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Greystoke (1984), Brief Details and Film Review

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Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes is based on the story Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and stars Ralph Richardson as the Sixth Earl of Greystoke, Ian Holme as Capitaine Phillipe Darnot, James Fox as Lord Esker, and Christopher Lambert as John Clayton, Tarzan Lord of the Apes. Andie MacDowell supports as Miss Jane Porter. The film score was composed and conducted by John Scott and performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lord John Clayton, known as Jack Clayton, and Lady Alice Clayton set off from Scotland for a year in the Tropics but are shipwrecked somewhere off the coast of Africa in October 1885. They both survive together with Captain Billings, played by Richard Griffiths. Captain Billings sets off to find help and after waiting two months and hearing nothing the Claytons have to assume that he never made it and that they are stuck there in an unfamiliar jungle land surrounded by apes. They build a tree house and Alice gives birth to a son. The birth is difficult and Alice is soon stuck down with malaria and dies shortly afterwards. Two apes then enter the tree house and kill Jack and take the infant away. The apes care for the baby and adopt him into their family. As time passes the child learns to communicate with the apes and learns many of their ways including swinging through the trees. More years pass and the child grows into a young man still living with the apes.

Eventually the young man is discovered by a small expedition travelling the rivers of West Africa while hunting and working for the British Museum. During a shooting trip in the jungle they stumble across the old tree house. While looking around inside the ruins they are stunned to discover the diary of John Clayton, the Earl of Greystoke's son. After the discovery the expedition is attacked by a local tribe but some of the party manage to escape. One wounded man, Capitaine Phillipe Darnot, was left behind and was still being hunted by the tribesmen when he was found and rescued by the young man. The Capitaine takes it upon himself to return the descendant of the Earl of Greystoke back to Victorian England and civilisation.

The film is set in Equatorial West Africa and Scotland, and is faithful to the Edgar Rice Burroughs story. It is a spectacular movie with a very good performance by Sir Ralph Richardson and the other cast members. The lush and exotic jungle scenes are beautifully filmed and the primate sequences are convincing and realistic.

Film and Movie Information

Greystoke was released by Warner Bros. in 1984 and was directed by Hugh Hudson. The prncipal stars were Christopher Lambert, Ralph Richardson and James Fox. The movie was filmed in Eastmancolor, in Cameroon, Africa, and Woodstock, UK.

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