Tarzan, The Ape Man


1h 52m 1981

Brief Synopsis

James Parker is in Africa looking for a mythical white ape when his wife dies. He is joined by his estranged daughter, Jane. Together, they learn this white ape is Tarzan, a man who was raised by apes in the jungle. Parker continues to hunt Tarzan, but now with the purpose of bringing him back to England, dead or alive. Tarzan responds to the situation by kidnapping Jane, and the two are fascinated by each other. When natives take Jane with the intent of sacrificing her, Tarzan springs into action.

Film Details

Also Known As
Tarzan - apmannen, Tarzan, The Ape Man
MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Adventure
Drama
Historical
Romance
Release Date
1981
Production Company
Gentle Jungle; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; Modern Film Effects
Distribution Company
Cic Productions; United Artists Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m

Synopsis

James Parker is in Africa, looking for a mythical "white ape" when his wife dies and he is joined by his estranged daughter, Jane. Together, they learn that this white ape is Tarzan, a man who was raised by apes in the jungle. Parker continues to hunt Tarzan, but now with the purpose of bringing him back to England, dead or alive. Tarzan responds to the situation by kidnapping Jane, and the two are fascinated by each other. When natives take Jane with the intent of sacrificing her, Tarzan springs into action.

Crew

Pamela Bentkowski

Sound Editor

Perry Botkin Jr.

Music

Allan Bromberg

Sound Editor

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Characters As Source Material

Joe Campassi

Animal Trainer

Daniel Allen Carlin

Music Consultant

Jack Cheap

Sound Editor

Eva Chun

Executive In Charge Of Production

David B Cohn

Sound Editor

Kerry Collins

Production Assistant

Norma Collins

Hairstyles

Armando Contreras

Key Grip

Gini Cook

Sound Editor

Bo Derek

Producer

John Derek

Director Of Photography

John Derek

Dp/Cinematographer

Wolfgang Dickmann

Art Direction

Patricia Edwards

Costumes

William G Gage

Animal Trainer

Robert W Glass

Sound Rerecording Mixer

Gary Goddard

Screenwriter

James Harbert

Original Music

Bobbie Johnson

Supervisor

Linda Kemp

Script Supervisor

Robert Knudson

Sound Rerecording Mixer

Michael Lally

1st Assistant Director

James B Ling

Editor

Don Macdougall

Sound Rerecording Mixer

Jock Mahoney

Stunt Coordinator

David J Mcmillan

Animal Trainer

James L Michaelson

Title Artist

Jak Oliver

Unit Production Manager

Jak Oliver

1st Assistant Director

Allan Placko

Technical Advisor (Mountain Climbing)

William Randall

Sound Recording Mixer

Paul "sled" Reynolds

Chief Animal Trainer

Tess Reynolds

Animal Trainer

Alan Roderick-jones

Art Direction

Tom Rowe

Screenwriter

Chandran Rutham

Production Coordinator

Tom Shaw

Unit Manager

Tom Shaw

Unit Manager

Curt Sobel

Music Editor

Bill Stafford

Original Music

J A Vincent

Art Direction Assistant

Warner Waarnasiri

2nd Assistant Director

Don Warner

Sound Editor Supervisor

Edward A. Warschilka

Assistant Editor

Robert Waxman

Sound Editor

Film Details

Also Known As
Tarzan - apmannen, Tarzan, The Ape Man
MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Adventure
Drama
Historical
Romance
Release Date
1981
Production Company
Gentle Jungle; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; Modern Film Effects
Distribution Company
Cic Productions; United Artists Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 52m

Articles

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981)


James Parker is in Africa, looking for a mythical "white ape" when his wife dies and he is joined by his estranged daughter, Jane. Together, they learn that this white ape is Tarzan, a man who was raised by apes in the jungle. Parker continues to hunt Tarzan, but now with the purpose of bringing him back to England, dead or alive. Tarzan responds to the situation by kidnapping Jane, and the two are fascinated by each other. When natives take Jane with the intent of sacrificing her, Tarzan springs into action.
Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981)

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981)

James Parker is in Africa, looking for a mythical "white ape" when his wife dies and he is joined by his estranged daughter, Jane. Together, they learn that this white ape is Tarzan, a man who was raised by apes in the jungle. Parker continues to hunt Tarzan, but now with the purpose of bringing him back to England, dead or alive. Tarzan responds to the situation by kidnapping Jane, and the two are fascinated by each other. When natives take Jane with the intent of sacrificing her, Tarzan springs into action.

