The Ape Woman


1h 32m 1964

Brief Synopsis

A man meets a woman covered with hair, decides to exploit her as a sideshow attraction, and ends up falling in love with her.

Film Details

Also Known As
La Donna scimmia, Le Mari de la femme à barbe
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 22 Sep 1964
Production Company
C. C. Champion; Cocinor; Les Films Concordia; Les Films Marceau
Distribution Company
Embassy Pictures
Country
France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

Antonio, a 40-year-old Neapolitan small-time operator out for the "fast buck," discovers his golden opportunity while showing "cultural" slides of bare-breasted Africans to residents of a home for the poor run by Catholic nuns. Maria, an inmate of the home, is normal in all respects except that her face and body are completely covered by hair. Antonio manages to convince the shy, self-conscious girl to leave with him to become a freak attraction as "The Ape Woman," supposedly captured in Africa. The act attains some financial success, but the humiliation is too much for the girl and she returns to the home. Antonio succeeds in getting her back with a marriage proposal and makes sure that the wedding is well-publicized. Although he tries to avoid consummation, Maria's threats of annulment change his mind. They join a troupe of performers and travel to Paris where Maria's striptease act is a sensation. Maria becomes pregnant and, although advised to have the pregnancy aborted for fear that the child will be abnormal, determines to have the baby. The baby is born completely normal, and Maria's body's reaction to pregnancy and birth causes her to lose the unnatural hair. She is transformed into a normal, attractive woman. Antonio is at first enraged by the loss of his "meal ticket" but finally realizes the blessing of the change for Maria. He takes a steady, honest job to support his family, and they eventually settle into a normal existence. [In the Italian release version, unlike the version shown in Paris, Maria and her baby die during childbirth, and Antonio exhibits their mummies in order to pay his debts.]

Film Details

Also Known As
La Donna scimmia, Le Mari de la femme à barbe
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 22 Sep 1964
Production Company
C. C. Champion; Cocinor; Les Films Concordia; Les Films Marceau
Distribution Company
Embassy Pictures
Country
France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Released in Italy in 1964 as La donna scimmia; running time: 97 min; in France as Le mari de la femme à barbe at 92 min. Shown at Cannes Film Festival at 100 min.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall September 22, 1964

Released in United States Fall September 22, 1964