That creaky old Ralph Spence stage comedy-melodrama The Gorilla was given the first of its four screen treatments in 1927. The title character has been accused of several killings in the vicinity of a foreboding Hudson River mansion. The owner of the house, reclusive Uriah Townsend (Tully Marshall), is certain that he will be the Gorilla's next victim, so he summons bumbling detectives Garrity (Charlie Murray) and Mulligan (Fred Kelsey). But to no avail: Townsend is murdered, and everyone is placed under suspicion -- notably Stevens (Walter Pigeon), the sweetheart of Townsend's daughter Alice (Alice Day). In their own stumbling fashion. Garrity and Mulligan discover that the murderer is of the human variety, rescuing Alice from a grisly fate at the very last minute. The Gorilla was remade in 1930, with Walter Pigeon repeating his role, then again in 1937 (as Sh! The Octopus) and 1939 (with the Ritz Brothers).
by Hal Erickson synopsis