Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Death of a Brooklyn Gorilla


Sammy Petrillo, Jerry Lewis impersonator and star of Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla - Lugosi's most prestigious film of the nineteen-fifties - has died at the age of seventy-four.
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There's a few obits doing the rounds, this is a particularly interesting and sweet one.
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Mitchell only made four films - but what a four: both halves of a married couple in Doris Wishman's Keyholes Are for Peeping (1972), an uncredited bit in Joseph Green's mesmerising The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962), the lead in Shangri-La (1961), as a zookeeper who visits a series of nudist camps, and - above all this - his Lewis-a-like turn opposite Lugosi. (What did Lugosi make of the film? His expression in the third still, below, speaks a million words.)
"Brooklyn chumps become island monkeys in a jungle full of laffs" claimed the posters, and they were right. That is exactly what happens. Watch it tonight.
See ya, Sammy.
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2 comments:

Lolita said...

Ha ha, poor Lugosi! He only wanted his morphine...

Matthew Coniam said...

But what a way to get it! Surely robbing a liquor store would have been more dignified!