Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) directed by Hugh HudsonThis summer has lots of sequels and remakes coming out, so I'm reviewing the earlier works and seeing if they will inspire me to see the new films!
The movie is amazingly straight-faced throughout its running time. It is a serious, realistic take on Edgar Rice Burroughs' story of an infant orphaned in the African jungle who is raised by apes and becomes a force to be reckoned with. The attempt at realism robs the story of its charm and adventure. The movie occasionally nods to the vine swinging and John (who is never referred to as Tarzan in the movie) has a few brief fights with other animals, but this is hardly an action/adventure extravaganza. Christopher Lambert does a great job being ape-like both in the jungle and in English society. The ape costumes and performances are impressive (Rick Baker did the make-up and did his usual excellent job). The lovingly crafted ape society is the highlight of the film. The movie just doesn't have the fun that almost every other Tarzan film provides, making it a disappointing experiment in realistic film making.
This summer's Tarzan movie, simply called The Legend of Tarzan, looks like it has the same serious vibe to it, but with fun, over-the-top action too.
They had me at the cattle smashing through the human outpost! I am definitely interested in seeing this film.