Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  30 March 1984 (USA)
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A shipping disaster in the 19th Century has stranded a man and woman in the wilds of Africa. The lady is pregnant, and gives birth to a son in their tree house. Soon after, a family of apes... See full summary »



(novel), (as P.H. Vazak) , 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lord Charles Esker
Jeffson Brown
Major Jack Downing
Sir Hugh Belcher
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Ravinder ...
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Sir Evelyn Blount


A shipping disaster in the 19th Century has stranded a man and woman in the wilds of Africa. The lady is pregnant, and gives birth to a son in their tree house. Soon after, a family of apes stumble across the house and in the ensuing panic, both parents are killed. A female ape takes the tiny boy as a replacement for her own dead infant, and raises him as her son. Twenty years later, Captaine Phillippe D'Arnot discovers the man who thinks he is an ape. Evidence in the tree house leads him to believe that he is the direct descendant of the Earl of Greystoke, and thus takes it upon himself to return the man to civilization. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

30 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Greystoke, la leyenda de Tarzán, el rey de los monos  »

Box Office


$45,900,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Puttnam had originally planned to produce the film but fell out with Hugh Hudson over creative differences. See more »


When Tarzan's ape father is shot he lands face down. When they cut to the next shot he is face up. Then face down again. Then they roll him over on his back. See more »


[a tribe of cannibals are on the riverbank]
Sir Evelyn Blount: What are they saying D'Arnot?
Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot: Dinner is serving. No! Arrived, dinner has arrived is a slightly better translation.
Sir Evelyn Blount: I don't think that's frightfully funny D'Arnot!
See more »


Salut d'Amour
Music by Edward Elgar (as Sir Edward Elgar)
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User Reviews

Excellent novel, good film.
15 April 2002 | by (Washington DC, USA) – See all my reviews

Greystoke stays close to the first Tarzan novel which makes for a striking contrast between this film and earlier Tarzan flicks.

'Christophe' sticks to his French accent for most of this film, which is a relief as he concentrates on his acting and, for the most part, gets it spot on. His reversion to ape behaviour in moments of emotional stress is funny and touching. Ralph Richardson's potrayal of the Sixth Earl is full of humour and subtlety, only to be expected from a master of the art. Ian Holm, again, a masterful performance. They put Andie MacDowell to shame.

The first half is mainly in the jungle and is fascinating to watch. A huge amount of research about ape behaviour is put to entertaining use. It comes to a close when some amusingly nasty English explorers and a disdainful Belgian appear in the jungle. The second half, when Johnny (Lambert) is introduced to Victorian society touches on what it means to be 'civilized'. He meets his grandfather and is expected to take his place in society but then discovers what society is like.

A great adaptation and an entertaining film.

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