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.
There's a few obits doing the rounds, this is a particularly interesting and sweet one.
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.


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!