in about 100 words or less
US 73m, B&W, Silent
Director: Scott Sidney; Cast: Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, George B. French, Gordon Griffith
As the first screen adaptation of the 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name, this 1918 production is a surprisingly entertaining film for the time. As the ultimate white “noble savage” who was uncorrupted by civilization, both Griffith and Lincoln bring playfulness to the role of Tarzan, which has served as a model for many films that followed. At 130 minutes in length, the film originally included a background story that explained why Tarzan’s parents went to Africa. Though this footage probably lent itself toward building melodrama, the surviving version was trimmed to speed up the story and to get to the jungle action (Klaus Ming January 2016).