Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gorilla Induced Guffaws

Who Killed Doc Robbin? (1948)

Most cinematic gorilla appearances fall into one of three categories: Horror, Adventure and Comedy. Charles Gemora certainly gives his alumni a good run at the title of World's Funniest Gorilla Man (though I would have to have photo finish to determine the winner with Barrows in the race - Addam's Family anyone!?). Charlie regularly appeared in funny flicks throughout his career and his talents at evoking a guffaw or two often shined in some pedestrian attempts at humor. With his mischievous nature, superb grip on body language and timing, and gorilla suits that emphasized naturalism, Gemora created a body of work that supercedes the dated nature of the material. Although WHO KILLED DOC ROBBIN? has lost much of it's sizzle (and is deplorably racist in a few scenes), this still is a cute reminder that Charlie could always make em' laugh.

MORE on that last still with Gemora and fellow G-men, Art Miles and Emil Van Horn soon. Our resident Gorilla Man, The Mighty Bongo has chatted with Bob Burns and confirmed the source as THE LOST TRIBE, an entry into the Weismuller Jungle Jim films. Bongo's investigations leave me even more puzzled - but more of that in detail as time permits.
Stay tuned.


  1. Great photo of Charlie. I'll have to find this flick.

  2. Ultimately, I think I prefer the stills and promotional material than the actual films of the low end comedy genre of the 40's and 50's. For the most part, the jokes fall flat on modern ears and the production values are almost non-existent. I don't know where might be the best place to find a print - the one I have is fairly muddy and it's often difficult to pick out the black furry gorilla in the poorly light, night shrouded hallway! I am fairly certain it is available online so you can have an opportunity to see if it warrants tracking a copy down.