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Volume 3732

Eclectica Archive
Edgar Rice Burroughs

ECLECTICA v.2012.06

Eclectica Archive

Edgar Rice Burroughs Inducted into the San Fernando Valley Hall of Fame

Cathy Wilbanks | Dejah Burroughs | Linda Burroughs | Llana Jane Burroughs | Jim Sullos

Ray Bradbury 1920-2012
by John Stephen Walsh
To those who mourn, remember what Mr. Electro said. . .  Ray Bradbury caught me with "The Jar," and from there it was a lifelong friendship with an excited kid, his collections like Saturday afternoons in a cluttered attic talking about ghosts and time and playground bullies and racism and individuality and Mars, always Mars, and the mix of sadness and joy that accompanied growing up and saying goodbye to childhood. 

He believed we deserved our own, American fantasy that was not ashamed that it was loose and joyous and weird and did not bow to the musty respectability of European tradition--no depression, no moaning about the nothingness of it all. (Ray would have sent a dinosaur to chase Camus's stranger.) 

He used simple words and descriptions and even simpler characters to wonder about the big issues, focusing on images and moments that resonated: a spaceship rupturing, and the falling crew members inspire a child who makes a wish on a shooting star; an automated house gradually destroys itself; a man encounters a Martian on a lonely road at night, knowing he is speaking to a ghost...except the Martian thinks he is, too...and they're both right... 

Bradbury knew the power of the tonic that gave one the dreams to go on, spooked and excited by life. He was the bottler of our dreams and nightmares, and that is why Mr. Electro is not denied, years after making a pronouncement over young Ray. Through his works and the countless children he helped become readers, Ray will do as the man he met at the carnival decreed: "Live forever." 

~ Originally published at
(John Stephen Walsh is a writer whose new collection of horror stories, Love Has A Taste, is available at 
"I love to say it because it upsets everyone terribly - Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world. By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special. That's what we have to do for everyone, give the gift of life with our books. Say to a girl or boy at age ten: Hey, life is fun! Grow tall! I've talked to more biochemists and more astronomers and technologists in various fields, who, when they were ten years old, fell in love with John Carter and Tarzan and decided to become something romantic. Burroughs put us on the moon.”
—Ray Bradbury in “Listen To The Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews
My next madness happened in 1931, when Harold Foster’s first series of Sunday color panels based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Tarzan” appeared, and I simultaneously discovered, next door at my uncle Bion’s house, the “John Carter of Mars” books. I know that “The Martian Chronicles” would never have happened if Burroughs hadn’t had an impact on my life at that time.

I memorized all of “John Carter” and “Tarzan,” and sat on my grandparents’ front lawn repeating the stories to anyone who would sit and listen. I would go out to that lawn on summer nights and reach up to the red light of Mars and say, “Take me home!” I yearned to fly away and land there in the strange dusts that blew over dead-sea bottoms toward the ancient cities.
2012 quote in New Yorker

(As a kid, growing up mostly in Waukegan, Ill., young Ray fed on Poe and was so excited by Edgar Rice Burroughs, especially his John Carter of Mars novels, that he wrote a fan sequel to “Warlord of Mars” at the age of 12.)
Our full Ray Bradbury Tribute will appear in a later edition of ERBzine.
Ray Bradbury in 1923 in Green Town, Ill. 
"When I was born in 1920," he said in 2000, 
"the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist.
TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time 
to write about all of these things."
During the first Worldcon in New York City, fans took the opportunity 
to visit Coney Island where this foto-op took place:
Front: Mark Reinsberg, Jack Agnew, Ross Rocklynne
Top: V. Kidwell, Robert A. Madle, Erle Korshak, Ray Bradbury 
Coney Island, July 4, 1939 (Photo by Robert Madle)

August 15-18
Ongoing Updates at our Dum-Dum Webpage:

New from Brian Bohnett

A Princess of Mars - The Annotated Edition
- and New Tales of the Red Planet

Edgar Rice Burroughs (Author), Matthew Woodring Stover (Author), 
Daniel Keys Moran (Author),
Chuck Rosenthal (Author), Aaron Parrett (Author), Mark D'Anna (Author), 
Michael Kogge (Author),
Dan Parsons (Illustrator), Robert Zeuschner (Introduction)

For a hundred years, the Mars novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs offered readers their first glimpse of life on the red planet.

