The Best Primate Movies

Unforgettable Primate Movies

'King Kong'

Who: Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody When: 2005 What: In this 1933 classic remake, an ambitious movie producer, his cast and crew head out to a mysterious island where they meet King Kong. "King Kong" was also rebooted in 1976, starring Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges.

'Gorillas in the Mist'

Who: Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown and Julie Harris When: 1988 What: Sigourney Weaver plays Dian Fossey, a scientist who travels to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fights to protect the species.


Who: Laura Linney, Tim Curry and Dylan Walsh When: 1995 What: Based on the bestseller by Michael Crichton, a new team is put in place after an expedition to the African Congo goes terribly wrong.

'Mighty Joe Young'

Who: Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton When: 1998 What: A giant ape named Joe escapes through Hollywood and befriends Jill Young, played by Charlize Theron.

'Planet of the Apes'

Who: Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Roth When: 2001 What: A space astronaut lands on a strange planet ruled by apes. This popular franchise has been around for over over 40 years. The famous 1968 original starred Charlton Heston, and was followed by a made-for-TV series in 1974.

'Project X'

Who: Matthew Broderick, Helen Hunt and Willie (the chimp) When: 1987 What: A military newbie discovers shocking experimental tests done on laboratory chimps and finds a way to save them from what he later learns to be... "Project X."

'Monkey Shines'

Who: Joason Beghe, John Pankow and Kate McNeil When: 1988 What: A monkey trained to help his disabled owner starts to turn violent.

'Every Which Way But Loose'

Who: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke and Geoffrey Lewis When: 1978 What: Philo, an easy-going trucker, teams up with Clyde, an orangutan won in a bet. In this comedy, the pair roam around town looking for a good fight.


Who: Elizabeth Shue, Terence Stamp and Steven Pinner When: 1986 What: Jane Chase, played by Elizabeth Shue, works as an assistant for an animal researcher with an intelligent orangutan named Link-who grows increasingly more aggressive.

'Bedtime for Bonzo'

Who: Ronald Reagan, Diana Lynn When: 1951 What: A college professor works closely with a lab chimp to prove how the environment affects its behavior.