Maureen O'Sullivan does not appear as Jane during the film's famous nude swimming sequence. O'Sullivan is instead doubled by Josephine McKim, a member of the 1924 and 1928 U.S. Womens' Olympic Swim Teams and one of the four U.S. swimmers on that team to win the 1928 gold medal in the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay.
The infamous nude swimming scene was originally filmed in three different versions: with Jane wearing her traditional costume, with Jane topless and with Jane fully nude. US states were empowered at that time to enact individual censorship laws, and three different versions of the scene were filmed in order to allow individual states to select the version of the scene which best conformed to its laws. All three versions were eventually removed from the film due to protests from conservative religious groups, particularly the powerful Catholic Legion of Decency. The nude version of the scene was discovered in the vaults of Turner Entertainment during the late 1990s following its purchase of the MGM film library, and was restored to most subsequent versions of the film on the direct orders of Turner Entertainment chairman Ted Turner. In the restored version of the scene, Tarzan is depicted wearing his traditional loincloth while Jane appears fully nude, her costume having been torn off when Tarzan playfully tosses her from a tree to the water below. The scene as it exists today is approximately four minutes in duration.
Cedric Gibbons was replaced as director due to other duties as the head of MGM's art department. He was officially replaced by Jack Conway. Maureen O'Sullivan recalled that the actual direction was carried out by James C. McKay (uncredited as director), who was only billed as the animal director. Betty Roth (wife of animal supervisor Louis Roth) doubled for O'Sullivan for some close-up lion scenes at the end of filming due to O'Sullivan's absence for an appendectomy.