Now join Captain Carter on his maiden voyage to Mars in what is a fully annotated edition of the classic A Princess of Mars, with extensive notes prepared by noted Burroughs scholar Aaron Parrett. And thrill to all-new adventures written in tribute to the novel by Matthew Stover (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Caine's Law), Daniel Keys Moran (The A.I. War), Chuck Rosenthal (The Heart of Mars) and more!

Publication Date: April 24, 2012 
"Introduction" by Robert Zeuschner
“A Friend in Thark” by Matthew Stover: A “lost chapter” of A Princess of Mars about a friendship that will become legendary throughout Mars.
“Uncle Jack” by Daniel Keys Moran: A dying man on Mars receives a guest of the most unlikely sort.
“The Whites Apes of Iss” by Mark D'Anna: The untold story of the keeper of the atmosphere factory, and his fateful encounter with a mysterious visitor.
“Gentleman of Virginia” by Michael Kogge: A young Southerner's obsession with Mars leads him to volunteer for the Confederate Army.
“Zero Mars” by Aaron Parrett: Daring young Maizy Theta risks her freedom on Mars to save the life of Hypatia, a promising mathematician on Earth.
“An Island in the Moon” by Chuck Rosenthal: The greatest warlord of Mars returns home and discovers it has changed dramatically from the red planet he knew.
•  Illustrations by Dan Parsons

With a specially-prepared bibliography of Burroughs resources.

This book is not affiliated with, nor has been licensed, approved, or authorized by any entity of the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate or Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

Tarzan Centennial
by Scott Tracy Griffin  |
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Celebrating one hundred years of Tarzan, Titan Books presents the only official commemorative illustrated history of this worldwide phenomenon. To celebrate the Lord of the Jungle's 100th birthday, internationally-acclaimed Edgar Rice Burroughs expert Scott Tracy Griffin presents the ultimate review of a century of Tarzan. Lavishly illustrated and with fascinating insight into every element of Burroughs' extraordinary legacy - from his first writings to the latest stage musical - this is a visual treasure trove of classic comic strip, cover art, movie stills, and rare ephemera.

From the first publication of the smash hit Tarzan of the Apes, Burroughs' ape man captured the hearts and the imaginations of adults and children across the globe, whether by written word, moving image, comic strip or radio. Each of the 24 original novels and the many varied appearances on stage, screen and in print receive a detailed commentary, illustrated with some of the most evocative and beautiful artworks, illustrations and photographs, many rarely seen in print before.

With features on Korak, Jane, Tantor and Cheetah, plus their innumerable friends, foes and exotic adventures, this is an amazing collection of all things Tarzan and a vital addition to any Tarzan-lover's library.

($100, hardcover, black and white, 156 pages, 12” x 17”)
Available in stores September 2012.
Joe Kubert is one of the most lauded artists in the history of comics, a true living legend. He has been a vital creative force since the 1940s and remains so to this day. He has had defining runs on Hawkman, Enemy Ace, Tor, Sgt. Rock, and many others. Among his career highlights is Tarzan of the Apes, and Kubert’s rendition could arguably be called the definitive comic adaptation of the Ape-man.

“To have the Tarzan stories I drew commemorate the 100th anniversary of a strip I fell in love with as a kid is the thrill of a lifetime,” said Joe Kubert, writer and artist of all the stories in this Artist’s Edition.

This Artist’s Edition collects six complete Kubert Tarzan adventures, including the classic four-part origin story. Each page is vividly reproduced from the original art and presented as no comics readers have seen before. For fans of Kubert and Tarzan, this new entry in the Eisner-winning Artist’s Edition line must be seen to be believed!


Kellan Lutz confirmed to play Tarzan!
Twilight star Kellan Lutz swings into action for new Tarzan film! ~ May 31, 2012
Kellan Lutz, best known for his character Emmett Cullen in the Twilight films, 
has taken on the role of long-haired, tree-swinging hero, Tarzan. The 27-year-old actor is the new king of the jungle. 
The updated version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic is going to be an animated motion capture in 3D.
Submitted and Translated by Ron de Laat
(From Constantin, I received official press photos and a press article.)
Münich, June 5th  2012 – With so many charmes, enthusiastic and innovative filmtechnic, you can see the great enthusiasm at the nearly 80 German and international journalists : Hollywood has entered Bayern! Both American actors Kellan Lutz (Tarzan) and Spencer Locke (Jane) are already been together for some time in the 3000 m2 movie hall no 12 on the Bavaria Area for the remake of Tarzan.

