A shipping disaster in the nineteenth 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 afterwards. 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 <email@example.com>
In 1886, following a shipwreck off the west coast of Africa, an infant child became part of a family of apes who raised and protected him. As he grew, he learned the laws of the Jungle and eventually claimed the title, Lord of the Apes. Yet, years later, when he was returned to civilization, he would remain uncertain as to which laws he should obey . . . Those of man . . . Or those of the jungle. Now the director of 'Chariots of Fire', captures this epic adventure of a man caught between two different worlds. See more »
Many movie posters for this movie featured one of two long preambles that read: (1) "He was a boy alone in the jungle, innocent of its dangers and awed by its beauty. He became part of a family of apes who raised and protected him. It was the start of a bond that was never broken, and it is the beginning of a timeless and classic adventure . . ." and (2) "In 1886, following a shipwreck off the west coast of Africa, an infant child became part of a family of apes who raised and protected him. As he grew, he learned the laws of the Jungle and eventually claimed the title, Lord of the Apes. Yet, years later, when he was returned to civilization, he would remain uncertain as to which laws he should obey . . . Those of man . . . Or those of the jungle. Now the director of Chariots of Fire (1981), captures this epic adventure of a man caught between two different worlds." See more »
For laserdisc, the Extended Version was transferred in a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, but the pan-and-scan videocassette was open-matted and cropped on the edges. It is unknown if this Extended Version is Hugh Hudson's director's cut or another edition, possibly released internationally in 1984. See more »
Probably the most serious and realistic adaptation of Tarzan I've seen. The first act is great. The harshness and grittiness in the tone was a great way to set the mood. The second half is good and has some better moments, but it doesn't hold up as well as the first half and leaves the film a little anticlimactic.
The development and exploration of John/Tarzan's character is well thought out and the performance was really believable. Ian Holm is fantastic in the film as his friend and the journey they make together should have been explored more. Going into the film i expected to see a film where Tarzan defends his animal friends from evil humans in the jungle, but I got a very grounded and simple film about a man trying to adapt into a life he naturally wasn't raised for. The duality and having to choose between the two lives is an interesting concept, but it leaves it unresolved in my opinion.
There are some very dramatic and sad moments here too. The bond between the apes and the man is felt more than the bond between humans sometimes. The apes have their cheesy moments, but there's also really strong and emotional moments too. The detail in the costumes switches around a bit. The best compliment to the ape costumes I can give is that the eyes where done so well that I actually thought those were real ape ayes.
There are even some scenes that deal with the human beings desire to kill and rip apart other animals, like dissecting, hunting and chaining them up. Seeing those things from Tarzan's perspective was a bit haunting and heartbreaking and you feel the conflict.
Some great performances, great first half, gritty & grounded moments are all strong points, but it loses steam in the second half and drags on a bit for too long and leaves you feeling unresolved. The film also lacked more tension and intensity towards the end which would have picked the whole thing up and made up for the calmer moments. I like calmer films, but it really builds up to something exciting to happen, and it never does.
Still, it's probably the best adaptation of Tarzan I've seen and the one who truly makes you feel the tragedy of this truly sad and haunting tale. It ain't as light as you might expect.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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