Tarzan the Ape Man Reviews

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September 23, 2013
I thought I'd seen this before, but after watching it again, I'm not sure I've ever seen it in its entirety. I've read the first 6 books in the series, albeit many years ago, and I have to say I enjoyed them much more than this film. Naturally, the mentality of the greedy white expedition leaders sickened me. If it moves, shoot it! It reminded me so much of the redneck, hillbilly mentality of humans today. If it moves, shoot it, then drink some beers! Unfortunately, one of them managed to make it out of the jungle, while every single one of their well whipped, dark skinned pack mules got wasted. I also had to laugh at them acting in front of a screen playing a film as if they were right there. Even for 1932, I thought that was shoddy. The meat of the film was entertaining enough, with some action, a small bit of suspense, a bunch of sadistic pygmies and even some wild, white monkey romance. It was also nice to watch a film with just a touch of dialogue in my native Swahili. I guess it's all the senseless animal slaughtering that left such a bad taste in my mouth. Oh, and since when are there trapezes hanging in the trees in Africa? Ehh, extra half star 'cause it's fucking Tarzan!
September 4, 2011
The first of the famous Tarzan series starring Johnny Weissmuller is a decent movie...it isn't great, but it is decent. I liked both Weissmuller and O'Sullivan, but the pacing leaves something to be desired.
July 24, 2008
This is the first of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies. Johnny Weissmuller was the best of all actors to play Tarzan. The main reason is because he perfected the Tarzan Yell. In this movie he is still young and trim and looks the part of Tarzan perfectly. The movie has nothing to do with the original book Tarzan of The Apes. In this movie they never explain where Tarzan came from. Since this movie was made just after the transition to sound movies from the silent era, there are long stretches without any dialog or background music. The story is basically that Jane and her Father are looking for a mythical elephant's graveyard. They think it is on top of an escarpment that doesn't exist in the real world. Tarzan finds them and snatches Jane. The movie is a love story between Jane and Tarzan with a lot of action thrown in. Tarzan wrestles lions and crocodiles and at the end a giant ape. Of course the apes in both the Tarzan books and the Tarzan movies don't exist in real life. Edgar Rice Burroughs made them up. In Africa there are chimpanzees and gorillas but no large vicious man-like apes. A lot of stock footage of actual African Natives is used in the beginning of the movie. Other than that this Africa looks a lot like Southern California. Although they used baby chimpanzees for the baby apes, the adult apes are obviously people in ape suits. The crocodiles are mechanical and the elephants have fake canvas ears. For people living in the early 1930's this was a sexy exiting movie. It was good on Saturday afternoons on black and white television when I was a kid. Today the lack of dialog and the primitive sound effects in the long action scenes can get kind of boring. But the movie is a classic.
September 17, 2008
I've always liked this version. I think I secretly wanted to wear that outfit Maureen O'Sullivan sported. Sure, the movie is only similar to the original story, but the fantasy is seductive. I could see throwing it all away to live close to nature with a guy I'm crazy about.
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2008
When I was a kid, I just couldn't stand the Tarzan movies. But as I watch them now, I have a new appreciation for them. Sure this movie is far from perfect, but it is still an entertaining watch.
October 18, 2014
great film. i can see why it is a classic. i enjoyed it. i liked the part when Tarzan fought the ape at the end.
May 4, 2012
Grew up on the cartoon film which was great. But I would love to see how it all started.
December 30, 2011
Loved this as a boy. Thrilling.
½ August 8, 2010
One of the better adaptions of Tarzan ever. The movie hits on all cylinders and contains the best actors to ever play the roles of Tarzan and Jane.
February 10, 2008
Outstanding Tarzan film, the first in the exceptional series with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Hara. It's exciting, daring and wonderfully cast. Weissmuller may not be the greatest actor, but the role is ideal for him. A highly entertaining classic.
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