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The Ape Man
Directed by William Beaudine
Produced by Jack Dietz
Sam Katzman
Written by Karl Brown
Barney A. Sarecky
Starring Bela Lugosi
Louise Currie
Music by Edward J. Kay
Cinematography Mack Stengler
Editing by Carl Pierson
Distributed by Monogram Pictures Corporation
Release date(s) March 5, 1943
Running time 64 mins
Country  United States
Language English

The Ape Man is a 1943 horror Science fiction film starring Bela Lugosi and directed by William Beaudine. The film follows the tale of a part human part ape.

A sequel, called Return of the Ape Man, followed in 1944, one year later after this film.



Dr. James Brewster (Bela Lugosi) and his colleague Dr. Randall (Henry Hall) are involved in a series of scientific experiments which have caused him to transform into an ape-man. In an attempt to obtain a cure Brewster believes that it will be necessary to inject himself with recently drawn human spinal fluid. When Randall refuses to help him by providing the fluid, Brewster and his captive Gorilla must attempt to find an appropriate donor.


Actor Role
Bela Lugosi Dr. James Brewster
Louise Currie Billie Mason
Wallace Ford Jeff Carter
Henry Hall Dr. George Randall
Minerva Urecal Agatha Brewster
Emil Van Horn The Ape
J. Farrell MacDonald Police Capt. O'Brien
Wheeler Oakman Det. Brady
Ralph Littlefield The Strange Little Man*
Jack Mulhall Reporter
Charles Jordan Det. O'Toole
Charlie Hall Barney (the Photographer
George Kirby Detective #1
Ray Miller Reporter
Ernest Morrison Copyboy
William Ruhlas Martin Editor
  • NB - Ralph Littlefield's character is often misleadingly called "Zippo". In fact the character has no name in the movie, but is rather a comically-dressed, odd-acting little man who appears at various times during the story, his purpose unclear. At the very end of the film, he claims to be its scenarist. This is intended as a humorous surprise revelation. Why the name "Zippo" was invented and used in the film's publicity, much less later copied without comment in literary and internet filmographies, is unknown; however, it is amusing to find him credited with this role name in the AFI Catalogue entry on "The Ape Man", and then in the notes to read extensively about an "unnamed character" played by an "unidentified player", clearly showing that simply passing on what you read in screen credits without minimum research can create confusion and absurdity in film history, and expose the limits of expertise of many a popularly-acclaimed expert or his/her resource work.


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