Gorilla at Large is truly an important moment in simian cinema, and in 3-D yet !!!
The film is chock full of some of the great actors and character actors of the 50's,
including a VERY young, Lee Marvin as a cop who is a thorough imbecile.
Gorilla at Large (GAL) stars Raymond Burr, Cameron Mitchell, and a scorching hot Anne Bancroft.
The supporting cast features the great Lee J. Cobb, Charlotte Austin, and Warren Stevens.
The film takes place in a travelling carnival, featuring a trapeze act with Anne Bancroft
swinging over the enclosure of the savage gorilla Goliath ! ( George Barrows).
Or so it would seem. Enter Cameron Mitchell as a carnival worker chosen to substitute for Goliath while the lights are dimmed during the show.
Of note here, is the gorilla costume worn by Mitchell was a rental costume manufactured by the famous Western Costume of Hollywood.
but it looked painfully pathetic next to George Barrows amazing suit !
This was a long standing gag in Hollywood, to feature an actor who wears crappy gorilla suit,
to be mistaken for a real gorilla ( pro Gorilla Man !)
The obvious difference in quality between the suits helps to sell the idea that the pro Gorilla Man is indeed a real ( reel) gorilla. Many times this is used to comedic effect, but here it is used for high drama.
It seems that a slimy carnival worker who was blackmailing the owner ( Burr) winds up murdered in Goliaths cage.
At first it appears that Goliath may have killed the blackmailer, but police investigator Lee J. Cobb isn't convinced.
He looks toward Mitchell as a suspect due to the fact that, he dresses like a gorilla ! ( of course)
Suspicions then spread from person to person when subplots are introduced involving Burr, Bancroft, and Bancroft's hulking ex-husband, and Goliath's keeper Kovacs. ( Peter Whitney )
To further ad to the fun, Goliath escapes from his enclosure and begins rampaging through the carnival.
It wouldn't be a true gorilla man classic if the beastie didn't grab up a beautiful girl and go climb something, and GAL does not disappoint !
An interesting thing to look for,( and at times fairly obvious), is the use of a light weight rubber replica of Anne Bancroft for Barrows to lug around.
As a guy who wears a gorilla suit, I can tell you from experience, that being a gorilla man is brutally hard work ! My suit weighs a little over 45 lbs, but George's colossal suit weighed nearly 60 !
Just moving effectively with that amount of weight is hard enough, but you also are usually well over
100 degrees hot inside, and you can't really get adequate airflow in the mask.
Now after your nearly dead from just wearing the suit, you have to act...usually with a lot of action and energy. Now to finish you off, we need you to carry a 130lb woman and climb up a roller coaster with her in your arms. It sounds like the tortures of the damned, but it all in a days work for a gorilla man !
Needless to say, Gorilla at Large is a really fun movie with fantastic 3-D effects !
You've got lo love the effects of gravity !
Another great shot when seen in 3-D !!!
And when you get a chance , Be sure and watch Gorilla at Large ! and don't forget your 3-D glasses !