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

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 ... See full summary »



(novel), (as P.H. Vazak) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... The Sixth Earl of Greystoke
... Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot
... Lord Charles Esker
... John Clayton / Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
... Miss Jane Porter
... Lady Alice Clayton
... Jeffson Brown
... Major Jack Downing
... Sir Hugh Belcher
... Lord John 'Jack' Clayton
... Captain Billings
Hilton McRae ... Willy
... Buller
Ravinder ... Dean
John Wells ... Sir Evelyn Blount


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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A legendary hero - and the tale that's never been told! See more »


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

30 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Greystoke  »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


The length of the film's long "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" title is nine words long. See more »


When Sir Evelyn finds out that Major Jack is shooting apes, he storms off to find him, roughly shoving an African guide standing to his right out of the way. In the next shot, the guide is gone. See more »


John Clayton: Half of me is the Earl of Greystoke...
John Clayton: the other half is WILD!
See more »


Referenced in FantastiCozzi (2016) See more »


Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, op. 55
Music by Edward Elgar (as Sir Edward Elgar)
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User Reviews

Hugh Hudson creates a thoughtful and sober look at the legend.

Beautifully filmed, acclaimed director Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire) creates a story that brings the entire legend of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke and Tarzan of the apes to life with reverence and dignity, and with a scope not heretofore seen in Tarzan films. Christopher Lambert makes his starring debut as the young Lord, raised in the wild by a female gorilla after his parents die in Africa. Later returned to what is to him an alien world, that of class and privilege, he feels totally out of place. Once he learns what has happened to the apes that raised him and their world he realizes that he must go back. A sad but triumphant story told against a background of fantastic vistas. This is one of those films that is a must for every Cinemaphile's collection.

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