Tarzan Revisited (2017)

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Released 3-Jan-2018

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 76:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Robert de Young

Umbrella Entertainment

Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Kara Grainger

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Tarzan of the Apes, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in print in 1912; he has seldom been out of public consciousness, print media, films and television ever since. This documentary, directed by Robert de Young and produced by Foxtel here in Australia, charts the origins and evolution of the character, and indeed the character of his mate Jane, from 1912, through the first black and white silent film in 1918, the first talkie in 1932, films, TV, novels and comics, until 2016 when the latest Tarzan film was released.

     The documentary utilises clips from a large number of the Tarzan films, including that very first film, and it is fascinating to see that the character was portrayed in early films as more a body-building type than the sleek, athletic type that evolved from the casting of Olympic gold medal swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller, whose paring with Maureen O’Sullivan is still considered one of the best in the Tarzan films. A number of actors who have played Tarzan, including Christopher Lambert, Casper Van Diem, Ron Ely, Denny Miller and Wolf Larson, talk about Tarzan’s character traits, and there is archive footage of Johnny Weissmuller explaining that he stopped being scared of crocodiles when he realised that he could out swim them! In addition, film historians, directors David Yates and Hugh Hudson, a graphic artist and a Dark Horse Comics person provide insights, anecdotes and information about Burroughs, how the merchandising associated with Tarzan was one of the first such tie-ins (we all know of Tarzan’s Grip, for example), problems with the code (after all Tarzan and Jane were unmarried!) and how the phrase “Me Tarzan, You Jane” did not actually occur in the 1932 talkie!

     The film clips make this a fun documentary although some of the claims made by interviewees about why Tarzan remains relevant draw a longish bow. Nevertheless, it is true to say that from the first Tarzan was a product of his times, initially the fascination in America for “darkest Africa” and adventure to replace the disappeared American frontier. Indeed, his continuing popularity from then until now can be seen to be a result of his character remaining relevant, evolving as attitudes towards nature, colonialism, morality and indeed notions of masculinity changed. One can argue that themes around the destruction of the environment and the purity of nature are embedded in many of the Tarzan films and so are as relevant today as ever.

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Transfer Quality


     Tarzan Revisited is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1; film clips are shown in their original ratios varying from 4x3 to 2:35.1. Tarzan Revisited is PAL, Region free and 16x9 enhanced.

     Not surprisingly, the clips from Tarzan films that are up to 100 years old vary considerably in look with a range of marks and artefacts, which adds to the charm. The clips from more recent films and the interviews are sharp, detailed and with natural colours.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 at 320 Kbps.

     The audio is surround encoded but other than music and some jungle sounds everything is from the front. The interviews and comments are easy to hear and understand.

     The original music by Kara Grainger was suitable for the film.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There is no menu and no extras. The DVD starts with the programme.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This Australian Region All release is the only one currently available.


     Tarzan remains a cultural icon who has seldom been absent from print or screen since his first appearance in 1912. Tarzan Revisited charts his evolution over 100 years; some of the insights and arguments about his relevance may be somewhat far-fetched, but the excerpts from the films though the years are fascinating.

     The video and audio are fine. No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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