Today, they stood together with Reinhard Klooss, responsible for screenwriting, directing and production, as well as producer Martin Moszkowicz to answer questions from the journalists. The dimensions of the world's largest motion Capture sets, where at the moment a film crew of approximately 150 people in Bavaria Film studios under high pressure are working on the most famous Jungle Lord of all time to create, with the latest CGI, a new, exciting life, brought a fascinating amazement to the present audience.

Accordingly, all attendees are looking forward for the the theatrical release planned for 2013, when Tarzan 3D - Inspired by the world famous adventure stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and edited by Constantin Film in collaboration with Ambient Entertainment for the modern time - as the animation adventure of all time, will conquer the movie screens.

Cast: Kellan Lutz (TWILIGHT SAGA, WAR OF THE GODS) as Tarzan, Spencer Locke (RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE) as Jane
Executive Producer: Martin Moszkowicz (Vorstand Film & Fernsehen bei Constantin Film, RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, DIE DREI MUSKETIERE, TÜRKISCH FÜR ANFÄNGER)
Script: Reinhard Klooss (URMEL VOLL IN FAHRT, KONFERENZ DER TIERE), Jessica Postigo, Yoni Brenner (ICE AGE)
A Constantin Film collaborated with Ambient Entertainment Produktion.
TARZAN will be promoted by FFA, FFF, nordmedia, BKM und DFFF.


Learn about Barsoom maps, Tharks and more with the iPad app Disney Second Screen: John Carter

View the (deleted) original opening scene from John Carter
And another one

John Carter of Mars Blu-Ray Review
Zadzooks Washington Times: John Carter review (Blu-ray)

Read Hundreds of John Carter of Mars Reviews at ERBzine's

Edgar Rice Burroughs Inducted
Into San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame
Los Angeles Daily News ~ May 31, 2012
Original bust of ERB used for a molds to make replicasFour Valley institutions and a famous late author get their Hall pass next Thursday night. They are the fifth class being inducted into the Valley Industry and Commerce Association's Business Hall of Fame. 

This year's class consists of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, Casa Vega restaurant, Valley College, Kaiser Permanente and Universal Studios, which turns 100 this year.

"The San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame is a special opportunity for VICA to celebrate the entities and individuals who have significantly contributed to the Valley's unique culture and economy," VICA Chair David Adelman said in a statement when the list was announced in April.

Update to our 
Over 250 Celebrities & Films 

and Surrounding Valley Communities
Well-known people who have lived in or near Tarzana in the San Fernando Valley.
Photos and Bios
Gallery I | Gallery II | Gallery III | Gallery IV
Gallery V: Films | Gallery VI | Gallery VII | Gallery VIII
Another Canadian Moves to the San Fernando Valley
Los Angeles Daily News ~ May 31, 2012

Justin Bieber buys a 6.5-million dollar home in Calabasas

Tarzan is headed for Hollywood?  ~ May 19, 2012
Georgian, De Wet du Toit's dream to travel to Hollywood and audition for the next Warner Brothers Tarzan film may just have been realised. A Johannesburg based film director Dominik von Eisenhart-Rothe of Katjusha Films offered to obtain a visa on his behalf, and to pay towards the cost of flying him to Hollywood to meet the producer Craig Bruwer.

Eisenhart-Rothe declared his interest in making a documentary on the 100th anniversary of the legendary Tarzan, in which De Wet's quest to be Tarzan in the next Hollywood movie will feature. "De Wet will be our story line." His interest was tickled after viewing DeWet starring as Tarzan in his own short movie on YouTube. Von Eisenhart-Rothe confirmed that his company would be filming the young Tarzan whilst making his second Tarzan movie in George. "We would follow him to California, hopefully coming face-to-face with Bruwer or a casting agent, and film the audition. Everything now depends on him obtaining a visa." More>>>

King of the jungle quest continues for beefy Dewet du Toit ~ May 30, 2012
The Garden Route’s own Tarzan is looking for his Jane, 
and planning a sequel to his ‘king of the jungle’ 
YouTube video (
that caused a worldwide media sensation 
DEWET du Toit, 24, said since posting his first YouTube video in March last year as part of an audition for Hollywood’s new Tarzan movie, he had been interviewed by media across the world, including the BBC and television stations in Germany and New Zealand. The video has attracted almost 300,000 hits. “I didn’t expect the publicity, but it’s been very good,” Du Toit said. Also, Johannesburg film director Dominik von Eisenhart-Rothe of Katjusha Films has approached Du Toit with the aim of filming a documentary on his quest to be the next king of the jungle.

