6.1/10
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36 user 17 critic

Project X (1987)

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0:31 | Trailer
An Air Force pilot joins a top secret military experiment involving chimps, but begins to suspect there might be something more to the mysterious "Project X".

Director:

Jonathan Kaplan

Writers:

Lawrence Lasker (story), Stanley Weiser (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Willie ... Virgil
Okko Okko ... Goofy
Karanja Karanja ... Goliath
Luke Luke ... Bluebeard
Harry Harry ... Ginger
Arthur Arthur ... Winston
Ciafu Ciafu ... Spike
Lucy Lucy ... Razzberry
Lulu Lulu ... Ethel
Mousie Mousie ... New Recruit
Matthew Broderick ... Jimmy Garrett
Helen Hunt ... Teri
William Sadler ... Dr. Carroll (as Bill Sadler)
Johnny Ray McGhee Johnny Ray McGhee ... Robertson
Jonathan Stark Jonathan Stark ... Sgt. Krieger
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Storyline

A young inductee into the military is given the task of looking after some chimpanzees used in the mysterious "Project X". Getting to know the chimps fairly well, he begins to suspect there is more to the secret project than he is being told. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Following orders isn't the only way to become a hero. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

17 April 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Projekt X See more »

Filming Locations:

Pasadena, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,309,985, 19 April 1987

Gross USA:

$18,532,286

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,589,395
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The back of Jimmy's jacket says "King Louis". King Louie is the name of the Borden orangutan in Walt Disney's 1967 animated film "The Jungle Book", as well as the Gigantopithecus in the 2016 adaptation. See more »

Goofs

When Teri is trying to get Virgil to sign the word for "apple" his shirt alternates between tucked into his diaper and hanging out in different shots. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Teri: You're free. Go on. Go on.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Project X/Wild Thing/Heaven/Gothic (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Shock The Monkey
Written and Performed by Peter Gabriel
See more »

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User Reviews

Simplistic in plot and sentiment but will make for a good family film if you have slightly older children
19 November 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Jimmy Garrett wants to be an air force pilot but taking his girlfriend up in a jet while drinking champagne was not a move that seems likely to aid that career goal. That little stunt sees him bust down to helping in a special pilots project (Project X) which he hopes will see him trained up to be a pilot but really sees him looking after chimps who are being trained as pilots for some reason. Jimmy takes to the job once he befriends chimp Virgil, who appears to have been taught sign language. Things are good and Jimmy's technique benefits the programme until, that is, the painfully naïve chap learns the aim of project x.

Very much aimed at a young teen audience, this film is a solid family drama with a conscience and a message about animal testing. The basic plot is pretty obvious but it is effective in drawing the audience in with humour and of course the fact that monkeys are legally very cool and cute. I doubt anyone watching is as naïve as Jimmy and most viewers will see the obvious plot development long before it is revealed and from there it continues along a fairly predictable path. It is to its credit though that it is still quite engaging, exciting and touching despite this simplicity and older children will eat it up. It does have a message about animal testing but don't expect it to be balanced or weigh up pros and cons or anything like that because this very much has its Disney agenda. It is still sweet family fare though but it does take a lot of swallowing in both the simplicity of the message and the high-concept of the plot.

Broderick takes billing after all the monkeys which I suppose is only right. He is solid and works well with the chimps but the film is not his by any means. No, the film belongs to Willie (Virgil), Okko (Goofy) and the others. Virgil in particular is expressive and very well trained – in fact trained to the point that he does convince as the character he plays. Support is basic by comparison but still does the job. Sadler does his usual bad guy shtick while McGee, Stark and Hunt are all solid for what they have to do.

Overall then a basic but enjoyable family film that is simplistic on all levels but is cute, sentimental and quite dramatic. Probably not anywhere near good enough to stand up to viewings by discerning adults but it will make for a good family film if you have older children.


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