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Bedtime for Bonzo

Bedtime for Bonzo

Bedtime for Bonzo is a 1951 American comedy film directed by Fred de Cordova and starring Ronald Reagan, Diana Lynn, and a chimpanzee named Tamba as Bonzo. Its central character, psychology professor Peter Boyd (Reagan), tries to teach human morals to a chimpanzee, hoping to solve the "nature versus nurture" question. Boyd hires Jane Linden (Lynn) to pose as the chimpanzee's mother while he plays father to it and uses 1950s-era child-rearing techniques.

Plot

Valerie, a college dean’s daughter, is engaged to the dean's colleague Peter, a psychology professor. When the dean discovers that Peter is the son of a former criminal, he forbids the marriage, declaring Peter’s blood to be tainted, in line with his strong belief in heredity as an influence on character. As Peter believes equally strongly in the opposite theory of environment, he aims to prove that he can raise a chimpanzee as one would a human child in a law-abiding household.