Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959 film)

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Tarzan, the Ape Man
Tarzan the Ape Man (1959 film).jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Joseph M. Newman
Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs (character)
Robert Hill (screenplay)
Starring Denny Miller
Cesare Danova
Joanna Barnes
Robert Douglas
Music by Shorty Rogers
Cinematography Paul C. Vogel
Edited by Gene Ruggiero
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 1959 (1959)
Running time
82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $689,000[1]
Box office $1,710,000[1]

Tarzan, the Ape Man is a 1959 action adventure film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer starring Denny Miller as Tarzan, Joanna Barnes as Jane, Cesare Danova, and Robert Douglas. The movie is loosely based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel Tarzan of the Apes, and is a remake of the classic 1932 film of the same name. The movie was directed by Joseph M. Newman, and the score was composed by jazz musician Shorty Rogers. MGM would release another remake of the film in 1981.

A fair amount of footage was taken directly from the 1932 version rather than being reshot, including scenes of Tarzan swinging on vines and the elephants' destruction of a pygmy village. A scene of Tarzan fighting a crocodile was reused from Tarzan and His Mate, the sequel to the 1932 film. Other footage was reused from King Solomon's Mines. Tarzan's distinctive call was also taken from the original version. The "African"" elephants in some scenes are clearly Indian ones with some sort of canvas "ears" added, and with the characteristic double humps on the forehead all too obvious. The "jungle" vegetation, from three different continents, and the clumsy back-projection in the "underwater" scenes make it a treat for lovers of the ludicrous.


The plot of the film reprises that of the 1932 version, with James Parker (Douglas) Harry Holt (Danova) and Parker's daughter Jane (Barnes) on an expedition in Africa in which they encounter Tarzan, a wild man raised by apes. Various adventures ensue.


Box Office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $660,000 in the US and Canada and $1,050,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $92,000.[1]

Musical score and soundtrack[edit]

Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan
Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan.jpg
Soundtrack album by Shorty Rogers
Released 1960
Recorded November 1959
Hollywood, California
Genre Film score
Label MGM
E/SE 3798
Producer Jesse Kaye
Shorty Rogers chronology
The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs
(1959)The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs1959
Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan
The Swingin' Nutcracker
(1960)The Swingin' Nutcracker1960

The film score was composed, arranged and conducted by Shorty Rogers and the soundtrack album was released on the MGM label in 1960 as Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]

The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow says "Although there are many short solos, the emphasis is on the dense and frequently exciting ensembles. The music, which is heard here in full-length form (unlike in the movie, where it is often buried behind the action), sounds quite self-sufficient apart from the action".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Shorty Rogers

  1. "The Elephant Walk" - 3:25
  2. "Les Barbaros" - 1:40
  3. "Paradise Found" - 3:05
  4. "Trapped" - 1:55
  5. "Los Pronitivos" - 2:14
  6. "Oomgawa" - 3:15
  7. "Tarzanic Suite" - 17:34



  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ MGM Album Discography Part 5: E-3601 to E-3800 (1957-1960) accessed October 3, 2016
  3. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved October 3, 2016.

External links[edit]