Monkeys, Go Home! (1966)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Animal Picture, Family-Oriented Comedy  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The Disney studios released many live action "family" films in the 1960s that were amiable if far from classic, but Monkeys, Go Home is pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel. Simians, of course, are always a crowd pleaser, especially among the young children that were this film's target audience; but even chimps deserve a better screenplay than the one foisted upon them by Maurice Tombragel. It's a sloppy, derivative, trite and totally predictable script; still, it could have been made a moderately entertaining little feature if it had evidenced any real wit or flair. Instead, it slogs from predicament to predicament without ever coming to life. Fortunately, Monkeys has the services of a cast that tries very hard, and while they certainly can't make it into a good movie, they do inject some life into the proceedings. Dean Jones is called upon to do his Dean Jones bit -- look handsome, get put into frustrating and intolerable situations, lose his temper, and generally play straight man, all of which he does with aplomb. Yvette Mimeux is lovely to look at and does what she can with her material. And, in what turned out to be his final film role, Maurice Chevalier brings as much Gallic charm to the proceedings as is possible under the circumstances. The stars deserved better, but without them, Monkeys would be unwatchable. And yes, the chimps are adorable.