“Katjusha Films is making a documentary about me and my plans. They are filming me over the next two months and will go with me to America to meet the Tarzan movie producers,” he said. The documentary will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Tarzan story and will include Du Toit’s attendance at the Tarzan Foundation’s centenary celebrations in California.

Du Toit said his second YouTube video would involve a more romantic storyline, featuring Jane. “The script is finished but I’m still looking for the perfect Jane. My plan is to convince Hollywood that I should be the next Tarzan way before the casting queue, which is why I’m doing a much better Tarzan film this time, with more dialogue, a storyline, Jane, and more muscle.”

Du Toit said the new film would be technically better because they were using better cameras. He said he had also taken to heart some of the criticisms of his first video and was “working on those aspects”. The second YouTube film will again be shot on the Garden Route. While the first film showed Du Toit in a loincloth running through the forest, climbing a waterfall, riding an elephant and grappling with a gorilla, the aspiring actor said the second version would be more realistic.

After sending his first YouTube skit to Beau Szumilas, the Hollywood agent who is screening wannabe Tarzans, Du Toit said he was invited to attend a six-month acting course to prepare him for auditions. “I will still have to do that while I’m in California,” he said.“I'm definitely not going to stop until I’ve reached my goal, which is to be the next Tarzan.” Garden Route Media

The Northern California Chapter of the Burroughs Bibliophiles
Rehearsals for September 2012 Tarzan Centennial
Sacramento Central Library 
Read the ERBzine Report on the NoCal Mangani

David Lemmo ~ Thomas Yeates ~ John Pappas
NCM members at the home of Rachael and David, rehearsing the musical portions of the upcoming Tarzan Centennial Events.
Thomas Yeates ~ John Pappas ~ Rachael Wenban ~ Paula Pappas ~ David Lemmo

Famed artist Yeates, and musician John Pappas are the real talents behind the three musical interludes that are part of the two days of Events in the  West Meeting Room (Sept 1, ERB’s birthday, and Sept 2). 
John Pappas is a musician, singer and producer of Greek folk music featuring the klarino, bouzouki and violin. 
There will be a Greek Tarzan song which John will perform with Thomas.

Rachael Wenban ~ Paula Pappas ~ John Pappas

Above: Thomas Yeates rehearsing the song which will open both days of the West Meeting Room events. David and John provide backup chorus and harmonizing, with the percussion and vocal improvisations of Rachael and Paula. NCM member Thomas Yeates is currently illustrating the comic-strip adventures of Prince Valiant, created by Hal Foster in 1937. NCM members David Lemmo and Rachael Wenban are authors of a book coming in 2013 from Angel City Press of Santa Monica: 
How Ancient Literature became Modern Mythology, 
and created an Ape-Man mecca in Southern California."
George T. McWhorter proofread and wrote an introduction, stating in a letter to David: 
“Joseph Campbell couldn’t have done better!"

Aristocrat's Tarzan(R) Lord of the Jungle(TM) Slot Jackpot 
Hits for $306,234.19 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino ~ May 16, 2012
LAS VEGAS, NV -- (Marketwire) -- 05/16/12 -- Aristocrat's Tarzan® Lord of the Jungle™ video slot game is one of the most frequently hitting slot games in North America, and now the game's top progressive jackpot has hit again, this time at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., for $306,234.19. 

Juan from Rosemead, Calif., was just in town for the day visiting Fantasy Springs Resort Casino when he sat down to play Tarzan Lord of the Jungle and hit the jackpot a short time later, to his "complete surprise!" He says he has no idea yet what he will do with all that money. This is the 12th time the top progressive jackpot has been hit on Tarzan Lord of the Jungle since the game was released last year. In fact, the jackpot was hit just last month, and the game has paid out more than $3.6 million in top jackpot awards since its release.

With performance like this, it's no wonder Tarzan Lord of the Jungle was voted best video slot and one of the best progressive slots in the "2011 Best of Southern California Gaming Reader's Choice Awards." Additionally, the independent Roth-Fantini Q4 2011 Slot Survey ranked the game as one of the top performing lease titles in the marketplace.

Tarzan Lord of the Jungle was certified as Aristocrat's best performing slot game in 2011, and now there are more than 1,500 units installed in casinos across North America. 

