Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932)

Article #413 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-2-2002
Posting date: 9-25-2002

Explorers search for the elephants’ graveyard in Africa, and encounter an ape man by the name of Tarzan.

There were Tarzan movies before this one, but this was the first one with Johnny Weissmuller in the role, and he does a fantastic job with a character who is equally savage, fun-loving, and slightly befuddled (he’s excellent trying to figure out what Jane is talking about). This movie sets some of the scenarios that would become fairly frequent in the immediate sequels, but they’re still pretty entertaining. This is the movie where an elephant carries Tarzan around with his head in his mouth; certainly one of the most jaw-dropping scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. The ending is truly nightmarish and spectacular, and this is indeed one of the Tarzan movies that really does belong in the category of fantastic movies. Eventually, Tarzan (and the whole series) would become domesticated and lose steam, but here it’s in its prime. Truly worth catching.

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