Tarzan of the Apes (1918)

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The plot follows the novel more closely than does any other Tarzan movie. John and Alice Clayton take ship for Africa. Mutineers maroon them. After his parents die the newborn Tarzan is ... See full summary »


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Director: Wilfred Lucas
Stars: Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, Thomas Jefferson


Complete credited cast:
Enid Markey ...
True Boardman ...
Kathleen Kirkham ...
George B. French ...
Binns - a Sailor
Gordon Griffith ...
Colin Kenny ...
Thomas Jefferson ...
Bessie Toner ...
Bar Maid
Jack Wilson ...
Louis Morrison ...
Fred L. Wilson


The plot follows the novel more closely than does any other Tarzan movie. John and Alice Clayton take ship for Africa. Mutineers maroon them. After his parents die the newborn Tarzan is taken by a great Ape, Kala. Later the boy finds his father's knife and uses it to become King of Apes. Binns, the sailor who saved the Claytons and who has been held by Arab slavers for ten years, finds the young Tarzan and then heads for England to notify his kin. A scientist arrives to check out Binns' story. Tarzan, now a man, kills the native who killed Kala; when their chief is killed the black villagers appease Tarzan with gifts and prayers. The scientist's daughter Jane is carried off by a native, rescued by Tarzan (who has burnt the native village), aggressively loved by him ("Tarzan is a man, and men do not force the love of women"), and at last accepts him with open arms. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tarzan | ape | slaver | boy | knife | See All (42) »


The most startling and unforgettable story ever written See more »


Action | Adventure




Release Date:

27 January 1918 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarzan bei den Affen  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In one scene a lion is supposed to crawl through the window of Tarzan's cabin to devour Jane. Tarzan grabs him and pulls him out. Rumor has it that the old and drugged lion turned on Elmo Lincoln who stabbed and killed him. "I stepped on him to beat my chest. As my foot pressed down on him, the remaining air in his lungs escaped with a loud whoosh. I was already shaken and you should have seen me jump!" The lion wound up as a lobby display when the picture opened on Broadway. However, Enid Markey and others from the cast have disputed this version of events, saying that the lion was actually killed off screen. Contrary to popular opinion, the death of the lion is not actually shown on screen. It is already dead when Elmo stabs at it, barely puncturing its skin. See more »


Followed by Green Inferno (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Elmo, How You've Let Yourself Go!
29 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whenever I watch a silent film, I try to view it in the proper context (time it was made, technology, etc.). I got a kick out of this film. I imagined what wonder there was in viewing giraffes, rhinos, elephants, pythons, and a host of jungle life. I particularly enjoyed the young man who played Tarzan as a child. His face was continually full of wonder and life. For me, the movie took a downturn when Elmo Lincoln showed up. For a guy who obviously spent his time running through the jungle, climbing trees, wrestling critters ten times his size, he looked like one of the guys that used to sit next to my father at his favorite watering hole. He has that huge paunch and those fleshy white legs. I was very aware that this Tarzan was in continual danger of falling off a branch (possibly breaking it) and doing himself harm. Let's face it: he also wasn't exactly going to win any beauty contests. If Jane hadn't had a bad experience with he fiance, would she have given him a second look. Jane, no great prize herself, gets together with him, but I couldn't help but wonder what they would be doing, other than the obvious. All that aside, it was fun seeing this. I had heard about the film for years and decided to purchase a copy for myself. It was worth it for the novelty.

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