|Diana Lynn, Ronald Reagan, and Bonzo in the back|
College professor Peter Boyd (Ronald Reagan) gets in hot water with Dean Tillinghast (Herbert Heyes), when the latter finds out Boyd's father was a criminal. Tillinghast wants Peter to resign at the end of the semester, and orders his daughter, Valerie (Lucille Barkley) to end their engagement. Peter sets out to prove that environment and upbringing have more to do with criminal behavior than heredity. How does he do this? By taking the science department's chimp, Bonzo, home with him, and hiring a woman, Jane (Diana Lynn) to act as the ape's "mother!" That is the incredible premise of this movie, which gets stupider by the second. Since I happen to be very fond of chimps and their antics, I thought this movie might be cute and entertaining, but another Bringing Up Baby (which had a leopard instead of a chimp) it is not. I need not say that Ronald Reagan [Kings Row] is hardly in the league of Cary Grant, but his performance in this isn't bad, and Diana Lynn [Ruthless] is charming. Walter Slezak is fine as another professor, while Jesse White is typically obnoxious and unamusing as a man named Babcock. Considering Peter is a professor it's odd how often he refers to Bonzo as a monkey instead of a chimp. Bonzo is a cute and capable performer, but the chimps are a lot more fun in the Tarzan movies.
Verdict: Why Reagan went into politics. **.