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"This is a fine retelling of Dr. Doolitle, based on some true aspects of Gertrude Lintz's life. Buddy was best known worldwide as "Gargantua" after his sale to the Ringling Brothers circus in 1937 by Ms. Lintz. There was no nature preserve, and no putting him out to pasture. Buddy had been rescued by Ms. Lintz as a baby after he fell victim to an attack by a disgruntled sailor aboard the ship that was carrying him away from his home in the lowlands of Africa. The sailor emptied the contents of a fire extinguisher containing acid into the baby's face and left him for dead. Ms. Lintz bought the once valuable cargo from the captain at a bargain and nursed him back to health. As the movie shows, she raised Buddy along with a menagerie of other creatures as her own child. When he became unmanageable and dangerous, she contacted John Ringling North and Henry "Buddy" Ringling North with a proposition to sell Buddy. Their account of the meeting and sale is vastly different than anything shown in the happy ending of this movie. They characterize Ms. Lintz as an eccentric middle aged woman whose mansion in Brooklyn resembled the drawings of Charles Addams. They sat in her parlor sipping tea for a long time before John broached the subject of the gorilla. They were led to an area in the basement where they saw a man standing guard over a large wooden box that looked like an oversized coffin. The wood had been reinforced with steel, for very good reason. The box was held in place by sturdy wooden timbers on the top and both sides to prevent the gorilla from breaking free. When the door was opened they saw what was later billed as "The world's most terrifying living creature". The grossly disfigured face and hostile behavior meant that Buddy was no longer able to live outside a cage, among men. Both men knew they had to buy the creature and struck a deal to pay $10,000.00 for him. They later had him picked up at Ms. Lintz' home. Henry Ringling North made the suggestion to change his name, since his own nickname was "Buddy", to something more sensational. He came up with the name "Gargantua", adding the term gargantuan to the popular lexicon in the process. Read more about this exchange in the book "The Circus Kings" (out of print) by Henry Ringling North and Alden Hatch, Doubleday Press."
Mildy entertaining for animal lovers
Staci L. Wilson | USA | 01/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Set in the 1920s, Buddy follows the true adventures of loopy lady Gertrude "Trudy" Lintz (Rene Russo) who likes to take her menagerie of animals to the movies (and you thought the crying baby two rows back was bad). After one such outing, she has occasion to adopt a sickly baby gorilla. She names him Buddy, and takes him home to her M.D. husband (Robbie Coltrane) to see if he can cure the petite primate. Buddy is never portrayed by a real gorilla; the infant version was animatronic and the adult gorilla was a human in gorilla suit. However, there are several other real animals in the movie including dogs, cats, horses, and chimpanzees. The chimps are seen riding a pony, pouring themselves a drink, shaking hands, and even using a key to unlock a door. Based upon the memoir by Gertrude Davis Lintz.
Staci Layne Wilson
Entertaining family movie
Staci L. Wilson | 10/26/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We all really enjoyed this movie and ended up buying it ! It is about a socialite from the twenties charmingly portrayed by Rene Russo. She raises numerous animals on her LOng Island estate and tries to tame and raise a gorrilla named Buddy. Any child interested in animals will enjoy this film, as will adults. It is set in the twenties and beautifully done , innocent family fun ! What a refreshing change !"
Buddy: Inspired By A True Story
Ellen R. Fissel | South Mountain, PA USA | 11/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buddy is a story about an orphaned baby gorilla who is raised by a passionate and animal loving woman who adopts him. As the years pass, Buddy grows into an adult male gorilla.
Soon, it is time his adopted mother to make a hard choice: keep an extremely powerful and potentially dangerous silverback or send him to a zoo to live with his own kind.
Buddy is a must see movie! It isn't accurate to the the true story but it is still a great movie! Buy it, trust me you'll enjoy this great movie based on a true story."
Deborah L. Altman | 03/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"great kids movies. i'd recomend it to anyone with kids. it shows selflessness, love and compasion."