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Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)

A shipping disaster in the nineteenth century has stranded a man and woman in the wilds of Africa. The lady is pregnant, and gives birth to a son in their tree house. The mother dies soon ... See full summary »

Director:

Hugh Hudson

Writers:

Edgar Rice Burroughs (novel), Robert Towne (as P.H. Vazak) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... The Sixth Earl of Greystoke
Ian Holm ... Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot
James Fox ... Lord Charles Esker
Christopher Lambert ... John Clayton / Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
Andie MacDowell ... Miss Jane Porter
Cheryl Campbell ... Lady Alice Clayton
Ian Charleson ... Jeffson Brown
Nigel Davenport ... Major Jack Downing
Nicholas Farrell ... Sir Hugh Belcher
Paul Geoffrey ... Lord John 'Jack' Clayton
Richard Griffiths ... Captain Billings
Hilton McRae Hilton McRae ... Willy
David Suchet ... Buller
Ravinder Ravinder ... Dean
John Wells John Wells ... Sir Evelyn Blount
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Storyline

A shipping disaster in the nineteenth century has stranded a man and woman in the wilds of Africa. The lady is pregnant, and gives birth to a son in their tree house. The mother dies soon afterwards. An ape enters the house and kills the father, and a female ape takes the tiny boy as a replacement for her own dead infant, and raises him as her son. Twenty years later, Captaine Phillippe D'Arnot discovers the man who thinks he is an ape. Evidence in the tree house leads him to believe that he is the direct descendant of the Earl of Greystoke, and thus takes it upon himself to return the man to civilization. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tarzan | shipwreck | africa | ape | orphan | See All (69) »

Taglines:

In 1886, following a shipwreck off the west coast of Africa, an infant child became part of a family of apes who raised and protected him. As he grew, he learned the laws of the Jungle and eventually claimed the title, Lord of the Apes. Yet, years later, when he was returned to civilization, he would remain uncertain as to which laws he should obey . . . Those of man . . . Or those of the jungle. Now the director of 'Chariots of Fire', captures this epic adventure of a man caught between two different worlds. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Greystoke: The 7th Earl Lord John Clayton, Tarzan of the Apes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$45,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(extended)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Primate Choreographer Peter Elliott also played Silverbeard. He is listed in the credits as "Elliot W. Cane" because an actor had the same name. See more »

Goofs

Eric Langlois is left-handed. See more »

Quotes

Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot: Listen to me John. How many other white apes have you seen? You're like me, not them. You have another family, far away, one you have never seen.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For laserdisc, the Extended Version was transferred in a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, but the pan-and-scan videocassette was open-matted and cropped on the edges. It is unknown if this Extended Version is Hugh Hudson's director's cut or another edition, possibly released internationally in 1984. See more »


Soundtracks

Chanson de Matin
(uncredited)
Music by Edward Elgar (as Sir Edward Elgar)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tarzan as Burroughs intended!
18 July 2007 | by krdementSee all my reviews

If you are looking for a modern film version of Buster Crabbe or Johnny Weismuller's overcoming the machinations of unscrupulous, white safari guides or cunning, black tribesmen, while saving the animal kingdom, this is NOT the movie for you. This is a recounting of the Tarzan "legend" from its beginning in intelligent, adult terms. It is beautifully filmed and faithful to the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories.

Tarzan is no action hero, but a man torn between two worlds - the natural and the civilized. In a stunning performance, Christopher Lambert portrays this angst with absolute realism. If he slips up just once the cat will be out of the bag: the audience (especially the adult audience targeted by the film) will laugh, and the film will completely lose its grip. It will plummet into the cheesy depths. But Lambert never lets that happen. (Forget what you may think of him in other movies; when I saw this film at the theater on its original release, I thought he deserved an academy award.)

The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, as other commentators have noted. I disagree with most of them in that I didn't find anything wrong with Andie McDowell's performance. I wouldn't have nominated her for an academy award - the role is undemanding - but she is completely up to it, such as it is. I don't know why her voice was overdubbed, either.

The cinematography of the African segment of the tale is absolutely beautiful. It captures both the beauty of the African wilderness and the exotic expectation it holds in the collective imagination of those who have never been there. The scenery is lush and exotic, and the colors are vivid.

But this is also a "period" film, and the cinematography also magnificently depicts Victorian England - the countryside, the city and the interiors. The costumes are outstanding. The soundtrack is beautiful without being overwhelming or obtrusive.

There are some disturbing scenes - especially for animal lovers - but no more disturbing than a few scenes in Dances with Wolves. This is an excellent film about the conflict between civilization and nature, personified in the young Lord Greystoke, convincingly portrayed by Christopher Lambert.


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