The Hairy Ape (1944)

The Hairy Ape (1944)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Hairy Ape Photos

Movie Info

Despite a few Hollywood compromises, The Hairy Ape remains one of the more artistically successful filmizations of Eugene O'Neill. William Bendix is nothing less than brilliant as ship's stoker Hank Smith, a brutish but sensitive lug who is convinced that his strength is derived from the hair that covers his body. While Hank's ship is docked in Lisbon, the boiler room is visited by the wealthy-but-bitchy Mildred Douglas (Susan Hayward), the mercenary sweetheart of second engineer Lazar (John Loder). Disgusted by Hank's hirsuteness, she calls him a "hairy ape." At first enraged, Hank becomes fascinated by the beautiful Mildred, and before long is openly lusting after her. For her own selfish purposes, Mildred leads him on, laying the groundwork for the disastrous events that follow. In the original O'Neill play, a maddened Hank enters the cage of a circus gorilla, believing himself to be "one" with the huge beast, only to be crushed to death. For reasons that defy explanation, this ending is eliminated from the film, which concludes a discordant note of banality. If for no other reason, The Hairy Ape is memorable for one of the few post-Citizen Kane appearances of actress Dorothy Comingore, here cast as Susan Hayward's rival for John Loder's affections.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Runtime:
Studio:
United Artists

Cast

William Bendix
as Hank Smith
Susan Hayward
as Mildred Douglas
Dorothy Comingore
as Helen Parker
John Loder
as Second Engineer Tony Lazar
Tom Fadden
as Long
Alan Napier
as MacDougald
Charles Cane
as Gantry
Charles La Torre
as Portuguese Proprietor
Don Zolaya
as Concertina Player
Mary Zavian
as Waitress
George Sorel
as Police Captain
Paul Weigel
as Doctor
Egon Brecher
as Musician
Gisela Werbiseck
as Refugee Wife
Carmen Rachel
as Young Girl
Jonathan Lee
as Water Tender
Dick Baldwin
as 3rd Engineer
Ralph Dunn
as Head Guard
William Halligan
as Lieutenant
Tommy Hughes
as Doorman
Bob Perry
as Bartender
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Critic Reviews for The Hairy Ape

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One of those films that profits in some tiny but intriguing way from being such a bastardization of the source material.

Full Review… | January 3, 2010
Nick's Flick Picks

The dialogue couldn't be cornier.

Full Review… | May 16, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Hairy Ape

based on a eugene o'neill play One of those films that profits in some tiny but intriguing way from being such a bastardization of the source material

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

ODDLY APPEALING, RATHER CAMPY AT TIMES. HAYWARD IS GORGEOUS. GOOD COSTUME DESIGN, WELL CAST. DIFFERENT.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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