“Tarzan of the Apes” is a 1918 American silent film directed by Scott Sidney and starring Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, and True Boardman. It is based on the novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs and tells the story of Tarzan, a man who was raised by apes in the African jungle.
The film begins with a British couple, John and Alice Clayton, who are stranded in the jungle after their ship is attacked by pirates. They build a treehouse and give birth to a son before dying in a leopard attack. The baby is then adopted by a group of apes, who raise him as their own.
The boy, named Tarzan (Lincoln), grows up to be a strong and agile young man. He discovers the treehouse and the books inside, teaching himself to read and write. One day, Tarzan sees a group of humans, including Jane Porter (Markey), the daughter of an American professor, who have come to explore the jungle. Tarzan is intrigued by the humans, and he eventually saves Jane from a tribe of cannibals.
As Tarzan and Jane get to know each other, they fall in love, but their happiness is threatened by Tarzan’s rival, William Clayton (Boardman), who claims to be Tarzan’s cousin and heir to the Clayton estate in England. Clayton plans to take Jane back to England with him, but Tarzan will do everything in his power to keep her in the jungle with him.
The film features breathtaking jungle scenes, exciting action sequences, and groundbreaking special effects for the time. Elmo Lincoln’s portrayal of Tarzan set the standard for future film adaptations of the character. “Tarzan of the Apes” was a huge success upon its release and remains a classic of early cinema.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fred Miller, Lois Weber
Elmo Lincol, Enid Markey, True Boardman