Cast & Crew
H. L. Fraser
While drinking in J. Morgan's jungle trading post, Stacey and his cohort complain about the dangerous nature of their mission, which is to locate missing explorer Ed Bradford. At that moment, Steve Collins, Bradford's guide, collapses outside the post, mumbling deliriously about a white gorilla. Although Stacey dismisses Steve's claims that he was attacked by a huge white gorilla, Morgan gives credence to Steve's story, noting that the gorilla has long been a part of native legend. When the gorilla, Morgan explains, was cast out of his group because of his color, he became bent on revenge and began wrecking havoc on the jungle. After the bruised Steve recovers his senses, he tells the story of how Bradford met his fate: Despite Steve's warnings to stay close, Bradford and his companion, Allison, leave camp to explore the jungle. When they fail to return, Steve follows their trail to a hostile village and sees that they are being held prisoner. As the natives prepare to execute the men, a young white boy rides into the village on an elephant and commands the tribe's chief to release the explorers. After they are freed, Bradford and Allison pursue the mysterious boy into the jungle, and Steve follows them from a distance. While chasing the boy, Bradford notices a white woman rafting down a river and rescues her when she is attacked by a hippopotamus. The woman takes Bradford and Allison to her father's camp, where, along with Steve, they stay for several months. Steve learns that the woman's father is an explorer who lost his sight and is now relying on his guide, Lou Hanley, to find the treasure-filled Cave of the Cyclops. Worried that the old man will give Bradford his map to the cave out of gratitude for saving his daughter, the greedy Hanley decides to kill Bradford. Bradford anticipates the attack, however, and during the ensuing fight, a pride of lions storm into camp and chase Hanley into the jungle. Later, Bradford, Allison and the woman hike to Bradford's camp, while Steve and Carter, a helper from the old man's camp, trail behind, looking out for Hanley. On the way, Steve and Carter spot the boy and watch him being saved from a lion attack by a strange white man. Carter is then kidnapped by the white gorilla, who has been following the men, and Steve chases after him. Steve is able to rescue Carter when the white gorilla is challenged by a large black gorilla. At the same time, Hanley, who has been pursuing Bradford, is caught in an elephant stampede, which destroys Bradford's camp. After Steve delivers Carter to a friendly village, he finds out that Bradford and the others were taken to a safe place by the boy and some roving Arabs and goes after them. Hanley, who escaped the stampede unharmed, trails the group to the Arab camp and slips some boar meat into Bradford's tent, hoping to lure some lions inside. Although the lions attack, Bradford, the woman and the others are rescued by the boy, while Hanley is mauled to death. Later, at the nearby Cave of the Cyclops, the boy's white mother, who has tricked the cave's inhabitants, the Tiger Men, into believing she has supernatural powers, orders the Tiger Men to bring the white visitors to the cave. The Tiger Men deliver Bradford and the others, but then decide to sacrifice them to the Cyclops, the ancient statue they worship. Having witnessed the capture, Steve races off to secure help, but is accosted by the white gorilla. The attack is interrupted by the black gorilla, and while the two apes battle each other, Steve escapes, finally reaching Morgan's hut. After Steve concludes his story, Morgan, Stacey and his cohort head for the cave, leaving the wounded Steve and Stacey's daughter Ruth at the post. When Ruth hears that a native boy is missing, she goes looking for him. She soon encounters the white gorilla and, after firing her shotgun at him, screams and faints. The gorilla picks Ruth up and gently fondles her. Alerted by Ruth's scream, Steve, meanwhile, limps out of the post and shoots and kills the distracted ape. Later, Morgan and Stacey report that they found no survivors at the cave and prepare to abandon the post. Steve also decides to leave, and as he and Ruth contemplate their future together, the black gorilla buries his nemesis in the jungle depths.
Albert J. Smith
Much of this film consists of footage from a 1927 silent film serial entitled The Perils of the Jungle. The ten-chapter serial, produced by Artclass Pictures Corp., a company owned by the Weiss Brothers, was written by The White Gorilla's director H. L. Fraser, and directed by Jack Nelson and photographed by W. C. Thompson and Bert Longnecker. Frank Merrill, Eugenia Gilbert, Bobby Nelson and Albert J. Smith appeared in both the serial and The White Gorilla, although some of their character names were not identified in the feature, or were changed for the feature. Walter Maly also appeared in the serial, but his appearance in The White Gorilla has not been confirmed. Voice-over narration, spoken by Ray Corrigan as the character of "Steve Collins," is used extensively in The White Gorilla, particularly during the silent sections. Steve and the character of the white gorilla appear only in the contemporary footage. The silent scenes were edited in at sound speed, so that when projected, the action appears distorted and unnaturally fast. Exact release date information was not found, but the feature was copyrighted in July 1945. The picture was reviewed in 1947, however, and opened in Los Angeles on December 2, 1947. According to a December 1979 Hollywood Reporter news item, the picture was to be re-issued by Weiss for midnight showings "in response to exhibitor requests." Modern sources add Budd Buster and Milburn Morante to the cast of The White Gorilla, and Will Herman and Harry Belmour to the cast of the serial, but it is not known if any of these actors appear in the feature.