Hairy Ape, The

2248. THE HAIRY APE (1944-USA). WITH william bendix, susan hayward, john loder, dorothy comingore. Based on the play by eugene o’neill. Beauty meets the beast in this story Of two contrasting characters, Of two different sexes and from two different worlds. The first is Hank Smith. He is a rough-and-tumble stevedore on a cargo ship sailing from Lisbon to New York. Hank is brawny to the point Of being animalistic. He also is thick-witted and pigheaded. “I make the ship go and don’t you forget it,” he brags to one and all, even though his job is a lowly one. It is essential for Hank to feel he has control over his fellow stevedores. He first will stare at you hard if you anger him, and then will smash you in the face before you have the chance to compose yourÂself. Hank bears the open wounds Of an abused childhood in which he was severely beaten by his mother. Perhaps it is for this reason that he loathes women. Hank’s ship usually does not carry pasÂsengers. However, an exception is being made because it is wartime. One Of the travelers is a wealthy and beautiful young woman named Mildred Douglas. Mildred is at once spoiled and manipulative. She loves to flirt with men. One Of her paramours observes that she “always teases the animals but never feeds them.” Mildred is oblivious to the feelings Of others. This is never more the case after Hank eyes her, and becomes tragically obsessed with her. The great character actor William Bendix gives a bravura performance as Hank, while Susan Hayward (in one Of her earliest starring roles) is no less impressive as Mildred. 91 minutes. Drama