Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Location: North Carolina
|Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:23 pm Post subject: Mighty Joe Young (1949)
Today I was stunned to discover that All Sci-Fi has gone for twelve years without ever having a thread for Mighty Joe Young.
That grave omission is being fixed right now.
I'll kick off the thread with a wonderful YouTube video I found of the 1950 Oscars, in which the Academy Award for Special Effects was presented by none other than Miss Patricia Neal.
Listen to the rather inaccurate description she reads about how the FX for Mighty Joe Young were created. She states that Mighty Joe Young was an 80-ft gorilla made out of lumber, tar paper, and "a pile of old toupees".
No wonder O'Brien's acceptance speech was only five quick words. "Thank you very, very much." And off he went, probably wondering what idiot wrote those notes for Patricia Neal!
__Willis O'Brien Wins Special Effects: 1950 Oscars
I also found an 11-minute interview with Ray Harryhausen and two gentlemen as they discuss Might Joe Young. It's absolutely packed with fascinating info that I didn't know.
For example, Ray explains why Mighty Joe Young's fur doesn't move around constantly the way King Kong's did whenever O'Brien's figures disturbed it as he handled the model.
Ray also tells us why he had a pet name for the specific Mighty Joe Young model he liked best among the four that were built.
He called it "Jennifer"!
_________ Ray Harryhausen & Mighty Joe Young
He also answers a question I've had in mind for decades: how did Ray move those small eyes without accidentally moving the head?
You'll see lots of great clips, along with BTS shots as well. This is an extremely well done interview. I'm very impressed by it.
This next video will knock your socks off. You'll wonder why the screen is dark for the first 33 seconds. Just be patient. Then you'll think the video is a just a clip from the night club scene before Joe appears under the piano.
Wait just a little longer.
And then . . . well . . . you'll see.
__________Mighty Joe Young- Joe Comes to Life
Finally, folks, enjoy this fine original trailer, narrated by the great Dick Tufeld!
____________ Mighty Joe Young Trailer, 1949
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?