Captive Wild Woman

Captive Wild Woman

Director: Edward Dmytryk, Evelyn Ankers, Acquanetta, John Carradine

Cast: Edward Dmytryk, Evelyn Ankers, Acquanetta, John Carradine

     
 

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A mad scientist turns a gorilla into a beautiful young woman in this well-made Universal potboiler, the first of three films featuring Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman. John Carradine stars as Dr. Sigmund Walters, whose Crestview Sanitarium witnesses strange and unsettling experiments. The doctor's newest scheme concerns Cheena (Ray "Crash" Corrigan), a female gorilla that

Overview

A mad scientist turns a gorilla into a beautiful young woman in this well-made Universal potboiler, the first of three films featuring Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman. John Carradine stars as Dr. Sigmund Walters, whose Crestview Sanitarium witnesses strange and unsettling experiments. The doctor's newest scheme concerns Cheena (Ray "Crash" Corrigan), a female gorilla that he has stolen from the Whipple Circus. Injecting the ape with sex hormones obtained from Dorothy Colman (Martha Vickers), the evil medico attempts to turn the animal into a semi-human creature. When Dr. Walter's longtime nurse, Miss Strand (Fay Helm), objects to this blasphemy, she is summarily murdered and her brain transplanted into the ape woman's skull. The result is named Paula Dupree (Acquanetta), a beautiful but mute creature. At the circus, Paula rescues lion tamer Fred Mason (Milburn Stone) from an attacking animal and a grateful Fred makes her his assistant. The team is highly successful but a lovesick Paula becomes jealous of Fred's girlfriend, Beth Colman (Evelyn Ankers), a condition that turns her into a half-ape, half-woman. Failing to kill Beth, Paula returns to the sanitarium, where Dorothy is being prepared for more experiments. The girl is rescued in the nick of time and an enraged Paula, now completely returned to simian form, kills Walters. Escaping, the ape once again saves Fred's life before being put down by an arriving police officer.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
If Captive Wild Woman is much better than its hoary synopsis would suggest, and it actually is, much of the credit must go to a game cast and the usual good work by ace makeup artist Jack P. Pierce -- even if the makeup could suggest a nefarious (and ludicrous) link between Negroes and simians, an interpretation much discussed when the film premiered but obviously was never intended by its creators. Acquanetta, who earns introductory billing despite having appeared in several bit roles, is both beautiful and eerie and Milburn Stone makes a surprisingly fine hero, his diminutive stature notwithstanding. Stone was reportedly cast because of his physical similarity to famed animal trainer Clyde Beatty, who appears in stock footage from Universal's The Big Cage (1933). John Carradine, as he was wont to do, mugs entertainingly; Evelyn Ankers screams prettily; Paul Fix, as the doctor's ill fated assistant, dies horribly; and sundry veteran Universal players act as you would expect. Credit for the film's success should of course also go to tyro director Edward Dmytryk, an obvious talent whom Universal had borrowed from RKO. If only the studio had stopped here; but, unhappily, two dreadful sequels, Jungle Woman (1944) and Jungle Captive (1945), would forever mar the reputation of Paula Dupree, Universal's sole female monster franchise.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/17/2015
UPC:
0025192262838
Original Release:
1943
Source:
Universal Mod
Time:
1:01:00
Sales rank:
13,187

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Evelyn Ankers Beth Colman
Acquanetta Paula Dupree
John Carradine Dr. Sigmund Walters
Milburn Stone Fred Mason
Lloyd Corrigan John Whippie
Vince Barnett Curley Barret
Fay Helm Miss Strand
William Edmunds Actor
Martha Vickers Dorothy Colman
Grant Withers Actor

Technical Credits
Edward Dmytryk Director
Miton Carruth Editor
Griffin Jay Screenwriter
Ben Pivar Producer
Maurice Pivar Original Story
George Robinson Cinematographer
Hans J. Salter Score Composer
Henry Sucher Screenwriter

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