Tarzan the Ape Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tarzan the Ape Man Reviews

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August 11, 2011
Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes has the credits wrong for this film, this is not a review for the horrible Bo Derek Tarzan film of the 80's. First thing you need to know about Tarzan the Ape Man(32) is that an Elephant throws a midget in blackface. The movie is a mix bag. Weismuller is great as Tarzan as is Maureen O'sullivan playing Jane. They make a great on screen couple. The animal scenes are great but know this was before animal rights. Pretty sure there's stock footage of a lion being shot. It's hard to feel for the expedition since they shoot at everything that lives in the jungle. Cheetah is great. She is the Chimpanzee side kick of Tarzan. Her scenes are awesome and she might be the cutest animal filmed. The effects range from passable to awful. The menace at the end is a large man in a gorilla suite, when the gorilla opens it's mouth you see his face. There is some really bad rear projection shots, midgets in blackface, elephants with fake ears and tusk. Worth a watch if you are interested in film history. I still prefer Greystoke to this.
½ May 27, 2011
Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) dirigida por W.S. Van Dyke. Es una gran produccion, un poco mas salvaje de lo que uno esperaria de la pelicula de esa epoca, ya que es un poco cruda la parte de la caseria, la matanza y asesinatos. Pero en general entretiene, hay escenas bien filmadas, la historia es de cierta forma divertida, hay cosas que uno no se cree, pero creo que para la epoca estaban muy bien.


*Esta pagina esta mala, el aņo, la descripcion y los actores son de la version del 81, pero el poster, el trailer y el director son de la original.
½ November 23, 2010
The very first Tarzan picture starring former Olympic swimmer, Johnny Weissmuller, holds up pretty well. Of course it's creaky at times, but some of the jungle footage is raw and beautiful as a result. C. Aubrey Smith steals every scene he's in as Jane Parker's father. Hopefully, facebook corrects the errors on this entry, which vastly superior to the Bo Derek turkey from 1981.
½ November 22, 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.
March 11, 2010
Other than the guys wearing bad ape suits and the cardboard crocodiles, the Tarzan film that introduced Johnny Weissmuller holds up pretty well. We see him wrestle lions and jaguars (and Jane!), battle an army of pygmies, swim, swing and yell through the jungle.
Maureen O'Sullivan is great as Jane and the story is mostly told through her persepctive. It's a treat to see Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon from the "Batman" TV series) as her young love interest, and I like the way they developed the love triangle. Best of all Cheetah is just a monkey here and not yet a slapstick comic.
February 21, 2010
Great old movie, though Maureen O'Sullivan screams WAY too much.
December 18, 2009
Johnny Weismuller is the quintessential Tarzan for me, nobody else can come close to matching him in the role. Grew up watching his antics along with Jane, Boy and the hilarious Cheetah the Chimp. Brilliant movie.
September 25, 2009
What a classic.I remember the saturday afternoon movies,sitting and watching all the Tarzan movies with my grandpa,good memories......
August 31, 2009
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.
½ July 31, 2009
The best Tarzan in the world
July 27, 2009
Props to Johnny Weissmuller for the original Tarzan yodel. The change in scenery from jungle to savannah in one pan of the camera and then back was pretty funny, as was the part where Jane and her father were "observing" the native Africans by standing in front of a giant movie screen that was playing film of actual Africans in Africa. Not to mention that Africa at times bore a stunning resemblance to southern California. Oh well.

Overall, the film was somewhat amusing, though a bit slow in parts. It only bore a passing similarity to the book, which is really too bad because the book actually has a lot more depth (quite action-packed, yes, but it's also a classic coming-of-age story).
June 24, 2009
still the best version gets the funny/drama combo right
June 24, 2009
Cheetah the chimp moves along the ground with his leg sticking out in front and using his arms almost like crutches. This is how my emergency backup daughter would crawl when she was a baby, only she managed to do all this while sliding on her ass.

Fantastic movie, with Jane screaming about every 20 seconds. I've been waiting to see this again since I was about 12 years old. Thank you Turner Classics.
May 11, 2009
Somewhat fun, but generally tedious. Jane seems to be a "modern" woman who, when unleashed upon the dark continent, decides to run wild-- or at least to run off with the first chimp-raised light-skinned wild man she meets. Their encounter makes the transition from apparent rape attempt to seduction to willing flirtation to, at last, jungle monogamous partnership, all with a kind of baffling and uncommunicated set of rationales (sexual or otherwise) that Jane's poorly developed character fails to really communicate to us. The film's lack of concern over Tarzan's origins is very interesting-- its energies seem split instead between the sexuality of Jane (which sometimes means Jane-as-sexual-property) and the struggle between the civil Europeans and the relentlessly savage forces of Africa-- carnivores and pygmies, in particular. Tarzan rallies his more civilized herbivorous animal friends to fend off Africa's dangerously bestial elements, to help secure the British their longed-for access to the elephant graveyard and its ivory, and to help ensure that his Jane is alive (and, conveniently, her father dead) to make the decision to shack up with him in a wide-branched tree somewhere at the story's end. This all works much better as a kind of muted 1932 sexual fantasy of one kind or another than a work of successful narrative cinema.
½ February 24, 2009
So it begins. The great Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan pare up for the first time as Tarzan and Jane. Great fun.
½ January 22, 2009
A lot of fun. Animal cruelty, racism, people in monkey suits...you know.
December 11, 2008
An incredible adventure film filled with raw violence, sensuality, and humor. The climax verges on some weird horror movie. The crude 1933 photography makes it all look even more authentic - just a notch above newsreel. Awesome! Script by Cyril Hume (Forbidden Planet) with dialog by actor/songwriter Ivor Norvello.
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