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Tarzan of the Apes


Original (PD) version of this classic, NOT the VHS version "copyrighted" in 1982. 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. It's a solid 7 out of 10, and well worth seeing.

File:Tarzan of the Apes (1918).webm
Tarzan of the Apes is a 1918 in film American Action (genre)/Adventure (genre) silent film directed by Scott Sidney starring Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, George B. French and Gordon Griffith. The movie was the first Tarzan movie ever made, and is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' original novel Tarzan of the Apes. The movie adapts only the first part of the novel, the remainder becoming the basis for the sequel, The Romance of Tarzan. The film is considered the most faithful to the novel of all the film adaptations. Its most notable plot change being the introduction of the character Binns and his role in bringing the Porters to Africa; the novel brought them there through the improbable coincidence of a second mutiny.


  • Elmo Lincoln - Tarzan
  • Enid Markey - Jane Porter (Tarzan)
  • True Boardman - John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
  • Kathleen Kirkham - Alice Clayton, Lady Greystoke
  • George B. French - Binns, a sailor
  • Gordon Griffith - Tarzan, younger
  • Colin Kenny (actor) - William Cecil Clayton
  • Thomas Jefferson - Professor Porter
  • Bessie Toner - Bar Maid
  • Jack Wilson - Captain of the Fuwalda
  • Louis Morrison - Innkeeper
  • Eugene Pallette -
  • Fred L. Wilson -


File:Tarzan of the Apes 1918.jpg
John and Alice Clayton, Lord and Lady Greystoke (True Boardman and Kathleen Kirkham), are passengers on the Fuwalda, a ship bound for Africa. When the vessel is taken over by mutineers the sailor Binns (George B. French) saves them from being murdered, but they are marooned on the tropical coast. After their deaths their infant son is adopted by Kala, an ape, who raises him as her own. The young Tarzan (Gordon Griffith) grows to maturity among the apes, becoming their king. Binns, returning to find the Claytons after ten years’ captivity among the Arabs, discovers the ape man and travels to England to report his survival to his family. An expedition led by scientist Professor Porter (Thomas Jefferson) is launched to investigate. Meanwhile, Kala has been killed by a native, who is killed in turn by the now-adult Tarzan (Elmo Lincoln). The villagers kidnap Porter’s daughter Jane (Enid Markey); Tarzan rescues and romances her, and she comes to accept his love.

Production notes

Tarzan of the Apes was filmed in 1917 in Morgan City, Louisiana utilizing Louisiana swamps as stand ins for African jungles.

Category:1918 films
Category:1910s adventure films
Category:1910s fantasy films
Category:American action films
Category:American adventure films
Category:American films
Category:American silent feature films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Films based on novels
Category:Films shot in Louisiana
Category:Tarzan films
Category:First National Pictures films

National Film Corporation of America

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