feature film: (1997)

What if your sweet, adorable toddler grew up - into a 400 pound gorilla? That is the premise of "Buddy", the feature film based on 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 and 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 horned owls, three snakes and a kitten.

Adding to the fun are her four chimpanzees whom Trudy 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. It is no surprise then that she takes in a sickly gorilla from the local zoo that is desperately in need of a mother's devotion. Trudy nurses Buddy back to health and then raises him as her own child and thus begins a heartwarming love story filled with humor and pathos. "Buddy" is an epic tale of the transforming power of love and the courage it takes to let go.