Tarzan Escapes (1936)

89-90 or 95-96 mins | Adventure | 6 November 1936

Full page view
HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Tarzan Returns , Capture of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Vampires . According to contemporary sources, nine months after filming on the picture was completed, the film went back into production for a second time because M-G-M was not satisfied with the story. On 13 Jul 1936, after spending a reported $600,000-$700,000 on the picture, filming resumed with Richard Thorpe replacing John Farrow as the director. It was predicted in the news items that the second round of filming would cost the studio an additional $200,000. While some contemporary sources refer to the second round of filming as "retakes," HR called it a "complete remake of the M-G-M jinxer [the first version]." Tarzan and His Mate (see above), the previous M-G-M Tarzan film, also had a protracted production schedule and personnel problems. HR production charts indicate that James McKay was the first director of the initial shooting, and that he was replaced by Farrow in Jul 1935. Modern sources note that M-G-M decided to re-shoot the picture following a preview screening that was met with disapproval by scared children and outraged mothers. The studio responded by sending an order to remove all gruesome scenes from the film and replace them with re-takes. Bernard Hyman took over as producer for the second round of filming. Production on the film was completed on 4 Sep 1936, and M-G-M was left with two versions of Tarzan Escapes , the first of which was never released.
       Modern sources also relate the following information concerning the two versions of this film: The ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Tarzan Returns , Capture of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Vampires . According to contemporary sources, nine months after filming on the picture was completed, the film went back into production for a second time because M-G-M was not satisfied with the story. On 13 Jul 1936, after spending a reported $600,000-$700,000 on the picture, filming resumed with Richard Thorpe replacing John Farrow as the director. It was predicted in the news items that the second round of filming would cost the studio an additional $200,000. While some contemporary sources refer to the second round of filming as "retakes," HR called it a "complete remake of the M-G-M jinxer [the first version]." Tarzan and His Mate (see above), the previous M-G-M Tarzan film, also had a protracted production schedule and personnel problems. HR production charts indicate that James McKay was the first director of the initial shooting, and that he was replaced by Farrow in Jul 1935. Modern sources note that M-G-M decided to re-shoot the picture following a preview screening that was met with disapproval by scared children and outraged mothers. The studio responded by sending an order to remove all gruesome scenes from the film and replace them with re-takes. Bernard Hyman took over as producer for the second round of filming. Production on the film was completed on 4 Sep 1936, and M-G-M was left with two versions of Tarzan Escapes , the first of which was never released.
       Modern sources also relate the following information concerning the two versions of this film: The treatment for the first version was written by Karl Brown, with later contributions by Louis Mosher, Wyndham Gittens and Otis Garrett. The second version was written by Cyril Hume and Edwin Knopf . Granville Bates, who was originally assigned to the role of the Skipper, was dropped from the cast, while a new character, Rawlins, played by Herbert Mundin, was added for the second version; Darby Jones took over the role of Bomba from Everett Brown; art director Cedric Gibbons was replaced by his associate, Elmer Sheeley; special effects director James Basevi was replaced by Arnold Gillespie ; photographic effects man Max Fabian was replaced by Thomas Tutwiler; operative cameramen Virgil Vogel and Walter Strenge were replaced by Charles Salerno, Jr.; and Sol Paul Levy and Dr. William Axt composed the music for the second version. Other individuals credited in modern sources for their contribution to the film include: Edwin B. Willis ( Set dec ); James Newcombe ( Art eff ); Ralph Shugart, S. J. Lambert, Ralph Pender, R. L. Sterling, Don T. Whitmer, T. B. Hoffman , Michael Steinore and Mike McLaughlin ( Sound ); and Albert Scheving and Bob Gough ( Asst cam ).
       Studio publicity material for Tarzan Escapes noted that Johnny Weissmuller studied the native Swahili language under the tutorship of Dr. Ernest Wilson for his role in the film. The publicity material also notes that underwater scenes were filmed with a special "diving camera." Modern sources note that the exterior of the tree bungalow was built on location in the Santa Monica Mountains, at a site now known as Malibu Creek State Park, and that a replica of the bungalow was built on an M-G-M sound stage. The film marked the second reunion of Weismuller and O'Sullivan in M-G-M's Tarzan series, and they went on to do three more Tarzan pictures together. Actor John Buckler died in an automobile accident one week before the picture was released.
       According to modern sources, film footage of the Murchison Falls in Africa, shot for W. S. Van Dyke's Trader Horn (see below), was used in this film, as was footage from Tarzan and His Mate (see above) and Tarzan, the Ape Man (see below). A modern source pegs M-G-M's final expenditure for both versions of the film at $1,058,430. For information on other films featuring the Tarzan character, consult the Series Index and see above entry for Tarzan, the Ape Man . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Oct 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Oct 36
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 36
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 36
p. 2.
Motion Picture Daily
26 Oct 36
p. 15.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Nov 36
p. 58.
New York Times
19-Apr-36
---
New York Times
20 Nov 36
p. 27.
Variety
25 Nov 36
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Weissmuller's Swahili tutor
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Capture of Tarzan
Tarzan and the Vampires
Tarzan Returns
Release Date:
6 November 1936
Production Date:
8 July--late October 1935
and 13 July--4 September 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 October 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6710
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
89-90 or 95-96
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1563
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Noble-born English woman Jane Parker lives with her wild man sweetheart, Tarzan, in a tree-top hideaway deep in the heart of the African jungle. Jane and Tarzan's home is equipped with running water, an elevator operated by an elephant and a monkey-powered fan. While Jane and Tarzan enjoy their peaceful life, Jane's relatives from England, Rita and her brother Eric, arrive in Africa intent on finding Jane and taking her back to England. Rita and Eric commission the nefarious Captain Fry to lead them to Jane so that they can tell her that she must go to London to sign legal papers relating to her recently deceased uncle's bequest. Captain Fry, an animal hunter, initially denies Eric and Rita's request because he knows the dangers involved in such a trek, but he eventually agrees to escort them in the hope of finding and capturing the infamous great white ape and exporting it to London. Accompanied by his bumbling assistant, Rawlins, and a group of navigating jungle natives, led by Bomba, Fry begins his journey. Soon after embarking on the trip, the party is attacked by the Ganeloni tribe, and Bomba's men desert. While the expedition camps out in a village, Tarzan and Cheetah, his chimpanzee friend, quietly enter their camp and release a number of caged monkeys. Tarzan then returns home, where Jane notices evidence of his having come into contact with white people and asks to be taken to them. Happy to see her relatives, Jane invites them to the treehouse for a meal, and while Tarzan collects food for the feast, Eric and Rita urge Jane to return to ... +


