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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 2 April 1932 (USA)
A trader and his daughter set off in search of the fabled graveyard of the elephants in deepest Africa, only to encounter a wild man raised by apes.

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(based upon the characters created by), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Doris Lloyd ...
Forrester Harvey ...
Beamish
Ivory Williams ...
Riano
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Storyline

James Parker and Harry Holt are on an expedition in Africa in search of the elephant burial grounds that will provide enough ivory to make them rich. Parker's beautiful young daughter Jane arrives unexpectedly to join them. Harry is obviously attracted to Jane and he does his best to help protect her from all the dangers that they experience in the jungle. Jane is terrified when Tarzan and his ape friends first abduct her, but when she returns to her father's expedition she has second thoughts about leaving Tarzan. After the expedition is captured by a tribe of violent dwarfs, Jane sends Cheetah to bring Tarzan to rescue them... Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Will Hail It As The Year's Biggest Screen Thrill! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 April 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarzan, the Ape Man  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$652,675 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clark Gable was considered for the role of Tarzan, but was deemed too much of an unknown to play the ape man. See more »

Goofs

In the scene near the end of the picture, when the elephants are tearing up the village of the little people, elephants are wounded: one is shown running off to the right, acutely favoring its front leg - a tether can be seen, between the leg and the neck of the animal, forcing it to run on only 3 legs. See more »

Quotes

Jane Parker: Where are my boots?
[Tarzan is sitting on them so she can't leave]
Jane Parker: [tries to push him off] I do wish you wouldn't be so playful! Give me those boots! Tarzan, please give me those boots!
[Tarzan abruptly grabs her foot, making her fall]
Jane Parker: Tarzan, let go! Let go of my foot! That hurt me!
Tarzan: Hurt me? Hurt me?
Jane Parker: Oh, don't be so funny. Now, let go!
[Tarzan inspects her foot]
Jane Parker: Alright. When you're quite finished, I'll put my boots on.
[Tarzan brushes the sole of her foot, causing her to squirm]
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Voo-Doo Dance
(uncredited)
Music by George Richelavie
Arranged by Paul Marquardt & Fritz Stahlberg
Played during main title
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The One and Only Original That Started It All
3 July 2004 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

"Tarzan The Ape Man",was without a doubt one the definitive "Tarzan" movie,and the first "Tarzan" talkie that started it all and it continues to go strongly to this day,a century after Edgar Rice Burroughs's most famous character was first introduced,generations ago. It also introduce to audiences Johnny Weissmuller who was an Olympic swimming champion and so forth and the introduction of actress Maureen O'Sullivan whom would star in all six pictures from 1932 to 1942. However,there have been numerous attempts to remake,update or improve on the classic story by Edgar Rice Burroughs(notably the pretentious 1984 Tarzan update of "Graystoke",directed by Hugh Hudson)on it,but have failed to near the original's entertainment value or even its technical quality,which still holds beautifully to this day.

This was in fact the "original" of a long series of Tarzan movies starring Weissmuller and O' Sullivan that were made by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer,which in turn made Tarzan a hot commodity and its studio a Hollywood producing powerhouse of great entertainment. Dubiously faithful to the Edgar Rice Burroughs story about the humble beginnings to where Tarzan is introduced has been remade numerous times,but this is the 1932 original where Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan bring a class of style of wit to the roles and the results are absolutely brilliant from beginning to end. Then in 1934,MGM made a sequel entitled "Tarzan And His Mate" which was the second entry in the lavishly produced MGM Tarzan series. Weissmuller and O'Sullivan cohabit in an unmarried bliss before the Hays Code of the era moved them into a treehouse with twin beds. There is also the swimming scene,which until now has been restored from the original print which has been banned for years until MGM reissued this scene back into the film. The scene where Maureen O'Sullivan is swimming with Weissmuller,completely nude was in its day very noticeable and very restricted toward adult audiences. Among the challenges that they face in there private domain is against nasty white hunters,savage natives,angry elephants,hungry lions and maneating crocodiles.

"Tarzan Escapes",was the third entry in the series released in 1936. In this sequel,Jane(O'Sullivan)is tricked by evil hunters into abandoning her fairy tale life with Tarzan(Weissmuller). So the Ape Man sets out to reunite with is one true love,and as he sets out to get back with Jane,trouble ensumes. The third entry in MGM's successful Weissmuller/O'Sullivan series is still among the better Tarzan movies thanks to the leads,but the Hays Office made sure that Jane was wearing a lot more clothes this time around since this was also aimed toward adult audiences. The series from this point takes a three-year hiatus. Then in 1939,the fourth entry in MGM's Weissmuller/O'Sullivan series went toward the kiddie fare with "Tarzan Finds A Son" which was family oriented material and a little more tamer than the first two installments. However,Weissmuller and O'Sullivan returned to their roles after three years with the addition of five year-old Johnny Sheffield as "Boy". He's an orphan whose awful relatives hope he stays lost so they can collect and inheritance. Tarzan and Jane fight to adopt the tyke and when the new family are captured by a wicked tribe only an elephant stampede and Tarzan's call of the jungle can save them.

Then in 1941,after a two year hiatus,the fifth entry in the series was really standard kiddie fare with "Tarzan's Secret Treasure". Tarzan saves an expedition from a savage tribe only to be repaid by having greedy hunters hold Boy and Jane hostage. They want Tarzan's help in finding a secret cache of gold hidden in the jungle. But Tarzan doesn't take kindly to threats against his family and teaches those evil-doers a lesson they'll never forget! This one was action-packed and it does show Weissmuller doing some of his own stunts. Then,in 1942,the last and final entry in the MGM Tarzan series titled "Tarzan's New York Adventure",marked Maureen O'Sullivan's final appearance as Jane. This one is so-so adventure with some very humorous moments when Tarzan meets the big city. When Boy is kidnapped by a evil circus owner,Tarzan,Jane and Cheta head out to rescue him.Then Tarzan shows off his jungle prowless by climbing skyscrapers and diving off the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River. This final Tarzan entry for both Weissmuller and O'Sullivan showcases some very interesting cameo appearances including one which features Elmo Lincoln,the screen's first Tarzan in a cameo appearance.

After the huge success of the Tarzan films for MGM,Johnny Weissmuller continue to played The Ape Man in six more films for RKO Pictures which began in 1943 and ended in 1948,where Weissmuller's final appearance as the Ape Man concluded in "Tarzan And The Mermaids",before he would venture into a new medium---television as "Jungle Jim" in the early-1950's. He also played "Jungle Jim" in several theatrical films for Columbia Pictures. As for actress Maureen O'Sullivan,after the success of the Tarzan films,she would go on to star in several films including "The Big Clock" and "Bonzo Goes To College" opposite Ronald Reagan and so many more. As for Johnny Sheffield,he would go on to continue the role of "Boy" in five more Tarzan films with Johnny Weissmuller until 1949,when he went on to star in more than twelve features as Bomba Of The Jungle under RKO Pictures and would continue that role on television.


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