Tarzan of the Apes (1918)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Jungle Film  |   Release Date - Jan 27, 1918 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 63 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Elmo Lincoln became the first actor to play Edgar Rice Burrough's "Lord of the Jungle" on the screen when he replaced the now-forgotten Winslow Wilson in the 1918 8-reeler Tarzan of the Apes. During the first portion of the film, Tarzan -- aka Lord Greystoke -- is portrayed by juvenile actor Gordon Griffith. The earlier reels detail the deaths of Greystoke's British parents in the jungle, and how the boy was raised by female ape Kala. Years pass: a rescue party, including high-born Jane Porter (Enid Markey), arrives in the jungle, in search of the long-lost Lord Greystoke. When Jane gets lost in the foliage, it is Tarzan who rescues her from predatory beasts. He then tries to put the make on Jane, as any good ape would, whereupon she stops him with the gentle remonstration "Tarzan is a man, and men do not force their attentions upon women." His aristocratic breeding thus invoked, Tarzan is at last tamed. By any standards, Elmo Lincoln was an awful actor; in addition, he looked about twenty years too old and fifty pounds too fat for the role of Tarzan. Nonetheless, he had great presence, and Tarzan of the Apes made him a star (at least until the talkies came around). Though crudely directed, the film has a lot of energy, especially in the famous scene wherein Lincoln actually kills an attacking lion with his knife.

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Keywords

friendship, animal, good-vs-evil, jungle, survivor, silence