Noble-born English woman Jane Parker lives with her wild man sweetheart, Tarzan, in a tree-top hideaway deep in the heart of the African jungle. Jane and Tarzan's home is equipped with running water, an elevator operated by an elephant and a monkey-powered fan. While Jane and Tarzan enjoy their peaceful life, Jane's relatives from England, Rita and her brother Eric, arrive in Africa intent on finding Jane and taking her back to England. Rita and Eric commission the nefarious Captain Fry to lead them to Jane so that they can tell her that she must go to London to sign legal papers relating to her recently deceased uncle's bequest. Captain Fry, an animal hunter, initially denies Eric and Rita's request because he knows the dangers involved in such a trek, but he eventually agrees to escort them in the hope of finding and capturing the infamous great white ape and exporting it to London. Accompanied by his bumbling assistant, Rawlins, and a group of navigating jungle natives, led by Bomba, Fry begins his journey. Soon after embarking on the trip, the party is attacked by the Ganeloni tribe, and Bomba's men desert. While the expedition camps out in a village, Tarzan and Cheetah, his chimpanzee friend, quietly enter their camp and release a number of caged monkeys. Tarzan then returns home, where Jane notices evidence of his having come into contact with white people and asks to be taken to them. Happy to see her relatives, Jane invites them to the treehouse for a meal, and while Tarzan collects food for the feast, Eric and Rita urge Jane to return to London with them. Jane initially objects to leaving Tarzan, but she eventually agrees to go, promising Tarzan she will return as soon as possible. Tarzan takes the news bitterly, but when she insists on spending a day with him before leaving, he is assured of her true feelings for him. Meanwhile, Fry's evil designs upon Tarzan become clear as he arranges to capture him and double-cross Rita and Eric. When the good-hearted Rawlins attempts to foil Fry's plans, Fry kills him and leads Tarzan into a trap by infuriating him with a lie about Jane's plans to stay away forever. Fry persuades Tarzan to enter a cage of his own will by claiming that it is Jane's wish that he do so. However, when Tarzan hears the approach of warriors, he manages to free himself with the help of two elephants. He then rushes to rescue Jane, Eric and Rita, who are being prepared for sacrifice by natives who ambushed them on the trail. After sounding an ape-call that summons elephants to their rescue, Tarzan exposes Fry as a villain and drives him into swampy waters, where he meets his death. Grateful for having been rescued, Rita and Eric inform Jane that their mission was a ruse and that she was not needed in England after all. Jane then bids her relatives farewell and returns to live with Tarzan. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.