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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

Passed  |   |  Action, Adventure, Romance  |  2 April 1932 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,035 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 35 critic

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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Title: Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

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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

Plot Keywords:

ape | elephant | africa | rescue | ivory | See All (40) »

Taglines:

Mothered by an ape--He knew only the law of the jungle--to seize what he wanted! 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

Some of the monkeys used in this film got away, and they are still breeding in the wilderness of Tampa Bay, Florida. See more »

Goofs

When Harry sits down on the ground in front of Jane, there is a campfire on his left side. In subsequent shots, which show him from the front, the campfire disappears. See more »

Quotes

Jane Parker: Thank you for protecting me.
Tarzan: Me?
Jane Parker: I said, thank you for protecting me.
Tarzan: [points at Jane] Me?
Jane Parker: No. I'm only "Me" for me.
Tarzan: [points at Jane] Me.
Jane Parker: No. To you, I'm "You."
Tarzan: [points at himself] You.
Jane Parker: No...
[Thinks for a second]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tiny Toon Adventures: No Toon Is an Island (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet Overture
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpt played during final scene and closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bizarre and sexy - should have been a silent film.
14 January 2000 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

It has to be said - this is a very strange film. A proper young English lass is kidnapped by a white man who, for reasons never explained in this version, lives with the apes. She instantly falls in love with him and gives up everything to swing through the trees with him. Hardly the kind of thing America in the early thirties would have thought proper. Which makes this film quite subversive - and Johnny Weissmuller is practically naked! His beauty, particularly in body shape and skin tone, is special - but so too is the performance of Maureen O'Sullivan. With Weissmuller monosyllabic at best, it is left to O'Sullivan to convey most of the story - and she does it with great grace and charm - and quite a bit of sex!

All that aside, there is some remarkable animal footage - sometimes with the actors and at other times with obvious doubles. There is a band of marauding pygmies (basically dwarves in black make-up) that has to be seen to be believed! The hardest things to take in this film though are its racism (the whites whip their black servants, and, when O'Sullivan's dad says that Tarzan has no real human feelings, O'Sullivan explodes "But he's white"!), and the rather fake animals used in certain scenes - particularly the men in ape suits. There is also some really bad rear projection. But, if you can ignore all that, there is much to enjoy and Cheeta the chimp is very cute.

But it is in the silent action sequences that the film really flies. Too often it gets bogged down in static sound sequences - and there is the usual problem with early talkies of too little music. It makes me think what a great silent film this would have been. W.S. Van Dyke was a first-rate visual director with many impressive silent films like "The Pagan" and if we could now just sit back and watch this sexy action film without talking and sound effects, just a great music score, this film could well be considered a masterpiece. But then I guess we would never have heard Tarzan's famous cry.


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