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Chimpanzees in Entertainment

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Monkey Business

1952
Monkey Business

Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers star in this story of a scientist seeking a youth-restoring serum.  A young chimpanzee gets loose in the lab and accidently concocts the formula.


Bedtime for Bonzo

1951
Bedtime for Bonzo

This 1951 comedy film starred future U.S. President Ronald Reagan.  The plot revolves around the attempts of a college professor to teach human morals to a chimpanzee using 1950's-era child rearing techniques.

The film spawned a sequel "Bonzo goes to college" the following year.


Jungle Jim

1948
Jungle Jim

The "Jungle Jim" series released films from 1948 to 1956. Jungle Jim, played by Johnny Weissmuller, is a guide, who takes people out into the jungle, where he interacts with young chimpanzees. In the first film of the series (1948), he escorts a scientist, played by actress Virginia Grey, into the jungle in search of rare medical drugs.


Tarzan

1932
Tarzan

Several young chimpanzee "actors" played the role of Tarzan's sidekick in a series of movies dating back to the 1930's.