Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Disney Monkeys Make Fun for All

Cleveland Press February 20, 1967

"Monkeys, Go Home," the latest product from the Walt Disney studios, is an amusing, light-hearted and pleasant motion picture for the entire family.

This is a formula film, and there is no objection to a formula movie when it is as skillfully and tastefully made as this one.

The formula in this instance is one part Maurice Chevalier for the older adults; one part young love in the persons of Dean Jones and Yvette Mimieux for the young adults and teens, and the rest some highly talented chimpanzees for the kids. And who's to say the chimps aren't for everyone.

Chevalier is cast as a French village priest and he gives the role his usual worldly wise way. To his tiny village comes an American, Dean Jones, who has inherited an olive farm.

Jones decides to work his olive farm using a quartet of pet chimps -- former Air Force astro-chimps -- as pickers. This is his answer to the priest's recommendation that the only way to work an olive farm is to get married and have lots of kids.

THE CHIMPS CAUSE TROUBLE when local leftists look upon this as another crushing blow of American imperialism and plaster the town with protest signs.

Jones remains the best of the young leading men capable of handling romantic comedy parts -- a trifle perplexed, a little wide-eyed, sometimes a touch of anger but always likable.

Miss Mimieux is pleasant and pretty as the French girl who helps him while complicating his life. A strong and skillful cast supports them.

THE FRENCH VILLAGE is really part of the Disney studio but it looks charming enough to be real.

The movie was directed by Andrew McLaglen who has been riding herd on western movies until this one. He keeps matters moving, highlights the action with a free-for-all brawl that looks like a carryover from a western except that it is funny.

"Monkeys, Go Home" is no blockbuster, but the kids will love it and parents who must accompany them will enjoy the chore.