Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes

6.42 h 16 min1984X-RayPG
Hugh Hudson directs this lavish adaption highlighting the character'sdual nature as master of the African jungle and as John Clayton, seventhEarl of Greystoke.
Hugh Hudson
Ralph RichardsonIan HolmJames Fox
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Christopher LambertAndie MacDowellCheryl CampbellIan CharlesonNigel DavenportNicholas FarrellPaul GeoffreyRichard GriffithsHilton McRaeDavid Suchet
Stanley S. CanterHugh Hudson
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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4.6 out of 5 stars

2517 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Donald L. LeonardReviewed in the United States on June 4, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is THE Tarzan film, but read the books!
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As many reviewers have said, this is not just the best Tarzan film ever made. It's the only really excellent Tarzan film ever made. However, for those who, like me, grew up reading the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, this film lacks the strong fantasy element that made the books so satisfying to me as a child, and even into adulthood. The Tarzan of the novels was not the troubled adult of the film, who believed the ape cruelly shot down in England was his father, and who fled civilization to return to his ape tribe in Africa at the film's conclusion. The last we see of him in the film is his disappearance into the jungle, presumably to revert to they ways of his savage childhood. In the many novels of Burroughs, Tarzan successfully blends his worlds, living a long life in Africa at home both with the savage animal world, but also at the same time remaining a British Lord managing extensive estates in Africa with his wife, the former Jane Porter, who was born and raised in the U.S. In all, Burroughs published 24 Tarzan novels, most of them wonderful adventures. Anyone who enjoys fantasy adventure stories will likely love these books.
37 people found this helpful
Steve_MReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Still one of the best versions of Tarzan.
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I remember liking this back when it came out and hadn't seen it for a really long time, so I decided to get the Blu-ray.

I think it still holds up really well. The cinematography is great and really provides fantastic views of both the African jungle and Scottish estate.

What's really impressive is the ape portrayals. They are people in suits, but the details and mechanics incorporated into those suits is unmatched even today. Rick Baker strikes again. This should have won the Oscar for makeup, but didn't. The actors in suits did great Ape performances as well. The Ape species is supposed to be fictitious, but they're clearly modeled after Chimpanzees more than any other species.

Story is good too. From what I've heard, this is the closest adaptation to the original Tarzan novel by Burroughs. It follows the circumstances of the child being adopted by an Ape mother, his development, discovery and his reintroduction into society. It's different from the other versions in that Jane doesn't meet Tarzan in the jungle and, in fact, we never hear the name "Tarzan" mentioned once throughout the entire film. Still, it's a story that's captivating and worth watching.

Blu-ray is good. Really good picture and sound and even restored the Overture music sequence at the beginning. As with just about all Warner Archive releases, it's a pretty bare bones release, but surprisingly there is a feature commentary provided.

I strongly suggest that anyone who considers themselves a fan of Tarzan should get this film. Today's films rely so heavily on CGI and massive battle sequences that we can forget that these stories can be told more simply and still be captivating.

Well worth it.
2 people found this helpful
JeffreyReviewed in the United States on June 12, 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
Problems with the apes . . .
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I of course love Edgar Rice Burroughs' original book, and this retains enough elements of it to make the narrative work. The scenery and ambience are wonderful too--from the wild forest in West Africa to the long shots of Great Houses in the UK, to the cool cameo by a period steam-powered buzz saw.. But there are two drawbacks, one minor, one more serious. The minor problem is the sound recording levels. I don't know how the original sounded in a real theater, but streaming it at home, I had to sit on the volume control. In some scenes you need nearly full volume to understand the dialogue; in others you need to turn it way down or have your eardrums blown out by pant-hoots from the chimps. And speaking of chimps, using human actors just doesn't work if the viewer has any knowledge of how real apes climb and move. Roger Fouts, the "primate advisor," is one of the world's greatest experts on ape ethology, and it's clear that he gave them really good direction. Chimps really do hug one another when scared, and they kiss, fight, and even kill each other too. But the human actors just couldn't possibly climb a tree with anything like the agility of a real chimp, nor are the real guys so slow and awkward, even on the ground. This isn't the actors' fault; an adult male chimp enjoys around seven times the strength of a human man. So, if you can suspend your disbelief on the sub-standard movement science, and if you don't mind hovering your mouse over the volume control throughout the whole thing, you'll enjoy the rest of the movie. I've read that a great deal of film was cut from the final version, so a new edition with the cut scenes restored might make it more entertaining.
14 people found this helpful
Patrick ScullyReviewed in the United States on August 20, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite Tarzan Movie! Christopher Lambert was the best Tarzan!
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For those of you who like this movie, but are a little disappointed by or board with the second half, remember. This is not the whole Tarzan Story; it's basically the 'Origin of Tarzan'. It explains how Tarzan, grandson of the Scottish Earl of Greystoke (Lord Clayton), was born to parents who were shipwrecked and died in Africa. He was then adopted and raised by apes. He returns to Scotland for a while after rescuing and befriending a member of a botched safari expedition who teaches him to speak and to accept the fact that he's human. In Scotland he meets his Grandfather who welcomes him with open arms. He then learns to speak better English (and French, taught by Jane), becomes somewhat civilized, and eventually returns to the jungle to live with his fellow apes. That's how young Lord Clayton became 'Tarzan' although he is never addressed by that name throughout the whole film.

