Tarzan on Film

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Tarzan on Film by Scott Tracy Griffin  The latest Tarzan movie (starring Alexander Skarsgård) may be getting decidedly mixed reviews, but the Lord of the jungle is immortal – certainly in terms of the cinema screen, where the Tarzan character has represented one of the longest running franchises since the silent era. This handsome oversized book is the perfect companion to the filmic adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ vine-swinging hero, lavishly illustrated – and (a particular pleasure) boasting large size, colour reproductions of all the glorious posters the films have enjoyed over the years. Caveats are few, but should be noted: there is very little discussion of the merits (or demerits) of the individual films so that (for instance) the excellent Gordon Scott-starring Tarzan’s Great Adventure (1959), with its top-notch villains Anthony Quayle and Sean Connery, is not particularly singled out for praise; neither are the duds in the Canon (and there are quite a few) granted any criticism. And it’s a shame that the famously erotic, near-naked shots of Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan The Ape Man (1932, before the censors insisted that they cover up in subsequent films) don’t get a look in — though we do see Weissmuller’s abbreviated loin cloth. Nevertheless, if you have any interest in the character, Tarzan on Film is a must for the collector.

Tarzan on Film is published by Titan books