TARZAN THE APE MAN (1932 U.S.) D: W.S. VAN DYKE W: CYRIL HUME/IVOR NOVELLO P: BERNARD H. HYMAN/IRVING THALBERG
Olympic gold medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller is Tarzan in this major b/w MGM hit based on the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Maureen O' Sullivan is Jane, the daughter of ivory hunter C. Aubrey Smith who's searching for the fabled Elephant's Graveyard. There's attack by hippos and crocodiles, but the best and most outrageous scene has Tarzan, Neil Hamilton, Jane (and Cheetah the chimp) fighting for their lives against a giant (man-in-a-suit) gorilla in a pit, while blackface dwarf pygmys watch and cheer! This is followed by an elephant stampede in which a pygmy is picked up by a trunk and hurled on the floor! With Johnny Eck as "bird creature" and left-over footage from Van Dyke's TRADER HORN. Weismuller returned for eleven sequels beginning with TARZAN AND HIS MATE before later becoming JUNGLE JIM in 1948. Dialogue writer Novello starred in the 1926 and 1932 versions of THE LODGER. Earlier Tarzans were TARZAN OF THE APES and (the lost) THE ROMANCE OF TARZAN (both 1918) and THE ADVENTURES OF TARZAN (1921) (all with Elmo Lincoln), SON OF TARZAN (a 1920 serial), THE REVENGE OF TARZAN (1920), TARZAN AND THE GOLDEN LION (1927), TARZAN THE MIGHTY (1928) and TARZAN THE TIGER (1929). The next guy to play Tarzan was Buster Crabbe in TARZAN THE FEARLESS (1933).

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