Mighty Joe Young (1949)

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Mighty Joe Young (1949)
Genre: Action
Starring: Terry Moore
Ben Johnson
Robert Armstrong
Frank McHugh
Douglas Fowley
Release Date: July 27, 1949
Country: United States
Prequel: King Kong and Son of Kong (in spirit)

Mighty Joe Young is a 1949 action, adventure, drama, monster movie.  It was directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, written by Ruth Rose, conceived by Merian C. Cooper, musically composed by Roy Webb, filmed by J. Roy Hunt, edited by Ted Cheesman, starred Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong, Frank McHugh, and Douglas Fowley, produced by John Ford, Merian C. Cooper, and Argosy Pictures, and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.  It's considered by many to be the spiritual successor to King Kong.  

Why It Rocks

  1. Every technique that was created in King Kong are perfected in this movie.  
  2. The ape Joe is just as likable and interesting as King Kong.  
  3. Almost the entire creative team that worked on King Kong worked on this movie.  
  4. The film has a very emotional and engrossing story which makes you feel for Joe and the other characters.  
  5. Max O'Hara is probably the best human character in the film who is interesting and gets character development.  
  6. The night club scenes are incredibly entertaining.  
  7. The movie has themes about being content with living a humble life and not being too greedy.  
  8. Fun action scenes between Joe and other animals.  
  9. Excellent cinematography.  There are some tracking shots that look especially cool and inventive.  

Bad Qualities

  1. It was sadly a box office flop.


Mighty Joe Young is considered a masterpiece by many and on par with King Kong from 1933.  It has a 95% critic rating and a 62% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 3.4/5 on Letterboxd, and a 7/10 on the International Movie Database.


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