I recently took the time to re-watch Sunset Boulevard (1950). Thanks to this question for reminding me of it: biggest age gap between romantic leads . I'll try to refrain from gushing about how great I think this movie is, but rather I want to to talk about a rather throwaway plot point in the movie. Early on in the movie, the actress wants to have a funeral for her Chimpanzee movie star.
I consider Sunset Boulevard to be way ahead of its time, mostly because of how the movie portrays the unhealthy relationship between the male and female leads, but aside from that, it seems to be one of the first movies to make a statement on animal rights. I always found it extremely bizarre to use chimps in movies for comedic purposes. From future President Ronald Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) all the way to Clint Eastwood in Every Which Way but Loose (1978), in my opinion it is just wrong to use animals like that.
Back in 1950, I consider the chimp funeral scene in Sunset Boulevard to be one of the first indictments on this type of comedy. I'm actually kind of disturbed that people still thought this was acceptable in 1978. When exactly did it become unethical to use chimps in movies like this, and when did the last major studio release a comedy starring a live Chimpanzee?