Monday, February 13, 2012

Tarzan of the Apes - 1918

Country: USA
Director: Scott Sidney
Writers: Edgar Rice Burroughs (novel), Fred Miller, Lois Weber (writer)
Stars: Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey and True Boardman
Release Date: 27 January 1918 (USA)
Also known as: Tarzan der Affen (Germany), Tarzan, a majomember (Hungary), Tarzan, o Homem Macaco (Portugal)
Filming locations: Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA; Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil; Morgan City, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, USA; Selig Zoo, California, USA; Topanga Canyon, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box office
Gross: $1,000,000 (USA)
Production Co: National Film Corporation of America
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Young men from the New Orleans Athletic Club played the ape parts.
In one scene a lion is supposed to crawl through the window of Tarzan's cabin to devour Jane. Tarzan grabs him and pulls him out. Rumor has it that the old and drugged lion turned on Elmo Lincoln who stabbed and killed him. "I stepped on him to beat my chest. As my foot pressed down on him, the remaining air in his lungs escaped with a loud whoosh. I was already shaken and you should have seen me jump!" The lion wound up as a lobby display when the picture opened on Broadway. However, Enid Markey and others from the cast have disputed this version of events, saying that the lion was actually killed off screen. Contrary to popular opinion, the death of the lion is not actually shown on screen. It is already dead when Elmo stabs at it, barely puncturing its skin.
Production began with Stellan Windrow playing Tarzan. After five weeks of shooting, Windrow quit to enlist in the First World War. Footage of him swinging from vines remains in the final film. According to Burroughs' biographer Robert Fenton, Windrow was using Winslow Wilson as a stage name at the time.
Originally, this movie was three hours long and was divided into three parts. The longest extant print is seventy-three minutes in length.
Louisiana was chosen as the main shooting location because of the cooperation of the residents of Morgan City, the lush jungle vegetation, bayous, waterways, abundant black extras, and facilities such as hotels, a railway-serviced wharf and an adjacent storage warehouse.
Sets, costumes and equipment were sent from Los Angeles by rail car.
For the African village scenes native huts were constructed and 800 locals were hired as extras. The village was burned to the ground for the final village scene.
National Film Corporation, the production company, hired eight acrobats to play apes, for which costumes made from goat skins and elaborate masks were constructed.
Over 300 locals in Morgan City, LA, were hired as cannibal extras for $1.75 a day.
Edgar Rice Burroughs sold the film rights for "Tarzan of the Apes" to the National Film Corporation on June 6, 1916. He received a record $5,000 cash advance on royalties, $50,000 in company stock and 5% of gross receipts.
Elmo Lincoln was stockier than original Tarzan Stellan Windrow and had trouble doing the sequences in the trees, so they kept the footage shot of Windrow.
Alice Guy was originally offered the job as director, but turned it down. It was eventually given to Scott Sidney.  
Plot Keywords: Tarzan | Ape | Knife | Gift | Child Nudity  | Elephant | Rhinoceros | Lion |
Spear | Giraffe | Mutiny | Crocodile | Gun Battle | Slave Trade | Spanish Moss | Animal Attack | Banana Tree | Strangulation | Snake | Revolver | Skeleton | Chimpanzee | Actual Animal Killed | Rifle | Leopard | Little Boy | Monkey | Based On Novel | Character Name In Title
With an unusually brilliant cast including...[list of cast members]...and 500 others
Was produced in the jungles during 11 months of the most tremendous effort at faithfulness to detail in emphasizing all the powerful situations in the original story
The Wonder Story of the Age
The most startling and unforgettable story ever written
Genres: Action | Adventure
The plot follows the novel more closely than does any other Tarzan movie. John and Alice Clayton take ship for Africa. Mutineers maroon them. After his parents die the newborn Tarzan is taken by a great Ape, Kala. Later the boy finds his father's knife and uses it to become King of Apes. Binns, the sailor who saved the Claytons and who has been held by Arab slavers for ten years, finds the young Tarzan and then heads for England to notify his kin. A scientist arrives to check out Binns' story. Tarzan, now a man, kills the native who killed Kala; when their chief is killed the black villagers appease Tarzan with gifts and prayers. The scientist's daughter Jane is carried off by a native, rescued by Tarzan (who has burnt the native village), aggressively loved by him ("Tarzan is a man, and men do not force the love of women"), and at last accepts him with open arms.

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