Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952) (part 1 of 4)

SUMMARY: Sammy Petrillo and Duke Mitchell, two severely untalented Martin & Lewis imitators, find themselves stranded on a jungle island in the South Pacific. They’re rescued by members of the local tribe, including a very voluptuous—and very white—woman by the name of Nona. Duke falls for Nona, but there also a mad scientist (Bela Lugosi, essentially playing himself) conducting experiments on the island, and he has his own designs on Nona. When Duke comes between a white island girl and the 70 year old mad scientist who loves her, he finds himself on the business end of a syringe full of “growth formula” that transforms him into a gorilla. Wacky low-jinks ensue.

From 1917 until his death in 1956, Bela Lugosi acted in over 100 films, both silent and talkies, with some made in his native Hungary before he fled due to political unrest. But the actor will always be remembered for playing the title role in Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula, the film that virtually created the supernatural horror film genre. The association between Lugosi and the vampire he made famous was so strong, he was even buried in his Dracula cape. (Though this was not, as you might have believed, a desire he actually expressed while he was alive.)

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Multi-Part Article: Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952)

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