I heard about this on the Pulped podcast and it sounds fantastic. The short version is that Al Bohl and his daughter Allison have created a documentary about the making of the first Tarzan movie, 1918’s silent Tarzan of the Apes starring Elmo Lincoln. Check out the trailer above or – if you have an hour – the podcast.
The documentary premieres April 13 in Morgan City, Louisiana where Tarzan of the Apes was shot. There’s a cool bit in the podcast where Bohl talks about a promise that the silent film’s creators made to show the film in Morgan City when it was completed. They never kept that promise, so Bohl is keeping it for them. In addition to the documentary (or maybe as part of it, I’m not entirely clear), Bohl has re-edited the surviving footage of Tarzan of the Apes to restore the film to as close to its original version as is possible. Apparently, as the film was re-released in theaters over the decades, it got spliced up and scenes were switched around, so Bohl has fixed that.
I emailed Bohl and asked about the DVD release date, and his reply was that it’ll be available shortly after the premiere in April. He’s working on a new website and will sell copies through that. In the meantime, the documentary’s Facebook page is a great way to get updates. Or you can stay tuned here, of course.