ERB created Tarzan to be a self educated Titled Englishman who thaught himself to read and write from books discovered at his parents cabin in the jungle. There were 26 Tarzan books.
The Internet Movie Database lists 88 movies with Tarzan in the title between 1918 and 1999. The first Tarzan movies were silent pictures adapted from the original Tarzan novels which appeared within a few years of the character's creation. With the advent of talking pictures, a popular Tarzan movie franchise was developed, anchored at first by actor Johnny Weissmüller in the title role, which lasted from the 1930s through the 1960s. Tarzan films from the 1930s on often featured Tarzan's chimpanzee companion Cheeta. Later Tarzan films have been occasional and somewhat idiosyncratic. Disney’s animated Tarzan (1999) marked a new beginning for the ape man.
1. Tarzan of the Apes (1918) – Elmo Lincoln [Silent]
At this early point in American film history, Tarzan of the Apes was an instant success. Elmo Lincoln was perhaps the best actor at the time for the role. It's a fairly straight forward telling of the novel, tho Edgar Rice Burroughs was frequently on the set in an advisory role and his input was seldom utilized. In the books, Tarzan was quite the self-made scholar and this was barely touched upon in the film. For 1918, this turned out to be an excellent film, parts of which still hold up today.
2a. Tarzan the Tiger - Chapters 1-7 (1929) - Frank Merrill 15-Chapter Serial
A silent serial with synchronized soundtrack score and effects, including Tarzan's yell. A film adaptation of TARZAN AND THE JEWELS OF OPAR. It stars Frank Merrill as Tarzan and Natalie Kingston as Lady Jane. Produced and directed by Henry McRae.
ATTENTION, CHAPTERS FIVE THROUGH SEVEN WERE UPLOADED INTO ONE LARGE (53 MINUTE) CLIP.
2b. Tarzan the Tiger - Chapters 8-15 (1929) - Frank Merrill - 15-Chapter Serial
A silent serial with synchronized soundtrack score and effects, including Tarzan's yell.
Based on the 1st 4 chapters of the 12 Chapter Movie Serial (Tarzan the Fearless) and the final chapter.
Dr. Brooks is captured by followers of Zar, God of the Jeweled Fingers and Tarzan (Buster Crabbe) sets out to save him. After seeing a picture of Brooks daughter Mary (Julie Bishop) Tarzan is captivated and sets out to find her. One of the guides is carrying a telegram offering a reward for Tarzan, dead or alive. The guides are also after the Treasure of Zar in the Lost City.
Tarzan the Fearless (1933) is a 12 chapter film serial starring Buster Crabbe in his only appearance as Tarzan. It was also released as a 1 ½ hour feature film which comprised the first four chapters of the serial version and the final chapter. Co-starring was actress Jacqueline Wells, who later changed her name to Julie Bishop. The complete, original 12-chapter movie serial version is considered to be a lost film.
Tarzan (Bruce Bennett) goes to Guatemala to find his lost friend, D'Arnot. On the way he helps Major Matling search Mayan ruins for hidden jewels and an idol containing the formula for a powerful explosive. D'Arnot and the idol are rescued, but the latter falls into the clutches of the explorer Raglan.
This is an edited version of the 1935 serial "The New Adventures of Tarzan." [see above]
6. The New Adventures of Tarzan (1938) Bruce Bennett [Herman Brix]:
Overall, this is a very entertaining film and is especially good paired with The Green Goddess. These two films were actually twelve parts of a serial edited for some theaters into two full length features. This was done at the time of its release, not later, although there are "edited for television" versions with added sound effects and the like from the late 50's.
Great action/adventure for a Saturday afternoon.
Olympic-winning athlete Herman Brix (later known as Bruce Bennett) makes the transition from refined English Lord to savage Lord of the Jungle very convincingly. Both New Adventures and Green Goddess were actually filmed in Guatimala as a theatrical multi-part serial for Saturday matinees, later to be made into two features.
Eleanor and her parents are hunting big game, accompanied by her wimpish fiance. Ben lleu Bey wants to add her to his 100-woman harem. Tarzan (Glen Morris) wants her too.
8. Tarzan and the Trappers (1958) – Gordon Scott
Tarzan (Gordon Scott) deals with the villainous Schroeder (Leslie Bradley), who is illegally collecting animals for zoos, only to be menaced by Schroeder's hunter brother Sikes (Sol Gorss), out for revenge, who teams up with greedy trader Lapin (William Keene) in a hunt for human game...Tarzan himself.
Re-edited from 3 episodes of a never-shown TV series, with studio action inter-cut with location and wildlife footage.
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