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981 version) - Tarzan, the Ape Man - The Bo Derek Version


If you weren't old enough to know what was going on at the time, it's pretty hard to fathom the early-80's popularity of Bo Derek, a dull-eyed wisp of flesh who catapulted to mega-stardom when she appeared as the object of Dudley Moore's lust in the hit comedy, 10. Actually, even back in the day it was difficult to understand what all the fuss was about, given that Derek generated frothing mass-adulation simply by batting her eyelashes and bounding down the beach in a bathing suit. It's not like she invented the concept, and it wasn't long before people caught on that you could get the same thing for free on network TV, virtually every night of the week.

If you're looking for clarification on the Derek phenomenon, you'll get no help from Warner Bros.' DVD release of 1981's Tarzan the Ape Man, which was directed by Bo's obviously clueless Svengali-like husband, John Derek. This is one lousy, awful, terrible movie, a compendium of half-baked nonsense that's about as inexplicable an act of star power - it was made as Bo's strategic follow-up to 10 - as you'll ever see. But get the popcorn ready, it may still be worth watching. "So bad, it's good" fans will find waaaaaay more than enough to crow about by the time it's over, and everyone else will sit slack-jawed at the unrelenting inappropriateness of virtually every aspect of its production.

Bo plays "Jane," in the sense that that's what everybody calls her. As the movie begins, Jane rides a steamship up an African river, where she meets up with her estranged, totally-nuts explorer father (Richard Harris, hamming it up like there's no tomorrow.) Dear old Dad may or may not have eyes for his own daughter, not that it matters in the long run. Harris basically just drags Bo's moist body through the jungle, where, after about 45 meandering minutes, she takes her clothes off completely, gets frightened by a lion, and meets Tarzan (Miles O'Keefe), a buff monkey-man who looks like he stepped out of a Chippendales floor show. O'Keefe, it should be noted, gets off lucky, since Tarzan is basically mute and doesn't have to recite any of the wretched dialogue.

Jane will teach Tarzan, a dim bulb, how to grope her breasts. Not long after that, a bunch of natives will strip Jane naked (again), then paint her white. Then Dad will loudly recite "Humpty Dumpty" while tied to a post and dying from an exceptionally unpleasant stomach wound. The end.

I hope I didn't ruin anything for you.

The Dereks certainly couldn't be accused of aiming too high. The sole point of Tarzan the Ape Man is finding ways for Bo to show off her tight little body and heroically perky breasts. The party line for most actresses is that they'll do nudity only if it's integral to the plot. This may be the only time in movie history that a name actress participated in something resembling a plot because it was integral to the nudity.

You can't really blame Bo for any of this, since she was no less a product than a tub of Crisco is. But husband John's directorial technique is so amateurish it's astonishing that a major studio actually allowed him to think he knew what he was doing.

Honestly, you won't believe this one: scenes drag on for days; minor bits of information are belabored while important action takes place just beyond the edge of the frame; slow-motion ­- which apparently denotes "art" ­- is utilized at random. Then there's O'Keefe's legendary battle with a giant rubber snake. Derek constructs it out of slow-mo lap-dissolves that make it look like a particularly ineffective love scene, and it just goes on and on and on. Audiences at the time were known to burst out laughing for at least half its duration. That is, if they weren't laughing already.

Warner Bros. hasn't wasted their time getting fancy with the DVD. The print is clean, and the soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1. There aren't any behind-the-scenes documentaries, since they would have consisted mostly of people pouring water on Bo while she practices arching her back.

