Theatrical Release: June 3, 1997
DVD Release: June 3, 1997


Buddy is the true story of Gertrude “Trudy” Lintz (Rene Russo), an eccentric socialite in the 1920s, who is the most generous animal keeper since Noah. On her New York estate, she, her physician husband Bill (Robbie Coltrane) and her loyal assistant Dick (Alan Cumming) care for a menagerie as extensive as a zoo’s: a kennel of championship Briard dogs, Rex rabbits, guinea pigs, schools of tropical fish, flocks of geese and rare pigeons, a stable of horses, two homed owls, three snakes and a kitten.
Adding to the fun are her four chimpanzees whom she treats as her children; their clothes are tailor-made at Bergdorf Goodman; she teaches them table manners, how to play croquet, mix martinis, do light housework and say their prayers. And they become the stars of Chicago’s 1933 World’s Fair. But her gorilla, Buddy, is her favorite child. When she first sees him, he is a sickly baby gorilla. But she opens her home and her heart to him, saves him from the jaws of death, and proceeds to raise him as if he were her own… and, for a time, he is. Still, Buddy inevitably grows up, and keeping him becomes increasingly dangerous for Trudy, not because he is vicious but because he can’t fit into the human world he lives in anymore, and yet can’t be his true self either.
Finally, Trudy has to make the decision all mothers face — she has to let go. No amount of nurture can suppress Buddy’s nature, and Trudy must choose what is best for him.

Dove Review

Based on a true story of a rich 1930s socialite who made her home a sanctuary for wild animals. She rescues a sickly baby gorilla and raises the primate along with chimps, exotic birds, etc. Aproposed animal rights activist, she dresses her animals in human clothing and even showcases them in a musical review. Cute, but hardly respectful of their nature. As portrayed by Ms. Russo, the lead is merely a misguided control freak with little regard for the rights of other people. She’s like Mame, with a menagerie. I’m not sure whom this film has been made for. Surely there aren’t enough people who will pay $7.00 to see an ape dressed as a butler?! And although the first 3/4s of the picture may be of interest to children, little ones will be terrified when the instinctive behavior of a 700-pound gorilla threatens to harm people. At least it did during the press screening. Several parents had to lead shrieking children out of the theatre. Also objectionable to those who respect the theory of creationism-the very subtle reference, by a priest no less, that we are the descendants of primates.

Content Description

("oh my God" is uttered once, but I caught no other objectionable language; some frightening scenes towards the end as the nature of the beast comes out; evolution is suggested.


Company: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 84 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Starring: Rene Russo
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright