IMDb > Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)
Tarzan the Ape Man
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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   4,792 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Edgar Rice Burroughs (based on the characters created by)
Cyril Hume (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Tarzan the Ape Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 April 1932 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
You Will Hail It As The Year's Biggest Screen Thrill! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(38 articles)
'Tarzan' Synopsis Released as Shooting Begins
 (From MovieWeb. 16 July 2014, 2:16 PM, PDT)

Boys Keep Swinging: The Ten Hottest Tarzans
 (From The Backlot. 20 June 2014, 11:37 AM, PDT)

Actors Who’ve Played the Same Character the Most Times
 (From Cinelinx. 12 May 2014, 10:16 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Granddaddy of Sound Tarzans Still Entertains... See more (40 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Neil Hamilton ... Harry Holt

Maureen O'Sullivan ... Jane Parker

C. Aubrey Smith ... James Parker
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Cutten
Forrester Harvey ... Beamish
Ivory Williams ... Riano

Johnny Weissmuller ... Tarzan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ray Corrigan ... Ape (uncredited)
Johnny Eck ... Bird Creature (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
W.S. Van Dyke 
 
Writing credits
Edgar Rice Burroughs (based on the characters created by)

Cyril Hume (adaptation)

Ivor Novello (dialogue)

Produced by
Bernard H. Hyman .... line producer (uncredited)
Irving Thalberg .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Clyde De Vinna (photographed by)
Harold Rosson (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Tom Held (film editor)
Ben Lewis (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Production Management
J.J. Cohn .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nick Grinde .... second unit director (uncredited)
Arthur Rose .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
George E. Lee .... on-set propman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Paul Neal .... sound (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
George Bruggeman .... stunt double (uncredited)
Al Cadutta .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Cadutta .... stunts (uncredited)
Alfredo Codona .... stunt double: Weissmuller swinging shots (uncredited)
Ray Corrigan .... stunts (uncredited)
Stubby Kruger .... stunts (uncredited)
Norm Taylor .... stunt double (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Bauder .... second camera (uncredited)
Charles G. Clarke .... additional photography (uncredited)
Clifton L. Kling .... still photographer (uncredited)
William Snyder .... additional photography (uncredited)
 
Music Department
William Axt .... musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
George Emerson .... animal supervisor (uncredited)
Louis Goebel .... animal supervisor (uncredited)
Bert Nelson .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Louis Roth .... animal supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tarzan, the Ape Man" - USA (review title)
See more »
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:K-12 (1952) | Finland:K-16 (1932) | Netherlands:AL | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The leopard that Tarzan slays when first meeting Jane was actually a jaguar. Probably used because they would be much cheaper to import from Mexico than real leopards from Africa.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: Tarzan is stalked by a lioness in the trees. Lions rarely climb trees except to escape heat and insects or poach a kill of another predator.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Bye Bye Monkey (1978)See more »
Soundtrack:
Voo-Doo DanceSee more »

FAQ

How did Tarzan get his name?
Is this the first Tarzan movie?
Do elephants really have graveyards where they go to die?
See more »
26 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
Granddaddy of Sound Tarzans Still Entertains..., 24 October 2003
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada

TARZAN THE APE MAN was one of Irving Thalberg's 'pet' projects at MGM, an opportunity to take an existing franchise (Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle lord had been a film staple since beefy Elmo Lincoln donned a loincloth, in 1918), give it 'A'-list production values and a 'name' director (W.S. Van Dyke), introduce charismatic actors as the leads (28-year old multiple Olympic champion Johnny Weissmuller and 21-year old Irish import Maureen O'Sullivan), and create a 'definitive' success for the studio.

A success? Thalberg created a legend!

Utilizing MGM's vast library of stock footage (primarily from 1931's TRADER HORN), a primordial Africa that was more pulp fiction than reality was created on the back lot, and veteran British character actor C. Aubrey Smith and 20s matinee idol (and future 'Batman' regular) Neil Hamilton were introduced, as James Parker and Harry Holt, adventurers questing after the legendary 'Elephants' Graveyard'. The arrival of Parker's daughter, Jane (O'Sullivan), a free-spirited, raven-haired beauty, complicates matters, but her stubborn refusal to lease, and confidence with the natives (shown as rear projections behind Smith and O'Sullivan) finally win the two men over, and soon the trio, accompanied by whip-induced native labor, are on safari.

When a dying porter points the way to the Escarpment, a massive 'taboo' mountainous plateau protecting the Graveyard, the party has the missing piece to the puzzle, and begin an arduous climb to the top. (How a massive mountain range could be hidden, for so long, is not explained). After losing a porter, and nearly Jane, on the steep climb, the summit is achieved, and the famous Tarzan yell (a combination yodel/howl, created by MGM's sound department), is first heard. A treacherous river crossing, featuring stock footage of hippos and crocodiles, then costs the safari more bearers, with another yell saving their lives.

All this leads up, of course, to Johnny Weissmuller's first appearance as Tarzan, observing the party from the trees. He is simply magnificent...tanned, slim, smoothly-muscled (as opposed to the brawny body builders later cast in the role) and nearly naked. He soon kidnaps Jane (he may be ignorant, but he's not dumb!), and the incredible chemistry between the pair is exhibited for the first time. While initially terrified of the savage (particularly as he pulls off her clothing parts to examine them), he doesn't 'have his way' with her, and she realizes he is far more sensitive than she'd assumed.

Holt kills the ape guarding Jane (one assumes it is Kala, ape 'mother' of Tarzan, in the ERB books), and Tarzan screams in anguish at his loss. Displaying the racism prevalent in so many 30s films, Jane tries to defend her erstwhile kidnapper to her father ("He's WHITE!"), but the two hunters aren't buying it, and soon wound Tarzan, himself. Jungle animals spirit the bleeding jungle lord away...and Jane is soon at Tarzan's side, bandaging his head, and looking lustily at the big lug! When he recovers, the pair consummate their passion (in a scene tastefully off-camera), and are swapping names ("Jane...Tarzan...Tarzan...Jane").

Tarzan returns Jane, and walks away, despite her pleas to return to civilization with them. The safari is soon captured by a height-challenged native tribe ("Are they Pygmies?" Jane asks; "They're dwarves," her father replies...uh, whatever...), and a gruesome scene ensues of the surviving members being lassoed and dropped into a pit with a giant gorilla (a not-quite convincing guy in an ape suit). Holt is knocked unconscious, Parker is mortally injured, Cheeta is tossed against a wall, and Jane swoons in the gorilla's arms (shades of KING KONG), then Tarzan busts in, to kill the ape and save them all. As the ever-available stampede of elephants mash the dwarves into pulp, Tarzan leads the dying Parker, Jane, and Holt to the 'Elephants' Graveyard', where Jane's father passes away. Holt returns to civilization (he would return in the sequel, TARZAN AND HIS MATE) and Tarzan, Jane, and a recovering Cheeta start an exciting new life together!

Yes, the story is unintentionally campy, the 'apes', and animal fights, unconvincing, and there is blatant racism throughout the film. But as sheer entertainment, Depression-era audiences were enthralled. Weissmuller and O'Sullivan conveyed the kind of eroticism that pre-Code Hollywood was notorious for (and would reach even greater heights in the sequel), the action sequences were spectacular, and a new MGM franchise was born, that would produce six more films over the next nine years.

Thalberg had again proven why he was considered the film industry's resident genius!

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