The Ape Woman (Italian: La donna scimmia, French: Le Mari de la femme à barbe) is a 1964 Italian-French drama film directed by Marco Ferreri. It was entered into the1964 Cannes Film Festival. The film was inspired by the real-life story of Julia Pastrana a 19th-century woman exploited as a freak show attraction by her manager Theodore Lent.
The "Ape Woman" is Annie Girardot, completely covered with hair; the entrepreneur Tognazzi discovers her in a convent in Naples; he marries her (a condition imposed by the nuns) and begins exhibiting her to the public. He tries to sell her to a funny guy who insists on her virginity, but she is a little reluctant. After tasting success inParis, she dies during childbirth. Tognazzi recovers her mummy from the museum of natural history and exhibits it in Naples. The subject looks a little camp, but the film is considered one of the most touching of Ferreri's.