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Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)

While on an African expedition with her father, Jane Parker meets Tarzan, and the two become fascinated by each other.

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(screenplay), (characters) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Akushula Selayah ...
Africa
Steve Strong ...
Ivory King
Maxime Philoe ...
Riano
Leonard Bailey ...
Feathers
...
Club Member (voice)
...
Club Member (voice)
Harold Ayer ...
Club Member (voice)
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Storyline

The Tarzan story from Jane's point of view. Jane Parker visits her father in Africa where she joins him on an expedition. A couple of brief encounters with Tarzan establish a (sexual) bond between her and Tarzan. When the expedition is captured by savages, Tarzan comes to the rescue. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See why PLAYBOY calls Bo Derek the sexiest Jane in TARZAN history See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarzan, the Ape Man  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,565,280 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film critic Leonard Maltin once quipped that this movie almost forced him to create a rating lower than bomb. See more »

Goofs

There are no wild reticulated or Burmese pythons in Africa. See more »

Quotes

Parker: Jane, do you know what he wants? What this ape wants?
Jane: He's not an ape!
Parker: He is an ape. He lives like an ape, he kills like an ape. But do you understand what he wants?
Jane: You know everything...
Parker: Well, this ape son of a bitch wants you.
Parker: I'm gonna catch that animal son of a bitch, Mr Holt!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tarzan and Jane play with an orangutan throughout the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A legendarily bad film
4 December 2002 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

So, just how bad is the 1981 version of Tarzan the Ape Man? Everybody knows that it has a reputation as one of the very worst movies ever made, so when you sit down to watch it, you know it's going to be rubbish. The main element of fun is experiencing just how bad it really is. Can it really surpass Plan 9 From Outer Space? Is it as idiotic as Astro Zombies? Is it as boring as The Bible....in the Beginning? Is it as unintentionally funny as The Swarm? The answer is.... yes! This movie really is right down there with the worst twenty or so films ever made.

The story focuses more on Jane (the talentless Bo Derek), who arrives in Africa to reunite with her tyrannical, boozy, abusive father (Richard Harris). During a jungle expedition, she goes missing and is rescued by ape man Tarzan (Miles O'Keefe), only to fall in love with him.

O'Keefe is unquestionably the worst Tarzan ever, and Derek is probably the worst Jane. Richard Harris's performance is energetic and entertaining, but why he bothered to put in such a lively performance is anybody's guess. It's certainly a wasted effort.

The backdrop is nicely photographed, but then again anyone can design a nice postcard. The characters moving around in front of the scenery are so banal and idiotic that the film fails on every level. The worst moment of all is the dreary slow-motion snake wrestling sequence. Bo Derek strips off regularly, but after seeing her tits five or six times, you start to get fed up even with that.

Miss this movie at all costs. Unless you want to compile a list of the worst films ever.... if that's your aim, then this is a must!


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