah, you did.

And Mommy's gonna write in her journal

that my trusted colleague, Dr. Jill Young...

showed me the error of my ways.

Now go to sleep.

Excuse me, Doctor.

- Night, Kweli.

- Good night, Jilly.

- What is it, Kweli?

- You must come quickly.

- Mommy, can I come?

- Stay here, sweetheart.

- But I want to go.

- No, no, no, no, no, no. No.

You stay here, child.

- Poachers.

- East of the village.

They're at it again.

N'Gai Zamu.

Mystical monsters.

There is only one thing you should be

afraid of on this mountain...

and it's staring you right in the face.

Gorilla. Fresh.

We're close.

We've gotta stop them.

Everybody spread out.

- Get the baby.

- Give me the bag.

Don't worry.

We want you alive.


Garth! Kill him!


Give me the gun!

Joe? Shh! Shh! Shh! Shh!

She's got to be here somewhere.

The woman's

got that damn devil with her.

But I think you might have shot her.

These people want to live like heroes.

Let them die like heroes.

Oh! Oh! That little demon took off

my thumb and trigger finger.

What if you shot the woman?

We should help her.

No. Let's get out of here.

Yeah. That looks bad. Better get back

before you bleed to death.

I will kill this little monkey.

I swear I will kill him!

- You'll never play the violin again, that's for sure.

- Shut up!

- Mommy!

- Jill.



- Mom, there were men and they...

- I know. I know.

I know, darling. I know.

Are you okay, Mommy?

Oh, look who's here.

Hello, Joe.

- He's scared.

- I know.

Poor baby.

He lost his mommy tonight.

He needs someone to protect him.

Will you do that for me?

Promise me you'll protect him.

I promise.

Jill! Jill!

Come on, Joe. Come on.

- You must be Pindi.

- The one and only, bro. Come.

Six men, three cars. That's

everything you asked for, Mr. O'Hara.

All paid for in advance

out of Pindi's own pocket.

These guys wouldn't be poachers.

I asked for experienced trackers.

These men are the best.

I assure you, the very best.

Let's get this show on the road.

Hey, you've got a nice piece here.

What are we hunting? Elephants?

- We're not hunting anything.

- Aha. Tranquillizer darts.

I agree.

Much nicer to animals than bullets.

- Your men know how to use these, right?

- Oh, sure, boss.

We only have professionals here.

So, you tell me.

Where are we going today?

- There.

- There?

That's not such a good mountain, boss.

The men don't like it very much at all.

You see, there is a legend they believe

in that a creature lives there.

N'Gai Zamu,

sacred guardian of Mount Pangani.

They say any man who enters his domain

is never heard of again.

You know it?

How strange.

That's not, by any chance,

what you're looking for, is it, boss?

Looking for a legend?

Why would I want to do that?

What are you listening to?


Hmm. I understand.

Sounds of the jungle.

I know a guy, he can get you

a CD of jungle sounds cheap.

Even cheaper if you...

Come on. Come on. Let's go.

See, boss? I told you

these men were the best.


You're a beauty.

Okay, set him free.

Why bring a cage

if you're not keeping the animal?

'Cause I'm only taking this.


Yes, but, um,

I know a guy in Botswana.

He'd pay you 10,000 American dollars

for that leopard.

Now, I'm willing

to split with you 50-50.

Put him in the truck.

Put the cat down now.

You heard him!

Put the cat down!

They never understand me.

- Excuse me, but I think it's time to leave.

- Don't move!

I'm not moving, but my bowels are.

Don't run. Stay still.

Come on! He's getting away!

- Come on! We're going after him!

- What do you mean, "we"?

There's no way my men will risk

their lives with something like this.

I'll triple your pay.

Don't use the tranqs

unless I give the signal.

Okay, when we catch up to him,

I want you men to herd him towards me!

Now, one second, one second.

Herd him towards us? Why?

I gotta be close to get a blood sample.

Real close.

No, no, don't shoot! No!

- Whoa!

- Whoa!

- They'll live.

- Bet you provide a great health plan.

Look at the way he moves!


Watch out!

- You stupid fool!

- Come on. We're gonna lose him.

Come on. Let's go!

What the hell is that guy tryin' to do?

Hey! Hey!

I can't see him.

He's gone, long gone.

No, no, he's coming out on the other side

of those trees. We gotta get in front of him.

There he is!

What's he...

Get down!

Did you see that?

Did you see what he did?

Yes. Yes.

He picked up the chain.

Did you see the intelligence?

Yes, I saw the intelligence!

He almost took my head off!

- Hurry up, bro. Let's go.

- Get these men down the mountain and bandaged up.

- You're not coming with us?

- Are you kidding?

Crazy American.


Joe! Joe!

- Joe!

- Help!

Joe, stop!

Hey, can you get him

to put me down?

Joe, drop him.

- Where am I?

- The infirmary.

You've been unconscious

for an entire night.

- You're lucky to be alive.

- I don't feel very lucky.

You crashed your vehicle.

It's waiting for you outside.

You're an injury behind.

The kicker was getting

dropped on my head by N'Gai Zamu.

Oh, you think that's funny?

You oughta try it.

N'Gai Zamu is just a legend,

my friend.

No, he's a giant gorilla

with a mean backhand.

Wait. There was a woman.

- A woman.

- Out in the jungle.

A beautiful woman.

She saved my life.

I think it would be wise for you

to see a doctor in Kimanjay.

I took the liberty

of calling one for you.

- Don't need one.

- But he's expecting you.

If you can drive,

I think it's best that you leave today.

Our visitor must be feeling better.

He should leave the infirmary by today.

Looks like he already has.

He's walking so soon?

Joe should've dropped him harder.

He's not a poacher, Jill.

The man works for animal conservancy

in California.

He can't be trusted.

He's an outsider.

He said he was saved yesterday

by... by a woman.

A beautiful woman.

And what did you tell him?

What can I tell him, Jill? The man

knows what he saw. He's not a fool.

Hey, big guy.

How are ya? Hmm?

What were you doin' stompin' around,

lookin' for trouble yesterday, huh?

You're not supposed to

let people see you, remember?

Don't do that again, okay?



You wanna play? Okay.

You ready?

One, two...

three, four, five...

six, seven, eight, nine, ten!

Ready or not, here I come.


Where are you, big fella?

I'm coming to get you.

Oh, my.

I wonder where Joe can be.

Come out, wherever you are.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Mark Rosenthal

Mark David Rosenthal is an American screenwriter and film director and long-time writing partner of Lawrence Konner. more…

All Mark Rosenthal scripts | Mark Rosenthal Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Mighty Joe Young" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/mighty_joe_young_13762>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    Who directed the movie "Forrest Gump"?
    A Quentin Tarantino
    B Martin Scorsese
    C Steven Spielberg
    D Robert Zemeckis