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

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. The mother dies soon after. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (as P.H. Vazak) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lord Charles Esker
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Jeffson Brown
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Major Jack Downing
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Sir Hugh Belcher
Paul Geoffrey ...
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Captain Billings
Hilton McRae ...
Willy
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Buller
Ravinder ...
Dean
John Wells ...
Sir Evelyn Blount
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Storyline

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. The mother dies soon after. An ape enters the house and kills the father, and 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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$45,900,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extended)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maryam d'Abo was considered for the role of Jane Porter. When she met with the director Hugh Hudson, she felt that he had already cast someone else in his mind. They met again at a dinner party in 1999, became involved, and married in 2003. See more »

Goofs

When Tarzan's ape father is shot, he lands face down. In the next shot, he is face up, then face down again, then rolled him over onto his back. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in HBO First Look: I Dreamed of Africa: On Location (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh God Our Help in Ages Past
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Tarzan as Burroughs intended!
18 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you are looking for a modern film version of Buster Crabbe or Johnny Weismuller's overcoming the machinations of unscrupulous, white safari guides or cunning, black tribesmen, while saving the animal kingdom, this is NOT the movie for you. This is a recounting of the Tarzan "legend" from its beginning in intelligent, adult terms. It is beautifully filmed and faithful to the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories.

Tarzan is no action hero, but a man torn between two worlds - the natural and the civilized. In a stunning performance, Christopher Lambert portrays this angst with absolute realism. If he slips up just once the cat will be out of the bag: the audience (especially the adult audience targeted by the film) will laugh, and the film will completely lose its grip. It will plummet into the cheesy depths. But Lambert never lets that happen. (Forget what you may think of him in other movies; when I saw this film at the theater on its original release, I thought he deserved an academy award.)

The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, as other commentators have noted. I disagree with most of them in that I didn't find anything wrong with Andie McDowell's performance. I wouldn't have nominated her for an academy award - the role is undemanding - but she is completely up to it, such as it is. I don't know why her voice was overdubbed, either.

The cinematography of the African segment of the tale is absolutely beautiful. It captures both the beauty of the African wilderness and the exotic expectation it holds in the collective imagination of those who have never been there. The scenery is lush and exotic, and the colors are vivid.

But this is also a "period" film, and the cinematography also magnificently depicts Victorian England - the countryside, the city and the interiors. The costumes are outstanding. The soundtrack is beautiful without being overwhelming or obtrusive.

There are some disturbing scenes - especially for animal lovers - but no more disturbing than a few scenes in Dances with Wolves. This is an excellent film about the conflict between civilization and nature, personified in the young Lord Greystoke, convincingly portrayed by Christopher Lambert.


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