The Ape Man (1943)

     On March 5, 1943, Monogram Pictures released The Ape Man (1943), a horror film starring Bela Lugosi as Dr. James Brewster.  Dr. Brewster’s experiments have left him half-man, half-ape.  Fearing the change may become permanent, Dr. Brewster is desperate to find a cure.

     Dr. Brewster needs human materials to attempt to change himself back but his friend  Dr. George Randall, played by Henry Hall, refuses to help him because Brewster suggests murdering someone.  Dr. Brewster and a gorilla in his control commit a series of murders to further his experiments.


Bela Lugosi at 18 from the Public Domain

     Dr. Brewsters sister Agatha Brewster, played by Minerva Urecal, struggles to help her brother maintain his humanity and regain his senses.  However, Dr. Brewster’s experiments have taken what was left of his sanity.

     Reporter Jeff Carter, played by Wallace Ford, and his female photographer Billie Mason, played by Louise Currie, stumble upon Dr. Brewster’s trail, when Billie accidentally snaps his picture during a visit with Agatha at the Brewsters’ home.

     Wallace Ford was born Samuel Jones Grundy on February 12, 1898 in Bolton, Lancashire, England.  Orphaned at a young age, he lived in many foster homes until he ran away with a vaudeville troupe in 1911.

     Eventually, he made his way to the United States, where he began his career on Broadway.  In 1929, he started acting in films.  He would appear in 156 productions between 1929 and 1965.  Ford mostly played a supporting role to the star in many “B” films.

     Ford was active in films until his death on June 11, 1966, when he succumbed to a fatal heart attack.  Wallace Ford was 68 years old at the time of his death.

     Like many “B films, this film runs about an hour at 64 minutes.  The Ape Man is mostly for fans of Bela Lugosi.  I would rate it five out of ten stars.  What do you think of the movie?

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