3.9/10
239
11 user 6 critic

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959)

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 (as Joseph Newman)

Writers:

Robert Hill (screenplay), Edgar Rice Burroughs (character)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Denny Miller ... Tarzan
Cesare Danova ... Harry Holt
Joanna Barnes ... Jane Parker
Robert Douglas ... Col. James Parker
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Storyline

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 vine-swinging. Miller is not once called Tarzan in the movie, and his yell is also lifted Weissmuller. The elephants who wreck the pygmy village are lifted/tinted from the original, but the "pygmies" (real in the original) were kids from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. Costumes are left over from "King Solomon's Mines" so that more stock footage could be lifted. And the crocodile fight is taken from "Tarzan and his Mate" Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They Challenge the TABOOS of a Forbidden Land ! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Talttumaton Tarzan See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,438,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,727,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directly steals story points, footage, and sound from 1950's King Solomon's Mines. See more »

Goofs

The elephant that is shown charging soon before Jane is picked up by Tarzan is an Asian elephant, not an African elephant. The fake large ears are noticeable as Tarzan says, "Un-ga-wa" to the elephant to lift Jane and himself onto it; they are almost falling off. Asian elephants are less aggressive than African, and are more easily trained. Also, they don't live in Africa. See more »

Quotes

Harry Holt: [When Jane offers water to Tarzan's pet chimp] Why don't you offer him my pants and helmet as well- One ape is as good as another!
Jane Parker: His master is not an ape - He's more of a man than you are!
See more »

Connections

Follows Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Makalue
(uncredited)
Written by Thomas Yangha
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User Reviews

 
As bad as they say - definitely the worst Tarzan movie
18 May 2018 | by wvmclSee all my reviews

I had heard about this turkey for decades, but finally caught it on TCM in the interest of completeness (I've seen every other sound Tarzan movie, and most of the silents). This one is definitely at the bottom of the heap. What were they thinking?

About the only redeeming feature is Shorty Rogers' musical tracks, but even they sound like they were written for something else (and probably were). Many have commented on the borrowed footage and cheesy effects, with the fight with a toy stuffed tiger probably being the most laughable of all. Denny Miller looks like the original Muscle Beach boy, with his blond searchlight of a brylcreamed ducktail haircut (who does his hair in the jungle?). He says a few more words than Miles O'Keefe did in the 1981 version (zero, in that case), but not many. I think "kill?" and "money?" were his most memorable lines.

Oh, and I do think this is worse than the 1981 film - that one at least had Bo Derek naked. The Jane in this one is probably the least sexy Jane in the entire filmed Tarzan corpus - she remains prim and proper throughout and we never see her our of her ankle-length safari dress. Her impulsive decision to run off with Tarzan at the end is completely unconvincing. As for the villain, he somehow morphs into a nice guy at the end. Well, why wouldn't he be, since he is going to make off with the entire ivory stash from the elephants' graveyard?

For completists only. You have been warned.


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