Horror on the Lens: Bride of the Gorilla (dir by Curt Siodmak)

In the 1951 film, Bride of the Gorilla, Raymond Burr plays a plantation manager who commits a murder.  Unfortunately, for him, the murder is observed by a witch who promptly puts a curse of Burr.  Now, every time the sun goes down, Burr transforms into a gorilla and goes wild in the jungle.

Basically, it’s kind of like The Wolf Man, just with a less sympathetic protagonist and a gorilla instead of a werewolf. Just in case we missed the similarities, Lon Chaney, Jr. plays the film’s nominal hero, a police commissioner who suspects that something weird might be happening with Burr.  Apparently, the plan was originally for Chaney to play the gorilla and for Burr to play the policeman but, because Chaney was dealing with a serious alcohol problem at the time, the roles were reversed.

Also in the cast, playing the role of Dina, is Barbara Payton, the tragic actress who is best known for being at the center of a love triangle involving actors Tom Neal and Franchot Tone.  In 195000, Neal attacked Tone and beat him so severely that Tone spent 18 hours in a coma.  Tone was notably shaky onscreen for the rest of his film career while Neal spent a few years in prison.  After the incident between Tone and Neal, Payton could only get roles in B-movies like this one.  Tragically, she would pass away, in 1967, of heart and live failure.  She was only 39 years old.

One response to “Horror on the Lens: Bride of the Gorilla (dir by Curt Siodmak)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/10/22 — 10/16/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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