Genre: Crime / Primate Caper / God Damn It, Crystal! Richard Burton Wouldn't Be Caught Dead in This Piece of Shit (more)
Tagline: To solve the case, this D.A. has to rely on the jungle's wildest witness!
Plot Outline: A veteran Texas D.A. (George C. Scott) has to bring an orangutan cross-country to testify in a murder trial against a sinister man working for the Soviet consulate in Dallas (more)
|George C. Scott||....||Hanson Murtaugh|
|Julie Christie||....||Cassandra Hemperfen|
|Lee Marvin||....||Det. Borneo Chiswell|
|Max von Sydow||....||Red Cobra|
|Charles Bronson||....||Dark Trucker|
|Ned Beatty||....||J.H. Partridge|
Also Known As:
Sicherheits Redape Geschichte (Pomerania)
Señora Simian y Leather Laredo (Aztlán)
Runtime: USA: 121 min
Language: Snarls and Hoots
Color: Pretty Nice (Adequaticolor)
Sound Mix: Allen
- The early script given to George C. Scott included a German Shepherd as his animal sidekick and Scott agreed to star in the film out of great respect "for the fucking Boches and their fucking dogs". When he arrived on set and discovered that the dog had been replaced with an orangutan he exclaimed, "Great Christ, you monsters went and did it!" He flew into a fury, shoving a hairdresser through a wig cone and throwing all of the lunch truck's bananas under the treads of a bulldozer. Though he was eventually calmed, this dark mood was never far during shooting.
- The only thing that terrified actress Julie Christie more than the orangutan was actor George C. Scott. Before each scene he would grab her by the face and press his forehead against hers until she began to weep. He would then kiss her on the mouth and say, "There! There it is. There it is!" During particularly intense scenes he would end with a strong slap across her face.
- Director's Trademark: George C. Scott attempting to strangle a primate. Seen for the first time in this film and seen again in 1977's Unreasonable Suspicion of Prejudice and 1982's Hallmark Presents: Ape Dentist 3.
- Actor Charles Bronson had fifty lines of dialogue in the script, but this was cut to zero after Peckinpah learned that his jaw was wired shut to prevent him from biting women. Most of his dialogue was replaced with a scene in which Bronson peels and eats a hardboiled egg while a gagged and bound child struggles to escape from a chair across from Bronson.
- Actor Max von Sydow had such great difficulty holding back laughter at the practical effects used during the skinning sequence that Peckinpah threatened to nail his tongue to the door of his trailer. A solution was finally found when Peckinpah brought one of von Sydow's children to the set and slashed the boy's arm with a knife every time von Sydow forced another take.
- Actor Ned Beatty was mercilessly beaten by Peckinpah every day he was on the set. The director would cackle, "Oh my little piggy, how you wail!" and then beat Beatty, even during a scene.
- Director Peckinpah and actor Scott were frequently at odds during filming. At one point after flubbing a line Peckinpah referred to Scott as "more useless than half a sack of wet farts". Scott challenged Peckinpah to a duel, but relented after Peckinpah chose Scott's "rotten whore mother" as his second, frozen hell as the dueling venue, and selected "a hot ass full of fuck you" as the dueling weapons.
- Director Cameo: [Sam Peckinpah] whips Ned Beatty with the butt of a revolver during the Honky-Tonk brawl. Was accidentally filmed between takes and Peckinpah decided to include it in the final cut.
- Director's Trademark: A sweeping naturalistic camera shot steeped in the blood-red light of a setting sun as an orangutan tries to open a locked car door to get to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- The live cats Podner eats during the "desert starvation montage" were real cats, but were all purchased from an animal shelter and slated to be destroyed that day.
- Originally marketed as a drama, the movie was repackaged as a comedy for its original 1981 VHS release. The only substantial difference in terms of editing came in the soundtrack, where honking horns and slide whistles were dubbed over all of the blood spraying.
- Peckinpah would frequently call for multiple re-takes even after the day's film had run out. He was particularly ruthless with Julie Christie and would often continue with increasing glee until she collapsed from exhaustion or anguish. The only actor who was no subjected to these re-takes was Scott, who began carrying a sidearm after his third day on the set.
- The film was banned in the United States until Peckinpah agreed to remove the shots in which Murtaugh can be seen urinating on the corpses during the opening crime scene sequence. In protest, Peckinpah edited a version that went to black and had audio-only the moment Murtaugh began urinating.
