Hairy Ape is a 1944 dramatic film directed by Alfred Santell. In the film, Hank Smith (William Bendix) is a strong, confident freight ship stoker. Smith believes that his overwhelming strength and confidence are a result of the excessive hair on his body. Mildred Douglas (Susan Hayward) is a rich girl who is forced to be a passenger on the ship due to unusual circumstances. She is also the girlfriend of the ship's second engineer, Tony Lazar (John Loder). When a chance encounter between Hank and Mildred occurs, the rich girl hurls terrible insults at Hank. Hank is unable to understand why Mildred reacted the way she did to him. Her insults lead him to questions his strength and his confidence. After mulling over the situation, Hank realizes he needs to know more about Mildred to understand her behavior towards him. How will Mildred react when she is confronted by the man she brutally insulted?