I am satisfied with the Blu-Ray transfer. The picture and colors look much like they did in theaters three decades ago as well as the fact that there is visible film grain. The sound is also excellent! I'm glad I finally own a really good copy of this movie!
10 people found this helpful
traveler2Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best Tarzan, EVER . . .
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Just how many Tarzans can you stomach ? There are so many. If I had to chose just one, This version is it! There are so many overt caricatures that I yearned for something more realistic.
Christopher Lambert's portrayal is perfect. No overacting here. The story is alive and genuine.
I noticed that, because of my personal overexposure to the character, in general, that I was left feeling that something was missing. There wasn't. I was lacking in objectivity.
The film was beautifully done, and I have since found that my feeling came from the fact that I wanted more from THIS portrayal. Alas, Too many years have passed for that.
This version stands well above the rest.
M. MacLeodReviewed in the United States on September 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best Tarzan movie.
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Greystoke is possibly the most epic Tarzan movie ever made. It's not your typical action/adventure film. Instead it gives you a person who's stuck between two worlds...and how he struggles to live in either of them.

To say thee's pathos in this film is an understatement. It's not much of a downer (Legends of the Fall) but those who know the movie can sympathize with John/Tarzan and his struggles.

I love this film. It's a good take on ERB's novels and well worth the watch.
RoryReviewed in the United States on July 22, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best retelling of the "Tarzan" story
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If reading the ORIGINAL story teaches you anything, it's that Disney loves to ruin things. I originally watched this when I was very young and only saw pieces of it, but since I was only 9 or so at the time, I thought it was a very strange movie. I liked the Disney version growing up, and with another release of the Tarzan story I decided to finally read the book. To quell my thirst for more, I bought this movie and watched it as an adult, and I'm surprised that it still looks amazing to me. (My only complaint was the black panther's body... it looked like a tiny stuffed animal compared to a real one... but that is only a small scene in the movie.) I can honestly say that this is the best adaptation of the original ERB story, but it actually removed some of the things I had an issue with in the book. I don't doubt that someone can learn some English writing from picture books and other similar things, but to be able to form sentences and have full conversations is unlikely. They don't have the apes speaking English when English-speaking people aren't around, and he does not name himself as Tarzan, nor is the name Tarzan ever mentioned throughout the movie. Also, the writer of this movie must have done a lot of research into the study of feral children because they often relapse back into their "wild" selves, especially when under stress.
To sum it up, I love it to pieces, I highly recommend it, and I will definitely watch it again.
9 people found this helpful
HumbiReviewed in the United States on April 20, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
GREYSTOKE is the definitiveTarzan!
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Having owned the DVD since its release, and anxiously awaiting the Blu-ray with a street date of April 26, 2013, this is still the best Tarzan movie up to today!. The majestic cinematography and musical score are a magnificent backdrop to a very emotional retelling of the story. The cast is terrific, and very believable in their roles. If you care a little bit about our relationships as humans to the other animal species, and if you have ever loved a pet, you will have at least one tear in your eyes before the end credits begin to roll. I love this movie, and I recommend it highly.

Well, the Blu-ray release is a limited release by the Warner Brothers Archive collection, and apparently, there are not many copies around!. So if you love this movie like I do, hurry, before it becomes a collector's item selling for over $100 on e-bay! So I finally received my copy directly from Warners (3 months later than anticipated), and another from a third party with Amazon, because apparently it is temporarily out of stock in the Amazon warehouses. The film is indeed the extended version (137 minutes) with an Overture, and a prologue, before the main titles. The transfer from film to Blu-ray in PANAVISION is breathtaking, and the 5.1 DTS soundtrack is sensational. Not many special features: just the commentary by the director and the standard definition trailer. What happened there Warners?, the previous Blu-ray Archive releases like GYPSY, DEATHTRAP, etc had the trailers remastered in HD. I figured, a relativily newer film, would be easier to have the trailer in good shape to master in 1080p. In any case THANK YOU Warner Archives, for making this jewel of a movie available to us. It is hard to believe it did not warrant a general commercial release for it's 30th anniversary. It is still great to watch after 3 decades. I strongly recommend this film, especially in HD!
7 people found this helpful
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