- Peckinpah treated Podner as if the orangutan were his own flesh and blood. He slept with it in his bed, he catered to its every simian whim, and he even began lactating so that he could breast feed it in between takes.
- Actor George C. Scott was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Hanson Murtaugh, but he refused to accept the nomination on the grounds that, "Anyone named Oscar I ever met was a jumped up sissy with a hand on a little boy. Fuck 'em and fuck their gold bricks."
Det. Borneo Chiswell: It's red in there, Hanson. Reddest I've seen.
Hanson Murtaugh: We got a man?
Det. Borneo Chiswell: (spits) Men? We got lots of men. The man that did this? He's untouchable.
Hanson Murtaugh: No one is untouchable from a bullet.Hanson Murtaugh: This ain't the end. This is the beginning.
Red Cobra: Full immunity.
Hanson Murtaugh: Immune? When I'm done I'll drink your blood from a wooden bowl. I'll take your children and make them mine.
Red Cobra: Desperation is a stinking fog on you.
Hanson Murtaugh: Your neck is pretty. I can't wait to see you swing by it.Cassandra Hemperfen: You can't take him. This is his home.
Hanson Murtaugh: He's a witness to a crime. I decide where his home is.
Podner: (blows a raspberry)
Hanson Murtaugh: Great. (looks to Cassandra) Undo your pants and lie down in the straw there for me.Hanson Murtaugh: You were born of hell, Podner. You stink like a toilet mat lit on fire.
Podner: (hooting noises)
Hanson Murtaugh: Speak sense, foul...it's pissing on me. Sam, this goddamn thing is pissing on me. Cut!
Sam Peckinpah: You don't cut my movie. You don't cut my movie. What the fuck does the back of your chair say?
Hanson Murtaugh: You cut this goddamn-
Sam Peckinpah: Does the back of your chair say-
Hanson Murtaugh: Sam, you cut that fucking film before I stab this thing's heart out.
(Unidentified shouts of alarm)
Sam Peckinpah: You sent it wrong again, you son of a bitch. I'm coming down there and I'm gonna flatten your fucking pug-ugly nose you piece of shit!Hanson Murtaugh: I sent your driver back to hell in a burning box.
Red Cobra: No! Tell your beast to pull me back up. A trial! I deserve a trial! What justice is this?
Podner: (hoots merrily)
Hanson Murtaugh: What justice? My justice. THE justice.
(Murtaugh nods to Podner and the orangutan lets go of Red Cobra)
Hanson Murtaugh: This court finds you guilty, comrade.
- Anachronisms: The testimony of primates was not admissible in a Texas courtroom until 1988, following Bonkers v. Ape Amusements, Inc.
- Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When grooming his horse, Red Cobra states that he used it to, "Ride down the French and beat their skulls into the Crimean mud". It is possible that rather than being almost 150 years old, Red Cobra simply killed French tourists visiting the Crimean Peninsula.
- Continuity: When Mad Dugger gets his head shot off by Patridge there is a stream of arterial blood spraying out of his neck that slowly gets lower and lower as his blood pressure drops to nothing. When it cuts to Partridge laughing and then cuts back to Mad Dugger's body the blood is spraying out again. This repeats several times.
- Crew or equipment visible: During the second rape scene in the bungalow, director Sam Peckinpah can be seen reflected in a mirror as he chokes one of his gaffers with a length of rope.
- Continuity: When Hanson is having Podner tear off Partridge's fingers in the bathroom he gets to a count of seven and then when he does eight the cigarette Hanson has been smoking is longer again.
- Factual errors: Even in Texas the authority of a district attorney does not extend to stopping by a roadside to sexually assault a girl seen picking flowers.
- Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): A tractor-trailer truck has never been built that can run on "hate and all the wrongs he done to little boys", as suggested by Murtaugh when describing Dark Trucker's rig.
- Anachronisms: By the early 1960s police were no longer permitted to shoot people to keep them from interfering with a crime scene.
- Factual errors: There are not intestines in a skull.
NOT A FUNNY MOVIE!! 7 October 2005
I rented this movie thinking it would be good for the kids and I walk in and the guy is pulling the man's eye out with the knitting needle! There were more scenes of that nature. Two rapes! One is too much and this movie has two rapes! NOT FOR KIDS. NOT FOR FAMILIES! Why put a monkey in a movie like this? To TRICK CHILDREN AND MOMS?! This is the worst movie ever and the people who made it should be in jail. It's filthy pornography and violance! ZERO STARS! Worst movie ever! Try Dustin Checks In for better!
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