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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) Poster

Trivia

Tarzan's distinctive call was either created by sound recordist Douglas Shearer from various sounds, or it was indeed Johnny Weissmuller doing the yell himself. Co-star Maureen O'Sullivan insisted throughout her life that it was Weissmuller doing the yell without any technical assistance.
The elephants used in the early Weissmuller films were not African but Asian elephants with African sized ears strapped on. This practice is still common because the Asian species is much more docile than the African. In later films the fake ears were abandoned altogether figuring no one would know the difference.
Clark Gable was considered for the role of Tarzan, but was deemed too much of an unknown to play the ape man.
At no point in this movie is the line "Me Tarzan, you Jane" spoken. When Jane and Tarzan meet, it is she who initiates the verbal exchange, repeatedly indicating herself and giving her name until he repeats it. She then points to him, indicating that she wants to know if there's a word for who he is as "Jane" is the word for who she is, until eventually he understands and says, "Tarzan."
When Johnny Weissmuller was approached to play Tarzan, he was under contract with BVD to advertise its underwear and swimming trunks. BVD strenuously objected to its spokesman appearing in just a loincloth - the company only wanted him to appear wearing its product. In return for letting Weismuller play Tarzan, MGM allowed BVD to run ads featuring the studio's contract players in BVD swimsuits (including Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow and Marie Dressler). (source: "Tarzan of the Movies" by Gabe Esso)
This film used considerable stock footage from Trader Horn (1931) also directed by W.S. Van Dyke, resulting in some very obvious back-projection effects, particularly toward the beginning of the picture.
Apparently, the chimpanzees were supposed to be the baby apes and actors in ape costumes were the adults, a practice that was dropped after this film (one of the men who played the apes was Ray Corrigan).
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.
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Some of the monkeys used in this film got away, and they are still breeding in the wilderness of Tampa Bay, Florida.
In Burroughs' original novel Jane was an American.
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This film was made by MGM Studios. Tony Goldwyn, who was the voice of Tarzan in the 1999 Disney adaptation Tarzan (1999), is the grandson of Samuel Goldwyn, one of the namesakes of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
Despite the ethnic German background of Johnny Weissmuller, it's known that Adolf Hitler--who enjoyed Laurel & Hardy movies, was not a fan of Tarzan films.
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This film received its initial television broadcast in New York City Monday 1 April 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); but it's first Los Angeles telecast did not take place until Wednesday 9 October 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco it was first telecast 5 January 1958 on KGO-TV (Channel 7).
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The titular Character of "Tarzan" does not appear until 33 minutes into the feature.
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