small brush shouldn't fuck with big timber

Death's Door, the view from the Spanish announcers table: Tarzan the ape man

Monday, July 31

Tarzan the ape man

Last night whilst sitting on the couch flipping thru the channels before bed I hit on the 1932 movie “Tarzan the ape man” featuring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O.Sullivan. You know when I was a kid my parents presented me with a hardbound set of all the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and instantly I was hooked.

If you’ve never had the chance, reading Burroughs’s original Tarzan is the kind of experience that’s difficult to describe. The language of his books and the way they flowed brought everything to life in such a way that it seemed almost magic or uncanny. Anyway so it goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of Burroughs and the Lord of the jungle. So I’m watching this movie made in 1932 and here’s some observations.

• For a movie made in 1932 about a crazed white man living in the jungles of darkest Africa, the storyline treated the “local denizen’s of the jungle” (see black folk) with somewhat more respect then most movies of that era.

• I wasn’t aware there was a scene where Tarzan attempted to rape Jane, although I thought it was well played out by Tarzan and Jane. Shit it made sense to me.

• Every time Cheetah was in a scene with Jane he tried to get on her and you could clearly see Weissmuller and O’Sullivan trying to calm the hairy muthafucker down.

• It was fun seeing the stock footage for what it was compared to the footage filmed in the studio back lot.

• The more Jane got slapped around, swung thru the trees, wet, sucked on by the beasts of the jungle, and wrestled with Tarzan, the more her clothes fell off.

• For a woman of the thirties, Maureen O'Sullivan was pretty fuckin hot, even by today’s standards.

• It was also very cool comparing the “PC” factor of the movie to the stupid standards of today.

• I still get a kick from watching Tarzan fighting lions and shit. It was almost like he had a hard-on against lions the way he went after em.

• And every time I watch a Tarzan movie I can’t help but think of Richard Pryor and what he said about his visit to Africa. “It stank like a muthafucker”.

"and the monkey flipped the switch"


Blogger The Beltway B@stard said...

I lived for these movies as kid on Saturday mornings. You just put them in a whole new light for me - in a good way.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

What about the PC standards of today versus 1932? I mean, if you have the time, I'd be curious.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Bella said...

That was great! I have never seen Tarzan and now you've made me want to see it.

I guess Tarzan was the shit.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

The Tarzan movies were OK.

But remember when he got too old and fat to wear The Loin Cloth and they started casting him in "Jungle Jim" movies so he could cover his bulk in a khaki bush jacket?

That was just sad. That's where the term for the playground equipment "Jungle Gym" came from. Pitiful.

Little known fact...Cheetah later went to court (well, his handler did), and had his name legally changed to "Ham" (because he was always "hamming" it up in front of the camera).

He was later recruited by NASA (becuase of his celebrity) and became the first primate in space, testing Mercury capsules.

He died not too long ago at Holloman AFB in NM on a government pension of banana's and hot-jungle-monkey-sex.

I swear to God every word is true.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Death said...

Cheeta became the longest lived known chimpanzee upon reaching the age 64 in 1996. Cheeta is still alive at the age of 74, living at the primate sanctuary called Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes - or CHEETA in Palm Springs, California.

He is cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest primate (presumably meaning oldest non-human primate). Note that there is some confusion regarding his birthday; he was born April 9, 1932, most of the same sources imply that his first movie was Tarzan the Ape Man, which was released on March 25, 1932. In fact, the role of Cheeta is one of at least two chimpanzees, the first of whom appeared in the first two Weismuller Tarzans.

The chimpanzee who is the subject of this article, however, appeared in an uncredited role as a young chimpanzee in 1934's Tarzan and His Mate, then played the role of Cheeta in the other Weismuller Tarzans that followed.

In retirement Cheeta watches television and makes paintings which are sold to benefit primate-related charities. He often watches his old films with his grandson, Jiggs.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

I shoulda known better than to come in here and start making shit up. SMACK!!

3:07 PM  

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