(Note: We are 49 days out from the release of Legend of Tarzan — and there are 52 Tarzan movies. So if I do more or less one per day, we should be able to cover all of them in the time remaining. Here goes.)
Tarzan of the Apes stars Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan, and Enid Markey as Jane. This film is considered to follow the book Tarzan of the Apes more closely than any of the other 52 films — although it takes this film and the second film, Romance of Tarzan, to get all the way to the end of what was the first book. . . . . The movie came in several different versions, some with more reels, less reels, etc.)
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.
Here is the restored version by Al and Allison Bohl.
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. IMDB Summary written by Ed Stephan firstname.lastname@example.org
Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan
Enid Markey as Jane Porter
True Boardman as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Kathleen Kirkham as Alice Clayton, Lady Greystoke
George B. French as Binns, a sailor
Gordon Griffith as Tarzan, younger
Colin Kenny as William Cecil Clayton
Thomas Jefferson as Professor Porter
Bessie Toner as Bar Maid
Jack Wilson as Captain of the Fuwalda
Louis Morrison as Innkeeper