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Tarzan the Ape Man

94 customer reviews

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(May 23, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981) (DVD)

Based on MGM's original 1932 movie, the new version tells Jane's story in a lusty, romantic tale of a determined woman who finds adventure and romance in the middle of an African jungle. Starring Bo Derek ("10") and Richard Harris ("Unforgiven").


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Bo Derek, Miles O'Keeffe, Richard Harris, John Phillip Law
  • Directors: John Derek
  • Writers: Tom Rowe, Gary Goddard
  • Producers: Bo Derek
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2006
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001NBLZ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,035 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tarzan the Ape Man" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By the masked reviewer VINE VOICE on July 29, 2007
Format: DVD
When Bo Derek emerged from Blake Edwards's hit 10 as a cornrow-sporting sex symbol, she and her Svengali-like mentor John Derek--who'd been, at one time, a wooden movie pinup himself--decided that together they'd "create" Bo's subsequent starring vehicles. This collaboration resulted in a trio of Bad Movies To Love, including the 1981 Tarzan, the Ape Man. "Produced" by Bo and "directed and photographed" by John, Tarzan reduced Edgar Rice Burrough's far-from-classic work to the level of a magazine spread on a Playboy bunny in the, er, bush.

Richard Harris, an explorer in deepest, darkest Africa, is expecting the next boat to deliver a cannon, but instead he receives bombshell Bo, playing his long-estranged daughter. Her thespian skills had not improved one whit since her first Bad Movie with Harris, Orca, but blank-eyed Bo clearly hadn't a clue. "You first-class b--tard," she says to Harris, mistakenly believing that the dreamy, "I've-just-had-the-most-fabulous-orgasm" look on her face could possibly be interpreted as anger. Bo's utter ineptitude is made all the funnier by Harris's response, which is to ham it up to the skies--and beyond. When Bo leaves his welcoming party, Harris says to his mongrels, "She didn't find me a pretty sight. Do you think I--overdressed?" We fully expect one of the dogs to reply, "No, you--overacted."

Bo takes command of this soft-core extravaganza by doing what she's best at: stripping off her Banana Republic-style wardrobe to swim--well, perhaps "bob" is the more accurate term--in that ocean surf rarely seen in films set in the middle of the Dark Continent.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Marty Martinez on October 22, 2004
Format: DVD
Beautiful Bo Derek (as Jane Parker) embarks on an erotic jungle adventure to West Africa to find her estranged explorer father (Richard Harris). Along the way she meets up with the handsome and extremely buff title character (Miles O'Keefe). The locations (Sri Lanka) are almost as gorgeous as Bo, and the photography (courtesy of John Derek) is equally breathtaking. I enjoyed this film, despite the campy script and preposterous story. It is a silly adventure that shows all the interactions between this sexy jungle duo that usually happened behind the palm trees. I liked the fact that Jane Parker was portrayed as a liberated and independent woman (even though it's supposed to be 1910). I think that Bo's performance (despite the critical backlash) was spirited and appealing. The late Richard Harris seems to overact a bit in his role as the demanding expedition leader, and his constant bellowing gets old after a while. Also, the incestuous overtones make some scenes uncomfortable to watch. Miles O'Keefe is a wonderful Tarzan (how did that tiny loincloth stay on anyway?). This DVD adds the previously edited "controversial" scenes that were missing from the cinematic and video release! (And yes, a chimpazee really does kiss Bo's nipple in one innocent moment) The only "extra" in this DVD is the original theatrical trailer. For those who admired that famous leather bikini that Bo wears in the promotional posters and DVD cover, you'll be dissappointed - as she never wears it on camera. When this movie was first broadcast on network T.V., she wore it during the closing credits during a beautiful walk on the beach with Tarzan and C.J. the famous movie orangutan. I prefered this ending to the semi-nude wrestling romp that accompanies the closing credits on the DVD.Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By NoWireHangers on December 23, 2007
Format: DVD
John Derek's "Tarzan the Ape Man" is a strange movie. In Maltin's Movie Guide, Leonard Maltin says he almost felt he needed to devise a rating below "BOMB", his lowest rating, in order to rade "Tarzan the Ape Man".

So, is it really that bad? Not really. Is it good? Not really. Is it worth watching? Definitely.

First of all, the movie is not so much about Tarzan as about Jane, and her relationship with her estranged father, explorer James Parker. Great actor Richard Harris plays James Parker and Harris gives us some of the most hilarious overacting you'll likely to see in a long time. The drama part of the story, the relationship between Parker and Jane, is laughable, because the dialoge is so silly and because of Harris's absurd acting. Other examples of Harris's overacting is when, at night, they hear Tarzan yell in the distance, and Parker screams "Oh, shut up, you bo-oring sonuvabitch!"

Jane joins her father's expedition and before long, Jane meets Tarzan, when he saves her from a lion while she's taking a bath (one of several bathing scenes whose main purpose is to show Bo Derek with no clothes.

After a while Jane meets Tarzan again, after he saves her from a snake. He fights the snake in what may be one of the worst "action" scenes ever filmed, in slow motion and double exposure, so we don't see what happened. Anyway, Tarzan gets injured and Jane tries to nurse him back to consciousness with the help from an elephant and some chimps, while saying things like, "I've never touched a man before, but I like it. I like it very much". Later, Tarzan wakes up and she continues talking to him, even though he obviously doesn't understand English.
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