What's new

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,417
Real Name
Robert Harris
When Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote Tarzan of the Apes, which was published in 1912, he probably had little concept of the number of less than stellar films that his creation would eventually host.

The originals are classic cinema. Beginning with Elmo Lincoln in Tarzan of the Apes in 1918 though Adventures of Tarzan in 1921, it was a notable beginning.

But it wasn't until 1932, with M-G-M's stock footage-filled production, aptly entitled Tarzan the Ape Man, that his character joined high-end filmmaking.

It seems that Mr. Burroughs had little problem licensing out his creation, as after Johnny Weissmuller lent his stature and acrobatics to the role, Buster Crabbe appeared a year later, in Tarzan the Fearless, yet another low budget quickie.

M-G-M's second offering was Tarzan and His Mate, possibly the best of the series, arrived in 1934, followed by Tarzan Escapes (1936), Tarzan Finds a Son (1939), Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941), Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942), Tarzan Triumphs (RKO, 1943), Tarzan's Desert Mystery (RKO, 1943), Tarzan and the Amazons (RKO, 1945), Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (RKO, 1946), Tarzan and the Huntress (RKO, 1947), Tarzan and the Mermaids ( RKO, 1948) - and then the titular character was turned over to Lex Barker.

The first two are worth your attention.

Imho, it wasn't until 1984 that we had another Tarzan film worth one's attention - Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.

Like Anna Christie, Tarzan was cursed by the Great Fire, and comes from a dupe. Also, like Christie, it looks fine, and the documentary dupes for various and sundry wild animals look better than expected. Even with the duping process, the handful of prop animals also look okay, and probably fare better than had they been seen via an OCN.

Also, akin to Anna Christie, Tarzan actually doesn't an appearance until around reel three.

The film was shot with interiors at the studio, with exteriors in and around LA, including Toluca Lake, with one sequence in Algiers.

Image – 7.5

Audio – 8

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Worth your attention - 10

Slipcover rating - n/a

Upgrade from DVD - Absolutely

Very Highly Recommended



Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
67,848
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
It's not a pristine looking Blu-ray for the reasons you referenced but it's much better than the 2004 DVD. I hope this BD release sells enough units to at least encourage WA to release Tarzan and his Mate. Furthermore, that title sells enough for those other four Tarzan movies with Mia Farrow's mother.:)
 

Jeff Fearnside

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 16, 2023
Messages
76
Location
Pacific Northwest
Real Name
Jeff Fearnside
This is great to hear. The original six Weissmuller/O'Sullivan Tarzan DVDs have been a staple in replay in our house for years. I agree that Tarzan and His Mate is probably the best of the lot, and I expect that one will make an appearance on Blu-ray as well, but I'm holding out hope for all six--I think they hold together terrifically as a series. So Tarzan the Ape Man was a blind pre-order for me, as will be any of the remaining five that might come out.
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,508
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
I'm a Tarzan fan from way back (watched the 12 films with Weissmuller in rotation on a local TV station *every* Saturday afternoon for over a decade) and ordered this first entry without hesitation. I'll do the same for every one Warner sees fit to release on BR - even those last 6 lesser titles from RKO. Those 12 films are among a select group I'll not wait for sale prices to purchase.

I'm not a fan of the Lex Barker outings... though I'd consider a purchase of Tarzan's Magic Fountain due to the presence of Brenda Joyce as Jane.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,417
Real Name
Robert Harris
It's not a pristine looking Blu-ray for the reasons you referenced but it's much better than the 2004 DVD. I hope this BD release sells enough units to at least encourage WA to release Tarzan and his Mate. Furthermore, that title sells enough for those other four Tarzan movies with Mia Farrow's mother.:)
I would support Mate, but none thereafter. They'd be a wasted effort.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,417
Real Name
Robert Harris
I would still support all six movies on Blu-ray because it wouldn’t be alone in such wasted effort.
Sorry. Don't understand what that means. My take is that anyone interested in the early Tarzan films, would gobble up (tech term) the second, but the rest could end up costing the studio near half a million dollars presuming the elements are in near decent shape. Anyone who desires the set already has the DVDs.

If you were a studio exec, would you place your bet and financing on High Society, or a major Technicolor film, or the final episodes of the Tarzan series from M-G-M?
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
67,848
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Sorry. Don't understand what that means. My take is that anyone interested in the early Tarzan films, would gobble up (tech term) the second, but the rest could end up costing the studio near half a million dollars presuming the elements are in near decent shape. Anyone who desires the set already has the DVDs.

If you were a studio exec, would you place your bet and financing on High Society, or a major Technicolor film, or the final episodes of the Tarzan series from M-G-M?
It means that as a consumer which is what I am, I would buy those Tarzan titles on Blu-ray in a heartbeat. I’ll leave that financial speculation to those at the studios that are paid to make those type of decisions because that’s above my retired pay grade.
 

Dr. Lejos

Agent
Joined
Jul 14, 2023
Messages
26
Real Name
Rick
TARZAN AND HIS MATE is certainly the most worthy of the sequels for blu-ray upgrade. Standardization began to sink in with TARZAN ESCAPES … altho there’s an irresistible legend surrounding that film regarding a last-minute trimming in 1936 to relieve family audiences the trauma of witnessing a frightening climactic sequence involving infamous vampire bats (stills exist).

