Tarzan of the Apes Movies & Media Adaptations

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Tarzan's extraordinary popularity derives as much from his appearances in media other than Burroughs's books.

Nearly fifty authorized Tarzan movies have appeared, with some twenty actors portraying the ape-man, beginning with Elmo Lincoln in the 1918 silent classic, one of the first films to gross over a million dollars. The twelve movies from 1932 to 1948 starring Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller and, originally, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, became the most popular. Burroughs disliked the films, primarily because of the portrayal of the ape-man as semiarticulate and uncultured, but the Weissmuller image has continued to dominate the public perception. Burroughs mocked the films in Tarzan and the Lion Man, and, later, in Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion": when Col. John Clayton reveals his famous identity to the R.A.F. crew with whom he has been serving, the incredulous gunner from Chicago comments, "Is dat Johnny Weis[s]muller?" Burroughs was more fortunate...

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This section contains 558 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Tarzan of the Apes Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Tarzan of the Apes from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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