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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 2 April 1932 (USA)
A trader and his daughter set off in search of the fabled graveyard of the elephants in deepest Africa, only to encounter a wild man raised by apes.

Director:

W.S. Van Dyke

Writers:

Edgar Rice Burroughs (based upon the characters created by), Cyril Hume (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
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The idyllic life of Tarzan and Jane is challenged by men on safari who come seeking ivory, and come seeking Jane as well.

Directors: Cedric Gibbons, James C. McKay, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Neil Hamilton
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An expedition seeking to bring Jane back to civilization, and Tarzan into captivity, gets more than it's bargained for.

Directors: Richard Thorpe, John Farrow, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, John Buckler
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Tarzan's jungle home, and his family, Jane and Boy, are threatened by men greedy for gold.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Johnny Sheffield
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Tarzan and Jane go to New York to rescue Boy after he is kidnapped into a circus.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Johnny Sheffield
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As WWII rages on, a group of Nazi paratroopers land on the secret city of Palandria to exploit its wealth, and they start taking hostages. Can the powerful King of the Jungle and his trusted companions--Cheeta, and Buli--save them?

Director: Wilhelm Thiele
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Frances Gifford, Johnny Sheffield
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of archaeologists asks Tarzan to help them find an ancient city in a hidden valley of women. He refuses, but Boy is tricked into doing the job. The queen of the women asks Tarzan to help them.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, Johnny Sheffield
Certificate: Passed Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With Jane still away for the war effort, Tarzan and Boy set off to retrieve rare medicinal herbs, only to run into an American messenger, Nazi spies, and the mysterious desert's treacherous fauna and flora. Will they make it in one piece?

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Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

To equip the American zoos with as many animals as possible, a cruel trio of big-game hunters team up with an unexpected ally, threatening the African fauna. Will Tarzan allow the fiendish huntress to pillage the jungle?

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Action | Adventure | Romance
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As a spate of leopard attacks causes panic, a sceptical Tarzan joins a hunting expedition, only to face a pagan cult of Leopard-God worshippers and their fiendish High-Priestess. Can he escape the sharp claws of the savage Leopard Woman?

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Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To escape from an arranged marriage to Aquatania's pagan god, a desperate maiden ends up in Tarzan's fishing net. But soon, he, too, finds himself before a well-planned conspiracy. Can Tarzan save the mermaid from the barbaric idol's will?

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Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, George Zucco
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

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

Director: John Derek
Stars: Bo Derek, Richard Harris, Miles O'Keeffe
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

This movie has little connection with the 1932 original. It does, however, have lifted footage (tinted to more-or-less match the color), including obvious footage of Weissmuller's ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Denny Miller, Cesare Danova, Joanna Barnes
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Johnny Weissmuller ... Tarzan
Neil Hamilton ... Harry Holt
C. Aubrey Smith ... James Parker
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Jane Parker
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Cutten
Forrester Harvey ... Beamish
Ivory Williams Ivory Williams ... Riano
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Storyline

James Parker and Harry Holt are on an expedition in Africa in search of the elephant burial grounds that will provide enough ivory to make them rich. Parker's beautiful young daughter Jane arrives unexpectedly to join them. Harry is obviously attracted to Jane and he does his best to help protect her from all the dangers that they experience in the jungle. Jane is terrified when Tarzan and his ape friends first abduct her, but when she returns to her father's expedition she has second thoughts about leaving Tarzan. After the expedition is captured by a tribe of violent dwarfs, Jane sends Cheetah to bring Tarzan to rescue them... Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Glorious New Thrill! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarzan, the Ape Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Lake Sherwood, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$652,675 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The world premiere for Tarzan The Ape Man was held at the Stanley Theater in Baltimore, Maryland on March 11, 1932. The theater had seats for an audience of 2,843. See more »

Goofs

During the river crossing with the hippopotamus attacks, Parker fires multiple shots from his two-barreled rifle without obvious reloading. Since his bandoleer does not change, he could not have reloaded it between cuts anyway (even if he had been physically been able too). See more »

Quotes

Jane Parker: Are these - pygmies?
Harry Holt: No, they're dwarfs.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Colorized version was available... and shown on TNT See more »

Connections

Follows Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet Overture
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpt played during final scene and closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Weissmuller's The Best
27 April 2005 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

This is the movie that kicked off the Johnny Weissmuller series of Tarzan pictures, which ran for sixteen years, through two studios, an adopted son and two Janes. Weissmuller is the best Tarzan I've seen. He was a champion Olympic swimmer rather than a trained actor, but was blessed with a wonderfully expressive face and had about him a kind of air of primitive moral authority that made him always interesting to watch, even when the plots were mediocre or far-fetched, as increasingly became the case as the series progressed. What's more, though Weissmuller's Tarzan may have been a so-called ape man, he was himself always touchingly human. Unlike today's action heroes, there was a sensitivity to Weissmuller. I know little of the man's personal life, but on screen he was always highly responsive to others and their needs, was alert to the nuances of human behavior rather than merely a macho man, and had at times a refreshing sense of humor that was somehow never cruel or demeaning. He was, in short, shorn of his jungle instincts, a perfect gentleman.

As his long-time companion, Jane, Maureen O'Sullivan was perfect casting. Small and lovely, she contrasted perfectly with Weissmuller, maintaining her dignity and composure in even in the most dire of circumstances. She knew that Tarzan would always come to the rescue; that lions, apes and treasure hunters were no match for him, and yet she never took him for granted.

The first two films of the series were the best, thanks in large measure to the Production Code not having gone into effect, which caused the series to eventually become "domesticated" and family-centered. There was a randiness to the early entries that works even today, as Tarzan and Jane were, after all, a couple, and the movies don't shy away from this. The Tarzan pictures were not Politically Correct, but they're not imperialist, either, and if anything feel at times like environmental tracts on the issue of leaving the jungles (and Tarzan) alone.

It's probably best to watch the films in sequence, if possible. In the MGM period there was a degree of continuity, as one movie more or less picked up where the previous one left off. Weissmuller is more credible early on, though he's never less than good; and Miss O'Sullivan, who left the series when it changed studios, was always a huge asset. The Tarzan movies offer pure escapism of the most innocent kind. In the first film in the series we see the development of the Tarzan-Jane relationship, and there are plenty of thrills and chills along the way. The movie is obviously a back-lot production, but the use of stock footage lends it an air of authenticity. Also authentic is the rapport between Tarzan and Jane, who, in their heyday, rivaled Fred and Ginger and Nick and Nora Charles as one of the premiere couples of Hollywood's golden age.


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