According to studio publicity, The Ape was based on actual police records. The title character is a brutish killer at large in Manhattan and along the Hudson River. Much of film was shot in the dark, partly to sustain its melodramatic mood and partly to disguise its cheap sets. Ruth Stonehouse, the biggest "name" in picture, was given surprisingly little to do. The critical assessment of The Ape boiled down to "five reels of much scurrying about for no particular reason." The film was produced at the old Triangle Studios in Riverdale, New York, which in happier days had housed the likes of Mack Sennett and Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
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