Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1984. Warner Bros., Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., WEA Records. Screenplay by Robert Towne, Michael Austin, based on the novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cinematography by John Alcott. Produced by Stanley S. Canter, Hugh Hudson. Music by John Scott. Production Design by Stuart Craig. Costume Design by John Mollo. Film Editing by Anne V. Coates.
I haven’t seen enough Tarzan movies to say for sure that this one is the best, but it should definitely rank in the top five. Christopher Lambert plays the man who grew up in the jungles of Africa after losing his nobly-born British parents in the events following a shipwreck. Raised by gorillas, he is discovered in his adopted habitat by a ship captain who realizes his heritage and takes him home to his people. The process of integrating this very foreign person into straight-laced Victorian society has all the important social commentary that most adaptations of Edgar Rice Burrough’s novel seem to avoid. Andie MacDowell is lovely in her film debut as Jane, here a real lady and not a jungle goddess, though the filmmakers were disappointed by her South Carolina accent and had Glenn Close dub all her dialogue. The show really gets fired up, however, whenever Ralph Richardson is onscreen as Lambert’s closest relative, a truly sensitive individual who is as curious about his newly found heir as he is overjoyed. A wonderful movie, brought to life in gorgeous detail by the production team responsible for Chariots Of Fire.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Richardson); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Makeup
Venice Film Festival: In Competition