The post-RKO "TARZAN" films of the 1950s-1960s...who currently owns 'em?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Peter M Fitzgerald, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    To the best of my knowledge, these haven't seen a legit home video release in the U.S.A. (certainly not DVD). Since they're usually aired on American TV in a package (together with the MGM/RKO Tarzan films of the 1930s-50s), it's hard to tell whether the actual domestic home video rights are held by the individual studios that originally released them theatrically, or by an independent entity (i.e. John Wayne's "Batjac"-produced films, such as HONDO (1953), THE HIGH & THE MIGHTY (1954) and MCLINTOCK! (1963), or Jack H. Harris' creature features THE BLOB (1958), 4D MAN (1959), DINOSAURUS! (1960), etc).

    I would assume all the RKO Tarzans are now with Warner. The terrible MGM one-off, TARZAN, THE APE MAN (1959), starring Denny Miller, has been in regular rotation on TCM for years, so probably is current Warner property.

    Sol Lesser, who produced the RKO Tarzan series, continued on with:

    TARZAN & THE LOST SAFARI (1957, the first Tarzan flick in color and widescreen) IMDB says its with MGM (Warner)

    --and two features cobbled together from an aborted 1950s Tarzan TV series--

    TARZAN'S FIGHT FOR LIFE (1958) IMDB says MGM (Warner)
    TARZAN & THE TRAPPERS (1958) IMDB's listing implies possible "public domain" status

    Then, producer Sy Weintraub took over the property, giving us:

    TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE (1959) IMDB says it's with Paramount
    TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT (1960) IMDB says Paramount
    TARZAN GOES TO INDIA (1962) IMBD says MGM (Warner)
    TARZAN'S THREE CHALLENGES (1963) IMDB says MGM (Warner)
    TARZAN & THE VALLEY OF GOLD (1966) IMDB says AIP (MGM/Sony)
    TARZAN & THE GREAT RIVER (1967) IMDB says Paramount
    TARZAN & THE JUNGLE BOY (1968) IMDB says Paramount

    There were also several "bogus" Tarzan films in the 1960s, made from episodes of the Ron Ely TARZAN tv series, which would still presumably be with whoever currently owns that series (IMDB was of little help here, listing "NBC" and "Banner Productions").

    I personally wouldn't want all of these, but I'd love to be able to purchase legit 16x9 anamorphic R1 DVDs of:

    TARZAN & THE LOST SAFARI
    TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE
    TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT
    TARZAN GOES TO INDIA
    TARZAN'S THREE CHALLENGES
    TARZAN & THE VALLEY OF GOLD


    So, does anyone here know who really has the current rights to these (if the IMDB info is inaccurate, which has been known to happen)?
     
  2. JodyL

    JodyL Agent

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    I'd love to show my son the old Ron Ely Tarzan show.

    I remember that one very fondly.
     

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