Murders in the Zoo (1933)

55 or 66 mins | Horror | 31 March 1933

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HISTORY

The pressbook contained the following information: A twenty-five foot python named "Oswald" was used in the film; he was rented from "Snake" King, owner of a snake ranch in Texas, and his keeper was John Branson; Chubby Guilfoyle was one of four animal trainers used in the film; the Selig Zoo provided sixteen truckloads of animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, pumas, hyenas, chimpanzees, snakes and fifty ... More Less

The pressbook contained the following information: A twenty-five foot python named "Oswald" was used in the film; he was rented from "Snake" King, owner of a snake ranch in Texas, and his keeper was John Branson; Chubby Guilfoyle was one of four animal trainers used in the film; the Selig Zoo provided sixteen truckloads of animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, pumas, hyenas, chimpanzees, snakes and fifty alligators. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
1 Apr 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 33
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Mar 33
p. 19.
New York Times
13 Jan 33
p. 19.
New York Times
3 Apr 33
p. 13.
VarB
3 Mar 1933.
---
Variety
4 Apr 33
p. 15.
DETAILS
Release Date:
31 March 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 March 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3767
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
55 or 66
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Millionaire zoologist Eric Gorman, overcome with suspicions about his wife's fidelity, murders her suspected lover, Bob Taylor, by sewing his mouth shut and leaving him helpless in a jungle in Indochina. An Indochinese later reports to Gorman, who pretends to be shocked, that Taylor was found to have been eaten by tigers. Gorman returns to the United States with a menagerie of wild animals to be housed in the zoo. He commissions the zoo's laboratory doctor, Jack Woodford, and Jack's assistant and fiancée Jerry Evans, daughter of the head of the zoo, to find an antitoxin for the mamba, a deadly snake. Meanwhile, the newly-hired press agent Peter Yates, who is afraid of most of the animals in the zoo and has a reputation as a drinker, holds a fundraising dinner in the carnivore house. When Roger Hewitt suddenly dies at the dinner from a mamba bite, Jack discovers his laboratory mamba is missing. The zoo is temporarily closed due to the missing snake. When Gorman's wife Evelyn accuses him of killing Roger, with whom she was having an affair, he tries to attack her. She escapes into his office and finds a mechanical mamba head in his desk drawer, with poison in it. Realizing her husband truly is the killer, she takes the snake head to the zoo intending to tell Jack. Her husband follows her and ruthlessly throws her into the alligator pond, where she is devoured. The next day, some children sneak into the zoo and find a piece of her dress. Gorman identifies the garment and later attacks Jack with the snake head when Jack accuses him ... +


Millionaire zoologist Eric Gorman, overcome with suspicions about his wife's fidelity, murders her suspected lover, Bob Taylor, by sewing his mouth shut and leaving him helpless in a jungle in Indochina. An Indochinese later reports to Gorman, who pretends to be shocked, that Taylor was found to have been eaten by tigers. Gorman returns to the United States with a menagerie of wild animals to be housed in the zoo. He commissions the zoo's laboratory doctor, Jack Woodford, and Jack's assistant and fiancée Jerry Evans, daughter of the head of the zoo, to find an antitoxin for the mamba, a deadly snake. Meanwhile, the newly-hired press agent Peter Yates, who is afraid of most of the animals in the zoo and has a reputation as a drinker, holds a fundraising dinner in the carnivore house. When Roger Hewitt suddenly dies at the dinner from a mamba bite, Jack discovers his laboratory mamba is missing. The zoo is temporarily closed due to the missing snake. When Gorman's wife Evelyn accuses him of killing Roger, with whom she was having an affair, he tries to attack her. She escapes into his office and finds a mechanical mamba head in his desk drawer, with poison in it. Realizing her husband truly is the killer, she takes the snake head to the zoo intending to tell Jack. Her husband follows her and ruthlessly throws her into the alligator pond, where she is devoured. The next day, some children sneak into the zoo and find a piece of her dress. Gorman identifies the garment and later attacks Jack with the snake head when Jack accuses him of the murder. Jerry arrives in time to administer the antitoxin, but Gorman escapes. He leads the police on a chase through the zoo, releasing all the big cats in the carnivore house. A lion chases him into a boa constrictor's cage, where Gorman is slowly killed by the huge snake. Jerry nurses Jack back to health, and the drunken Yates loses his fear of the big cats. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.