Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm, James Fox, Christopher Lambert, Andie MacDowell, Cheryl Campbell, Ian Charleson, Nigel Davenport, Nicholas Farrell, Paul Geoffrey, Richard Griffiths, Hilton McRae, David Suchet, Ravinder, John Wells
Written by: P.H. Vazak (Robert Towne), Michael Austin, based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Directed by: Hugh Hudson
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 135
Date: 03/30/1984

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Adding ZZZZ's to Tarzan

Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by prestige man Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) was an attempt to bring Tarzan out of mere entertainments and give him art-house status. But the finished film is so completely mangled that it's almost as silly as the Bo Derek version, made three years earlier. Moreover, it can't even touch the Johnny Weissmuller films. It spends far too much time watching young Tarzan grow up among the apes (designed by Rick Baker) and never seems to get going.

Star Christopher Lambert went on to play in an increasingly silly series of "B" pictures and straight-to-video films. Andie MacDowell's southern accent was dubbed over by Glenn Close, and writer Robert Towne took his name off the project, using the pseudonym P.H. Vazak (his dog's name). Even so, the film received a couple of Oscar nominations -- including one for Towne's dog and a posthumous one for the late Ralph Richardson in his last role.

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