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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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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
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 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
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?

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?

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

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?

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, Johnny Sheffield
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?

Director: Robert Florey
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Kohn and Alice Clayton set sail for Africa. Mutineers maroon them. After his parents die, the newborn Tarzan is taken by a great Ape, Kala. Later the boy finds his father's knife and uses ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Sidney
Stars: Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, True Boardman
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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
Edit

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:

He Knew Only The Law Of The Jungle...To Seize What He Wanted 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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,027,700
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

This film received its initial television broadcast in Phoenix Saturday 16 March 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), followed by New York City Monday 1 April 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), by Chicago Saturday 6 April 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2) , by Philadelphia Sunday 7 April 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Altoona PA 14 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), and by Hartford CT 25 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), but its first Los Angeles telecast did not take place until Wednesday 9 October 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Norfolk VA 18 October 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by Baltimore 7 November 1957 on WJZ (Channel 13), by San Francisco 5 January 1958 on KGO (Channel 7) and by Salt Lake City 2 February 1958 on KTVT (Channel 4). See more »

Goofs

When the safari people stop to camp, Parker gives the orders to the carriers holding the gun about his waist, with the left hand. In the subsequent shot the gun is resting on the ground, with the barrel held by Parker's right hand. 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

Referenced in The Sitter Downers (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Voo-Doo Dance
(uncredited)
Music by George Richelavie
Arranged by Paul Marquardt & Fritz Stahlberg
Played during main title
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The One and Only Original That Started It All
3 July 2004 | by raysondSee all my reviews

"Tarzan The Ape Man",was without a doubt one the definitive "Tarzan" movie,and the first "Tarzan" talkie that started it all and it continues to go strongly to this day,a century after Edgar Rice Burroughs's most famous character was first introduced,generations ago. It also introduce to audiences Johnny Weissmuller who was an Olympic swimming champion and so forth and the introduction of actress Maureen O'Sullivan whom would star in all six pictures from 1932 to 1942. However,there have been numerous attempts to remake,update or improve on the classic story by Edgar Rice Burroughs(notably the pretentious 1984 Tarzan update of "Graystoke",directed by Hugh Hudson)on it,but have failed to near the original's entertainment value or even its technical quality,which still holds beautifully to this day.

This was in fact the "original" of a long series of Tarzan movies starring Weissmuller and O' Sullivan that were made by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer,which in turn made Tarzan a hot commodity and its studio a Hollywood producing powerhouse of great entertainment. Dubiously faithful to the Edgar Rice Burroughs story about the humble beginnings to where Tarzan is introduced has been remade numerous times,but this is the 1932 original where Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan bring a class of style of wit to the roles and the results are absolutely brilliant from beginning to end. Then in 1934,MGM made a sequel entitled "Tarzan And His Mate" which was the second entry in the lavishly produced MGM Tarzan series. Weissmuller and O'Sullivan cohabit in an unmarried bliss before the Hays Code of the era moved them into a treehouse with twin beds. There is also the swimming scene,which until now has been restored from the original print which has been banned for years until MGM reissued this scene back into the film. The scene where Maureen O'Sullivan is swimming with Weissmuller,completely nude was in its day very noticeable and very restricted toward adult audiences. Among the challenges that they face in there private domain is against nasty white hunters,savage natives,angry elephants,hungry lions and maneating crocodiles.

"Tarzan Escapes",was the third entry in the series released in 1936. In this sequel,Jane(O'Sullivan)is tricked by evil hunters into abandoning her fairy tale life with Tarzan(Weissmuller). So the Ape Man sets out to reunite with is one true love,and as he sets out to get back with Jane,trouble ensumes. The third entry in MGM's successful Weissmuller/O'Sullivan series is still among the better Tarzan movies thanks to the leads,but the Hays Office made sure that Jane was wearing a lot more clothes this time around since this was also aimed toward adult audiences. The series from this point takes a three-year hiatus. Then in 1939,the fourth entry in MGM's Weissmuller/O'Sullivan series went toward the kiddie fare with "Tarzan Finds A Son" which was family oriented material and a little more tamer than the first two installments. However,Weissmuller and O'Sullivan returned to their roles after three years with the addition of five year-old Johnny Sheffield as "Boy". He's an orphan whose awful relatives hope he stays lost so they can collect and inheritance. Tarzan and Jane fight to adopt the tyke and when the new family are captured by a wicked tribe only an elephant stampede and Tarzan's call of the jungle can save them.

Then in 1941,after a two year hiatus,the fifth entry in the series was really standard kiddie fare with "Tarzan's Secret Treasure". Tarzan saves an expedition from a savage tribe only to be repaid by having greedy hunters hold Boy and Jane hostage. They want Tarzan's help in finding a secret cache of gold hidden in the jungle. But Tarzan doesn't take kindly to threats against his family and teaches those evil-doers a lesson they'll never forget! This one was action-packed and it does show Weissmuller doing some of his own stunts. Then,in 1942,the last and final entry in the MGM Tarzan series titled "Tarzan's New York Adventure",marked Maureen O'Sullivan's final appearance as Jane. This one is so-so adventure with some very humorous moments when Tarzan meets the big city. When Boy is kidnapped by a evil circus owner,Tarzan,Jane and Cheta head out to rescue him.Then Tarzan shows off his jungle prowless by climbing skyscrapers and diving off the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River. This final Tarzan entry for both Weissmuller and O'Sullivan showcases some very interesting cameo appearances including one which features Elmo Lincoln,the screen's first Tarzan in a cameo appearance.

After the huge success of the Tarzan films for MGM,Johnny Weissmuller continue to played The Ape Man in six more films for RKO Pictures which began in 1943 and ended in 1948,where Weissmuller's final appearance as the Ape Man concluded in "Tarzan And The Mermaids",before he would venture into a new medium---television as "Jungle Jim" in the early-1950's. He also played "Jungle Jim" in several theatrical films for Columbia Pictures. As for actress Maureen O'Sullivan,after the success of the Tarzan films,she would go on to star in several films including "The Big Clock" and "Bonzo Goes To College" opposite Ronald Reagan and so many more. As for Johnny Sheffield,he would go on to continue the role of "Boy" in five more Tarzan films with Johnny Weissmuller until 1949,when he went on to star in more than twelve features as Bomba Of The Jungle under RKO Pictures and would continue that role on television.


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