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Home » How the Movie THE GORILLA Made me a CEO and Why it is Special to Me

How the Movie THE GORILLA Made me a CEO and Why it is Special to Me

While the 1939 movie The Gorilla only has a fair IMDb rating, it holds a very special place in my heart and may also be why I am the CEO of ACWTV today. You see, some of my fondest memories from my youth are those of my father sharing his favorite childhood memories from Hungary. These included going to the movies with his dad, writer Lajos Juhasz, who he was murdered by the German Gestapo during WWII for sheltering a Jewish family.

They saw first runs of Chaplin’s Modern Times, Laurel & Hardy classics, and many other gems, but there were 2 specific movies my Dad spoke of often that were especially good times he had with his dad. They were Gunga Din and The Gorilla (both 1939).

Now Gunga Din is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I’ve seen it as far back as I could remember, but I had never heard of The Gorilla before. I hadn’t seen it on TV and I had watched a lot of TV. I couldn’t find it anywhere other than in my movie reference books. It wasn’t until I was around 27 that I stumbled upon a VHS tape of The Gorilla at a bargain store. I purchased it for my dad, watched it together, and created a new great memory based around this movie.

Now if that wasn’t reason enough for me to enjoy this forgotten classic, The Gorilla had another impact on me. It may be the film that indirectly sparked my career in OTT and my inevitable formation of ACWTV. The Gorilla made me aware of and very curious about the bargain VHS distribution business booming back in the late ’80s. I began seeing multiple releases of the same movies by different companies. I looked into those titles and realized they were all in the public domain. In the late ’90s I worked as the Director of Internet Marketing for a publicly traded entertainment company that distributed VHS tapes and the new DVD format. I learned a lot about distribution from industry vets that I worked with and one of the big take aways was their success with some public domain titles.

Fast forward. In 2014 I lost my dad and my job, both in the same month. In 2015 I committed to full-time entrepreneurship and enrolled in an early Roku developer program. As an early adopter to OTT, I launched my first channel WimZTV in 2016 filled with public domain content. Today, ACWTV operates 15 channels and it brings me great joy to share near-forgotten movies like The Gorilla and have it accessible to millions.

ACWTV is currently producing a weekly series called Jay Watch with host Jay Michaels introducing classic movies. Here’s the Jay Watch episode on The Gorilla. Amazing how life events are interwoven. Thanks Dad.