And for years, curators of the MGM vaults have been adamant that the footage no longer exists … that it was only viewed by preview audiences, deemed too shocking, and then removed from the negative for general release.

The irresistible legend surrounds a 1950’s reissue, widely attended by young Tarzan fans who to this day have recollections of seeing the vampire bat sequence intact. That includes my older brother, who told me about it, but by the time I saw it on TV, the sequence was NOT there. Various forums have perpetuated this tale by other witnesses, all citing that 50s reissue as the moment in time when it occurred.

Question is … did the original preview version somehow survive and end up getting copied as the source for the 50s reprint? … and … perhaps … could there be one of those 50s prints still around, allowing for extraction of that coveted footage? If so, I’m sure there would be a huge surge of interest for MGM Tarzan #3.

That indeed should the challenge for the Warner Archive team!!
 

smithbrad

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
2,052
Real Name
Brad
It means that as a consumer which is what I am, I would buy those Tarzan titles on Blu-ray in a heartbeat. I’ll leave that financial speculation to those at the studios that are paid to make those type of decisions because that’s above my retired pay grade.
I'd even go a step further and purchase the next six as well as the Lex Barker films, if released on blu-ray.
 

Douglas R

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2000
Messages
2,954
Location
London, United Kingdom
Real Name
Doug
And the Gordon Scott films that haven't been released, Tarzan with hair grease and a pompadour:mellow::thumbsup:
It's the Gordon Scott ones which I prefer over all others, probably because I saw them theatrically when young. I still remember Tarzan and the Lost Safari being shown in CinemaScope in the UK at my local cinema and advertised as such.
 

Rodney

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Messages
2,407
It's not a pristine looking Blu-ray for the reasons you referenced but it's much better than the 2004 DVD. I hope this BD release sells enough units to at least encourage WA to release Tarzan and his Mate. Furthermore, that title sells enough for those other four Tarzan movies with Mia Farrow's mother.:)
From what George Feltenstein said on The Extra's Podcast, this release has sold well, and while they may not be on the books for a 2024 release, sounds like they will be releasing more Tarzan. Great news for all of us!
 

aPhil

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
902
Location
North Carolina
Real Name
Phil Smoot
It's the Gordon Scott ones which I prefer over all others, probably because I saw them theatrically when young. I still remember Tarzan and the Lost Safari being shown in CinemaScope in the UK at my local cinema and advertised as such.
A definite yes to Tarzan and the Lost Safari & especially to Tarzan the Magnificent.
 

zoetmb

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
339
Location
NYC
Real Name
Martin Brooks
In the 1960's, Ballantine and Ace re-published all of the Tarzan (and most of the other Burroughs) novels in paperback. I gobbled them up. And while as a kid I enjoyed the movies, I was always frustrated that they deviated so much from the Tarzan in the novels.

After the 1932 film, which was interesting for being the first sound Tarzan and because Maureen O' Sullivan is wonderful, I wasn't really interested much until "Greystoke" which while imperfect, at least attempted to create a Tarzan closer to the novels. And I actually liked the more recent "The Legend of Tarzan", even though I think it received mostly negative reviews. At least it was based on some actual historic events. The problem with the early films (and all the novels) is the implicit racism and nationalism, but they were a product of their times.

For those who might be interested, Philip Jose Farmer wrote a book called "Tarzan Alive" which is a biography of Tarzan and is based on the premise that Tarzan was based on an actual person, who he "interviews" for the book.

Trivia: In NYC, 1960's DJ Murray the K "stole" a chant from one of the Tarzan films and made it his meme (before we called it that).
 

Alan Tully

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
4,650
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
For those who might be interested, Philip Jose Farmer wrote a book called "Tarzan Alive" which is a biography of Tarzan and is based on the premise that Tarzan was based on an actual person, who he "interviews" for the book.
In the 70s I was reading a lot of science fiction/fantasy, including many Philip Jose Farmer books, & he wrote a great variation on the Tarzan theme, Lord Tyger (I still have that paperback). It’s about a strange rich guy fixated by Tarzan, who tries to create him for real (I won’t go on & spoil the plot), it could make a terrific film…my Blu-ray arrived today.

I’ve never read a Tarzan book, but a few years ago saw a great TV doc about Tarzan (it may have been on Sky Arts), & as I remember he’s only in the jungle for the first few books, he then travels the world having adventures, & apparently in one book, joins the RAF & becomes a fighter pilot during World War 2
 
Last edited:

dana martin

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
5,734
Location
Norfolk, VA
Real Name
Dana Martin
After watching this new disc... I am viewing it with very different eyes than when i was a child and this would play on Saturday afternoon matinees on TV. Now with an understanding now of the Pre-Code era, this takes on a whole different scope than it did before.

Need for Mate to get the same level of attention and love, and hopefull release this year as well.
 

Gerani53

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
386
Real Name
Gary Gerani
TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE, the best Tarzan of the bunch imo, and in the view of many others, is impressive enough for a 4K UHD. Those amazing jungle vistas would be something with finer detail. And was there ever a better villain than the bloodthirsty Slade, played to sadistic perfection by Anthony Qualye? Having Sean Connery and some first-class Brits in the cast adds to the pre-007 level of cutting edge adult excitement. In the meantime, the almost-as-good follow-up movie, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT, is overdue for a BD WB Archives treatment.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,050
Messages
5,129,530
Members
144,285
Latest member
blitz
Recent bookmarks
0
Top