In which Ryan reviews the movie "Bedtime for Bonzo"

Really the image above should serve as a review in itself. I mean it's a movie starring a monkey. That alone should conjur up memories of craptastic films as 1996's Dunston Checks In, or 2000's MVP: Most Valuable Primate. If the genre of 'wacky animal hijinks' was a city, the roads would be paved with straight-to-DVD movies starring monkeys. And then you throw Ronald Reagan into the mix, and you've got a movie that is pretty hard for me to take seriously at face value. So, going into this thing I knew that I was going to bear witness to the most shitty of shitty movies.

But, turns out it's a pretty good movie. Don't get me wrong, it's still pretty dumb and most of the plot revolves around "monkeys are crazy", but somehow Bedtime for Bonzo manages to avoid the slapstick gags and fart noises that are so characteristic of other monkey movies. They're there, but there's actually some semblance of a plot to connect them together. The plot revolves around Professor Peter Boyd (played by Reagan) as he attempts to convince his fiancee's father (who is the Dean at the university where he teaches) that he did not inherit the criminal traits of his father (who was a jewel theif or something). He does this by adopting the university's rambunctious lab test monkey and raise him to be a respectable and well-mannered monkey.

Ok, I know it sounds fucking stupid, but trust me.

The highlight of the film comes in the form of the supporting role of Prof. Hans Neumann, who is Boyd's bumbling German partner-in-crime. Neumann is played by Walter Slezak, who readers of this blog may better know as The Clock King from the 1966 Batman television series.
This character is funny in that way that all German characters in american TV and films were funny back then. Sort of like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes.

Anyway, not to get too far into the minor plot points of the movie, the movie turned out to be a pleasant surprise. All in all, I give it 2 out of 5 Torgo's. It's still got that 1950's comedy badness to it, but done surprisingly well.

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