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A Lasting Value
The Motion Picture "Mighty Joe Young" has proved more to be a learning experience this day than I knew. I'am of the opinion that the special features offered by the DVD assisted this reviewer in knowing the film better than anything I might of known even of some time ago. I'am in my late sixties with the original viewing of "Mighty Joe Young" occuring perhaps in the late 1950's.I'am thinking of Million Dollar Movie that had the thematic song from "Gone With The Wind".That is how we viewed many films then and perhaps as things were once when something was shown it was something of a chore to see it again.Then,you could rent the actual reel to reel for some movies however like I said it would be a chore.I can recall a Merle Oberon film which my mother cared for and we did just that, we rented the reel to reel with the projector. This does not in any way diminish the appeal this particular motion picture has but it was much of the discussion as it concerns the contribution of Special Effects person in Ray Harryhausen that was most interesting. "Mighty Joe Young" is a very likable film however not everyone seems to know just how these films are made.It seems that Joe Young started out in 4 different sizes, two sizes were of the 41/2 inches, and two were 21/2 inches.The cost to the film makers was nearly $2,000.00(1948-1949 dollars). These were terminator look a-likes whose mechanical ability is what you see when Joe Young is on the screen.The editing could often said to have a hard time as Joe Young was made to fit the scene, Joe Young it can be said appeared to have a hard time fitting in.I think that is a very legitimate gripe that the editing appears to be a bit rough.Joe Young seems much larger at times yet when he does certain activities it is most certainly hard to figure. Ray Harryhausen said that,with this particular project he wanted to give Joe Young something of a personality. Indeed it is most probably this very interesting discussion on giving Joe Young a personality that may very well provided for much of why Joe Young is such a likable film.Joe Young is something of a hero as are the personalities of Greg (Ben Johnson) and yes even Max Ohara (Robert Armstrong). I felt that the initial scene filmed when O'hara is in Africa was very good.The attempt to lassoe Joe Young was good to very well done. See... no one was killed ,there was no blood and the cowboys showed that they to got up for a challenge. The opening scene when Joe Young is on stage is worth saying something about. "Beautiful Dreamer" played by Jill Young (Terry Moore) at the piano is a very good scene in fact it is a beautiful and as well terrifying scene. written by Stephen Forster(1826-1864) The song is addressed to a "Beautiful Dreamer" who does not know or is not aware at all of the cares of this world and it is thought that this sentimental parlor song that the "Beautiful Dreamer" may very well be dead.The appeal in the songs second stanza when addressing the "wild lorelei" is of a fading spirit which is "queen of his heart".This even today is sung by many as the songs enchanting ability seems not to have faded with time.A very excellent recording made some time ago can be had from the recordings of Bing Crosby(Bing Crosby was voted most admired man in 1943 as the voice of our troops overseas was heard here at home) however "The Irish Tenors" on their album "Ireland" have a most lovely recording of "Beautiful Dreamer".I have listened to both recordings and both should not be ignored. The tug of rope scene is another show stopper as the wrestlers were in fact just those persons.The introduction of Primo Carnera is for real as Primo Carnera was very much both a Heavy Weight Boxing Champion and a Wrestling Great.His prize fighting career was something like 88 Wins and 14 losses with 72 of those 88 wins being by knockout. He also wrestled, as a wrestler he compiled something like a 141 Wins against 1 Loss and 1 Tie.The tug of rope scene is excellent, Primo Carnera was just as he appeared. The scene of the orphanage is one of those scenes that might be said to have stood the test of time, it is in fact memorable.I can only suggest to whomever might read this that this film is very likeable, it is very enjoyable to think about, and can on occassion stay with you in heart and mind. Well worth a recommendation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
By Michael Patrick Boyd
Mighty Joe Young is one hour and thirty - three minutes and was released in theaters on July 27, 1949. The movie about the friendship of Jill Young and her twelve foot gorilla named Joe. Jill bought the gorilla at when she was eight years old and raised Joe to adulthood. Twelve years later Joe wreaks havoc on Max O'Hara camp. The people chase Joe and try to rope him. Jill finds Joe in trouble and recues him. The next day Max and Gregg go to meet Jill and Max sweets talk her into signing a contract and Joe and Jill are headed to the United States. Things start out great for Joe and Jill till one night three drunken men get Joe drunk and Joe goes on a drunken rampage. The court orders Joe to be shot. Max devised a scheme to rescue Joe and send Jill and Joe back to Africa. Overall Joe is a friendly gorilla and when he gets upset he has a habit of pounding his fist to the ground. Originally the whole film was black and white but the fire scene was colorized and has remained so ever since. The movie won an Oscar in 1950 for Special Effects. Mighty Joe Young is a great movie and get an AAAAA+++++.
I. Commentary by Ray Harryhausen, Terry Moore and Ken Ralston
II. A Conversation with Ray Harryhausen and the Choo Brothers 22 minutes
III. Ray Harryhausen and Mighty Joe Young 11 minutes
IV. Theatrical Trailer
I. Spoken Languages
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. See all 145 customer reviews...
Great family movie
By E Aguilar
I ordered this movie for my father as this was one of his favorite movies. As with my brothers and sisters, he wanted his grandchildren and great-grandchildren to watch it and hope that they enjoyed it as much as we did. He was not disappointed. The children loved it. This is a great wholesome, family friendly movie. The special effects may be crude due to the era in which the film was made, but to the children it didn't matter. They enjoyed it and we couldn't help singing "Beautiful Dreamer" with my father, their grandfather.