Mighty Joe Young

Synopsis: In Africa, the girl Jill Young trades a baby gorilla with two natives and raises the animal. Twelve years later, the talkative and persuasive promoter Max O'Hara organizes a safari to Africa with the Oklahoma cowboy Gregg to bring attractions to his new night-club in Hollywood. They capture several lions and out of blue, they see a huge gorilla nearby their camping and they try to capture the animal. However, the teenager Jill Young stops the men that intended to kill her gorilla. Max seduces Jill with a fancy life in Hollywood and she signs a contract with him where the gorilla Joseph "Joe" Young would be the lead attraction. Soon she realizes that her dream is a nightmare to Joe and she asks Max to return to Africa. However he persuades her to stay a little longer in the show business. But when three alcoholic costumers give booze to Joe, the gorilla destroys the spot and is sentenced by the justice to be sacrificed. Will Jill, Gregg and Max succeed in saving Joe?
Production: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
84 min

Look, Genevieve. Two men coming.

Let me see.

Oh, will you sell it?

Don't you understand?


I'll get my father to buy it.

You sit down.

That's it. You wait.

Just a minute.

Oh, I forgot.

He's gone down to the fields.

Well, then, I'll have to buy it myself.

It doesn't belong to me.

Oh, well, maybe Father won't mind.

Oh, well, I can make you understand.

I have fine things.

You trade with me for that.

One, two, three.

Here, look. Very nice.


Open it.

Open it.

Very funny. Make you laugh.

Oh, my goodness.

Don't be cross. Don't go. Look.

You trade all this for that?

Oh, good!

I'm being very bad. It isn't mine.

Okay, all right.

Oh, goody! It's all mine!

Jill! Oh, Jill!

Go away! Father's coming.

Hurry! Go away!

Oh, my goodness.

Isn't he sweet?

He's better than a doll.

I can play with him.

He has to have a name.

Joe. I'll call him Joe.

Oh, Jill!

I'll surprise Father.

Be quiet.

Won't Father be surprised?



Where are you?

What's all this stuff?

What on earth?

Jill. Jill.

Surprise, Father. Aren't you surprised?

Jill, where did that come from?

Oh, that's Joe, Father. Isn't he sweet?

Joe? That's a baby gorilla.

Two men had him.

They didn't speak Swahili.

Really, Jill,

you should have more sense.

Are you cross?

Well, for a tired man who just

found a gorilla in his bed...

...I think I'm behaving very well.

You cannot have a pet gorilla.

Please let me keep him.

Please. I bought him.


What did you have to buy him with?

Money and beads and toys,

and other things.

Other things.

Where's my big flashlight?

Well, that makes him partly yours too,

doesn't it?

I don't know what to say to you,

I'm sure.

I have worries enough

trying to run this farm.

I'm sorry, but you can't keep him.

I will not raise a gorilla.

How the little fella loves his milk.

Does he always take his nap to music?

Oh, yes. This is his favorite song.

- What's the name of it?

- Don't you remember?

It's "Beautiful Dreamer."

Very appropriate.

I think he's grown already, don't you?

Oh, he'll grow, all right.

That's just the trouble.

But, Father, now I have someone

to play with.

I know, dear. You're lonely sometimes.

If your mother had lived...

Baby, please try to realize

that the time will come...

...when we can't keep Joe any longer.

This will always be his home,

and we'll always be friends.

Listen, Jill, when he grows up,

he'll be dangerous.

I know that seems impossible

to you now...

...but that helpless little baby

will be 10 times stronger...

...than any man in the worid.

He'll weigh 7, 800 pounds.

He'll be a huge, fierce, dangerous gorilla.

Get me somebody

that knows what I want.

Find me an electrician with ideas.

No, no. No, no.

I tell you, it isn't big enough.

Look, I'm branching out into new territory.

I'm building a nightclub in Hollywood.

It's got to be something original.

It's gotta knock them dead.

Take them back to the architect.

Bring me new sketches.

- What about my steamship tickets?

- Mr. Fletcher's here.

Tell Fletcher to wait.

Tell them all to wait.