For more information about Tarzan, the Ape Man, visit Warner Video. To order Tarzan, the Ape Man, go to TCM Shopping.

by Paul Tatara

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981 version) - Tarzan, the Ape Man - The Bo Derek Version

If you weren't old enough to know what was going on at the time, it's pretty hard to fathom the early-80's popularity of Bo Derek, a dull-eyed wisp of flesh who catapulted to mega-stardom when she appeared as the object of Dudley Moore's lust in the hit comedy, 10. Actually, even back in the day it was difficult to understand what all the fuss was about, given that Derek generated frothing mass-adulation simply by batting her eyelashes and bounding down the beach in a bathing suit. It's not like she invented the concept, and it wasn't long before people caught on that you could get the same thing for free on network TV, virtually every night of the week. If you're looking for clarification on the Derek phenomenon, you'll get no help from Warner Bros.' DVD release of 1981's Tarzan the Ape Man, which was directed by Bo's obviously clueless Svengali-like husband, John Derek. This is one lousy, awful, terrible movie, a compendium of half-baked nonsense that's about as inexplicable an act of star power - it was made as Bo's strategic follow-up to 10 - as you'll ever see. But get the popcorn ready, it may still be worth watching. "So bad, it's good" fans will find waaaaaay more than enough to crow about by the time it's over, and everyone else will sit slack-jawed at the unrelenting inappropriateness of virtually every aspect of its production. Bo plays "Jane," in the sense that that's what everybody calls her. As the movie begins, Jane rides a steamship up an African river, where she meets up with her estranged, totally-nuts explorer father (Richard Harris, hamming it up like there's no tomorrow.) Dear old Dad may or may not have eyes for his own daughter, not that it matters in the long run. Harris basically just drags Bo's moist body through the jungle, where, after about 45 meandering minutes, she takes her clothes off completely, gets frightened by a lion, and meets Tarzan (Miles O'Keefe), a buff monkey-man who looks like he stepped out of a Chippendales floor show. O'Keefe, it should be noted, gets off lucky, since Tarzan is basically mute and doesn't have to recite any of the wretched dialogue. Jane will teach Tarzan, a dim bulb, how to grope her breasts. Not long after that, a bunch of natives will strip Jane naked (again), then paint her white. Then Dad will loudly recite "Humpty Dumpty" while tied to a post and dying from an exceptionally unpleasant stomach wound. The end. I hope I didn't ruin anything for you. The Dereks certainly couldn't be accused of aiming too high. The sole point of Tarzan the Ape Man is finding ways for Bo to show off her tight little body and heroically perky breasts. The party line for most actresses is that they'll do nudity only if it's integral to the plot. This may be the only time in movie history that a name actress participated in something resembling a plot because it was integral to the nudity. You can't really blame Bo for any of this, since she was no less a product than a tub of Crisco is. But husband John's directorial technique is so amateurish it's astonishing that a major studio actually allowed him to think he knew what he was doing. Honestly, you won't believe this one: scenes drag on for days; minor bits of information are belabored while important action takes place just beyond the edge of the frame; slow-motion ­- which apparently denotes "art" ­- is utilized at random. Then there's O'Keefe's legendary battle with a giant rubber snake. Derek constructs it out of slow-mo lap-dissolves that make it look like a particularly ineffective love scene, and it just goes on and on and on. Audiences at the time were known to burst out laughing for at least half its duration. That is, if they weren't laughing already. Warner Bros. hasn't wasted their time getting fancy with the DVD. The print is clean, and the soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1. There aren't any behind-the-scenes documentaries, since they would have consisted mostly of people pouring water on Bo while she practices arching her back. For more information about Tarzan, the Ape Man, visit Warner Video. To order Tarzan, the Ape Man, go to TCM Shopping. by Paul Tatara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States July 1981

Released in United States Summer July 24, 1981

Released in United States July 1981

Released in United States Summer July 24, 1981