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

A missing heir of respected Scottish family, raised in African jungles by animals, finally returns to his estate only to realize that difference between the two worlds is really significant.

Director:

Hugh Hudson

Writers:

Edgar Rice Burroughs (novel), Robert Towne (as P.H. Vazak) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,578 ( 3,094)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... The Sixth Earl of Greystoke
Ian Holm ... Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot
James Fox ... Lord Charles Esker
Christopher Lambert ... John Clayton / Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
Andie MacDowell ... Miss Jane Porter
Cheryl Campbell ... Lady Alice Clayton
Ian Charleson ... Jeffson Brown
Nigel Davenport ... Major Jack Downing
Nicholas Farrell ... Sir Hugh Belcher
Paul Geoffrey ... Lord John 'Jack' Clayton
Richard Griffiths ... Captain Billings
Hilton McRae Hilton McRae ... Willy
David Suchet ... Buller
Ravinder Ravinder ... Dean
John Wells John Wells ... Sir Evelyn Blount
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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 . . . See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Greystoke: The 7th Earl Lord John Clayton, Tarzan of the Apes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,517,732, 1 April 1984

Gross USA:

$45,858,563

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,858,563
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extended)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was originally intended that there would be a sequel reuniting the cast, but the movie's poor box-office showing put to rest any immediate follow-up. See more »

Goofs

When Tarzan feeds the wounded D'Arnot maggots, the mouth in the close-up is clearly not Ian Holm's. See more »

Quotes

Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot: Listen to me John. How many other white apes have you seen? You're like me, not them. You have another family, far away, one you have never seen.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In a 2016 Hollywood Reporter article that interviewed director Hugh Hudson about his work on "Greystoke" ("The Secrets Behind That Other Tarzan Movie - The One That Earned a Dog a Screenwriting Oscar Nomination," by Stephen Galloway, July 01, 2016), Hudson is quoted saying, "What was complicated was to bring the film down to two hours and 20 minutes. We had an original cut of three hours, and it was at its best at two hours and 40 minutes, where you had a little bit longer [with Tarzan] growing up in the jungle and it was a bit more violent. The world of an ape is a violent world. And the studio was very nervous about that." http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/greystoke-inside-story-1984-tarzan-908081 Unfortunately, there are no known intact copies of the director's favored two hour, 40 minute cut anywhere to be found. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Uga Uga: Episode #1.1 See more »

Soundtracks

The Eightsome Reel
(uncredited)
Scottish Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Realistic and tragic, and it doesn't shy away
21 August 2016 | by paulijcalderonSee all my reviews

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.


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