Jill Young lives on ranch in Africa with her father. Two African traders wall by the ranch one day with a baby gorilla and Jill wants it. She trades toys and money promising to care of the gorilla which she names Joe. Twelve years later Americans Max O'Hara and Gregg are looking for animals as star attractions. They encounter Jill and Joe shortly after that being offered to come to Hollywood. They do so to save the family ranch but soon realize that Joe may not adapt to his new surroundings.

Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack.

This film would be the first big break for legendary stop motion effects matter, Ray Harryhausen. While Willis H. O'Brien (of 1933's King Kong fame) got top billing it was Harryhausen did most of the work.

The film was remade in 1998 by Disney.