Tarzan of the Apes (1918)

Adventure | 2 April 1918

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HISTORY

The novel first appeared in All-Story Weekly , Oct 1912. It was also serialized in several newspapers. The rights to the book were purchased by National Film Corp. of America early in 1917, and William E. Wing was hired to write the scenario and assist in the proposed twelve reel production. Pre-production news items list Gilbert Warrenton as the head photographer and Ted Bevis as the technical director. Wing, Warrenton and Bevis were not credited when the film was released. National took over the Oz studios in Hollywood, and also used the E. & R. Jungle studio in Los Angeles where technical director Martin J. Doner shot scenes using lions from E. & R. and the David Horsely collections.
       The 25 Aug 1917 Motion Picture News reported that the film company departed Los Angeles by train that week for Iberia, LA. Included were acrobats and contortionists who would play in jungle scenes. The 28 Jan 1918 NYT noted that filming also took place in Brazil.
       When the film opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York on 27 Jan 1918, it was ten reels in length, but it was later cut to eight reels. Modern sources credit Lois Weber and Fred Miller with the scenario. The sequel to the film, The Romance of Tarzan , was released in Oct 1918 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ).
       Among the many films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel or characters from the novel are: the 1932 M-G-M production Tarzan, the Ape Man , starring Johnny Weissmuller and directed by W. S. Van Dyke ... More Less

The novel first appeared in All-Story Weekly , Oct 1912. It was also serialized in several newspapers. The rights to the book were purchased by National Film Corp. of America early in 1917, and William E. Wing was hired to write the scenario and assist in the proposed twelve reel production. Pre-production news items list Gilbert Warrenton as the head photographer and Ted Bevis as the technical director. Wing, Warrenton and Bevis were not credited when the film was released. National took over the Oz studios in Hollywood, and also used the E. & R. Jungle studio in Los Angeles where technical director Martin J. Doner shot scenes using lions from E. & R. and the David Horsely collections.
       The 25 Aug 1917 Motion Picture News reported that the film company departed Los Angeles by train that week for Iberia, LA. Included were acrobats and contortionists who would play in jungle scenes. The 28 Jan 1918 NYT noted that filming also took place in Brazil.
       When the film opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York on 27 Jan 1918, it was ten reels in length, but it was later cut to eight reels. Modern sources credit Lois Weber and Fred Miller with the scenario. The sequel to the film, The Romance of Tarzan , was released in Oct 1918 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ).
       Among the many films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel or characters from the novel are: the 1932 M-G-M production Tarzan, the Ape Man , starring Johnny Weissmuller and directed by W. S. Van Dyke (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ); the 1959 M-G-M film Tarzan, the Ape Man , starring Dennis Miller and directed by Joseph M. Newman; and the 1984 Warner Bros. release Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes , starring Christopher Lambert and directed by Hugh Hudson. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
2 Feb 18
pp. 716-17.
ETR
9 Feb 18
p. 815, 837
ETR
16 Feb 18
p. 909.
Motion Picture News
25 Aug 1917
p. 1310.
MPN
28 Sep 18
p. 2084.
MPN
26 Jan 18
p. 582.
MPN
16 Feb 18
p. 1030.
MPW
24 Feb 17
p. 1195.
MPW
16 Feb 18
p. 1002.
MPW
27 Apr 18
p. 594.
New York Times
28 Jan 18
p. 13.
NYDM
9 Feb 18
p. 18.
Variety
1 Feb 1918
p. 47.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
2 April 1918
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Lord and Lady Greystoke, sent by the Queen of England on a diplomatic mission to South Africa, are abandoned in a remote jungle when the crew of their ship mutinies. Greystoke constructs a shelter in which the couple survives for a time, but Lady Greystoke dies a year after her son is born, and the earl is killed by wild apes. A female ape whose offspring was also killed that day adopts and rears the child. While Tarzan learns the ways of the jungle, his cousin, the new successor to Greystoke's title, is reared in England. At the age of twenty, Tarzan becomes king of the apes; his cousin, however, courts a barmaid, even though his mother had wished him to marry Jane Porter, an attractive and wealthy young American. When Binns, an old sailor, reveals that the rightful earl of Greystoke is alive, an expedition that includes Jane and her father is organized to find him. The party narrowly escapes death in the jungle several times, and after Tarzan rescues Jane from hostile tribesmen and a lion, she falls in love with the ... +


Lord and Lady Greystoke, sent by the Queen of England on a diplomatic mission to South Africa, are abandoned in a remote jungle when the crew of their ship mutinies. Greystoke constructs a shelter in which the couple survives for a time, but Lady Greystoke dies a year after her son is born, and the earl is killed by wild apes. A female ape whose offspring was also killed that day adopts and rears the child. While Tarzan learns the ways of the jungle, his cousin, the new successor to Greystoke's title, is reared in England. At the age of twenty, Tarzan becomes king of the apes; his cousin, however, courts a barmaid, even though his mother had wished him to marry Jane Porter, an attractive and wealthy young American. When Binns, an old sailor, reveals that the rightful earl of Greystoke is alive, an expedition that includes Jane and her father is organized to find him. The party narrowly escapes death in the jungle several times, and after Tarzan rescues Jane from hostile tribesmen and a lion, she falls in love with the apeman. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.