Title: Tarzan the Ape Man
Length: 100 minutes
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Writers: Cyril Hume & Ivor Novello; characters by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Starring: Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan, Neil Hamilton, C. Aubrey Smith
Music: stock music (I think)
Synopsis: on an African expedition, a woman is abducted by a wild man
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Story: Bad. Would have been okay, but we never do find out how or why Tarzan is in the jungle. Or where he got his knife.
Dialog: Bad. Fortunately, a lot of it is difficult to hear.
Special effects/design: Bad. Mostly terrible, but I’ve got to give some credit for The Yell.
Acting: Indifferent. The actors seem good in general, but they might have benefited from a second take here and there.
Music: Bad. The music that plays over the credits is absolutely wonderful. But apart from that and a few seconds of Tchaikovsky at the very end, there’s no music. And it badly needs music.
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay). It has moments of greatness. An action scene or two are actually somewhat exciting. But it’s very slow, and the quality of the film-making is bad even by early 1930s standards.
Objective Rating: 1.6/4 (Eh).