I gotta shake up my press agent.

I got a letter of introduction,

Mr. O'Hara.

- What do you want?

- I thought maybe-

Well, I'd sure like to go to Africa.

So what? There you are.

Where you been, asleep?

- This is a letter of introduction.

- Half a column on page 20.

- That's good for the Times.

- This is from Tex Wood.

- Two paragraphs on the theatrical page.

- Best I could do.

I want front page!

You gotta get in there and pitch, Windy.

- These guys don't even believe I'm going.

- Can you blame them? I don't believe it.

Max O'Hara going to Africa

to bring them back alive.

For what?

Why, there are 50 good animal acts...

...just begging for work

right here in town.

Can't I get any cooperation?

Hey, you. What do you think?

Don't you think I ought to go to Africa?

- Why, sure.

- There. There you are. There's a smart guy.

- He agrees with you. He must be.

- This is from Tex Wood.

I don't see why you can't get

front-page space, Windy.

We need a new angle.

That's what we need, a new angle.

Hello? What do you

wanna talk to him about?

Oh, you wanna go to Africa.

No. No. No-

Say, who are you anyway?

That's a letter from Tex Wood.

Sure. He puts on the shows

over at the Garden.

Yes, sir. Madison Square Garden.

Our show closed there last week.

- The rodeo?

- Yes, sir.

- You a cowboy?

- Yes, sir.

- Texas?

- No, sir. Oklahoma.

We rope and ride there too, you know.

I'm Gregg Johnson, champion roper.

All right. Well, what do you want here?

I saw in the paper how

Mr. O'Hara's going to Africa.

Now, there's a place

I've always wanted to see.

You reckon there's any chance

he'd take me with him?

Oh, for the love of Mike. Why would he?

We're opening a nightclub,

not a Wild West show.

But ain't there something I could do?

If I could just go, I might-

I got it! Hey, what's the matter with you?

What do I pay you for?

- I get all the ideas around here.

- Now what?

Got a new angle. Just thought of it.

It's great. I'll take cowboys.

- Cowboys? What for?

- To lasso lions, of course.

Maxie, you can buy all the lions

you want in California.

But I'm gonna send you stories

from Africa.

They'll fight to get them.

All you gotta do is pass them out.

Don't you understand? I'm gonna

be in terrible danger in darkest Africa.

You're late for the dentist.

Who's the greatest press agent, you or me?

Don't answer.

Hey, you, come on.

You're gonna lasso lions.

- I am?

- Sure. Come on.

Round up some of your friends

to help you.

We'll talk it over

while I'm at the dentist's.

Who do you think is gonna get

the worst of this, Maxie or Africa?

Hey, Ali, bring water

for this lion, will you?

- He's a big one, isn't he?

- He sure is.

Just as full of fight

as he was two weeks ago.

After you'd roped him, I thought

for a few minutes I'd have to shoot him.

Sure glad you didn't.

That's right, Ali,

give all simbas plenty maji. See?

Take the machina away.



Oh, Crawford!

Crawford, where are-?

Oh, there you are.

Look, I got another story to send.

Where's that telegraph office?

At Mdani, about 50 miles.

Have Gregg ride down, will you?

They don't know the way. I'll send

one of the boys after they've eaten.

Let's have a spot of tea. Ahmed.

Tea. I hope this never

gets back to Broadway.

I hope I never see another horse.

Well, O'Hara,

we'll soon be saying goodbye.

You satisfied with the results

of the safari?

Oh, sure. Just like I said, I got

a million dollars' worth of publicity.

I hope your nightclub

will be a great success.

As you've described it,

it'll certainly be unusual.

Unusual? Look, nobody's ever seen

anything like what I'm gonna give them.

I gotta get back. The date

for the opening of my club is all set.

Just wondering if I've overlooked

anything out here to make it bigger.

Well, I've read all the stories

you've sent back...

...and I really think you've made

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Ruth Rose

Ruth Rose (January 16, 1896 – June 8, 1978) was a writer who worked on several films in the 1930s and the 1940s, most famously the original 1933 classic King Kong. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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