TARZAN® and TARZAN YELL® are registered trademarks of EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, INC. and Used by Permission. Lord of the Jungle™ owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and Used by Permission. © 2012 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Aristocrat's Tarzan(TM) Lord of the Jungle(TM) Slot Approved in Ontario Province
WDM Group PR Network 18 May 2012 WDM Group PR Network
LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - May 17, 2012) -  Aristocrat's Tarzan™ Lord of the Jungle™ video slot game has been a player favorite across the United States since it swung onto the scene last year. Now, the game has been approved in Ontario Province.

The independent Roth-Fantini Q4 2011 Slot Survey ranked Tarzan Lord of the Jungle as one of the top performing lease titles in the marketplace, and the game was voted best video slot and one of the best progressive slots in the "2011 Best of Southern California Gaming Reader's Choice Awards."

Since Tarzan Lord of the Jungle first appeared on casino floors, its top progressive jackpot has hit 12 times paying out more than $3.6 million in top jackpot awards. To date, more than 1,500 units have been placed across the United States, and it has been certified as Aristocrat's best performing slot game in 2011.

Tarzan Lord of the Jungle is a fast-paced penny video slot. The big screen style action stretches top to bottom on Aristocrat's incredible VERVE hd™ monitor, named one of the "Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Products" by Casino Journal magazine. The action extends right to players' fingertips thanks to Aristocrat's amazing Nteractiv™ LCD Programmable button technology.

Aristocrat Wins 11 Awards Including Best Video Slot in Southern California Gaming Guide Reader's Poll
Tarzan(R) Lord of the Jungle(TM) Wins Best Video Slot Award and Five Others
Market Watch ~ May 31, 2012
LAS VEGAS, NV, May 31, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Aristocrat won a landslide victory in the Southern California Gaming Guide "Best Slots 2012 Awards," winning top spots in eight categories and 11 awards overall, including Best Video Slot, Best Penny Slot, Luckiest Slot and Best Slot Innovation. Readers named Aristocrat's hugely popular Tarzan(R) Lord of the Jungle(TM) as the Best Video Slot, Best Penny Slot and Luckiest Slot. Tarzan Lord of the Jungle also was voted Best Video Slot Bonus Round, Best Slot Graphics and a top Progressive Slot.
Aristocrat's Tarzan(TM) Lord of the Jungle(TM) Slot Approved in Ontario Province
WDM Group PR Network 18 May 2012 WDM Group PR Network

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - May 17, 2012) -  Aristocrat's Tarzan™ Lord of the Jungle™ video slot game has been a player favorite across the United States since it swung onto the scene last year. Now, the game has been approved in Ontario, Canada.

See the ERBzine News Archive for more News on the Tarzan Slot
Tuacahn expansion
Tuacahn Center for the Performing Arts is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Southern Utah. And the facility - which bills its musicals as "Broadway in the Desert" - has found a sweet spot with audiences in the past few years by providing Disney productions such as "Tarzan," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Little Mermaid" along with another non-Disney productions.

Then, there are the concerts and other productions, such as the Halloween dance performance "Thriller." All told, Tuacahn estimates it turned away about 20,000 customers last year because there weren't enough seats. That's why Wednesday's announcement of a $2.6 million fund-raising effort to expand the amphitheater seating and add amenities is so exciting.

More on Tuacahn in ERBzine at


Unique Leather Art 
Created by Bob Hibbard for the Burroughs Bibliophiles Auction
2012 Tarzana Dum-Dum

See our Bob Hibbard ERBzine Feature
How to Make a Leather ECOF Badge 
By Bob "Waldo" Hibbard 

Burroughs Dum Dum at the 36th World Science Fiction Convention
(IguanaCon / Phoenix) in 1978.
From the Laurence Dunn Collection

The Latest Tarzan the Musical Show

Previous Shows:

Broadway 2006
Tarzan: The Musical
May 17 was a special day.
Not only is it the birthday of 
the best-known film Jane, Maureen O'Sullivan.
It is also marks the arrival of our new grand daughter:
Our little Jane will have 
the same birthday as her older brother, Soulin.
Her dad, Ja-On, reports that she weighs in at 6 lbs 0.4 oz and
has red hair and a powerful set of lungs.
Great to have another ERB fan and girl singer in the family : )

See more at our Louisiana Tarzan Festival coverage

Tarzan documentary shines light
on seminal moment in Louisiana film history
Times-Picayune ~ May 11, 2012,
All great stories start with a great myth, and the story behind the 1918 Louisiana-shot silent film "Tarzan of the Apes" has a whale of one. More precisely, there's a monkey of a myth behind it. And a lion of a myth, too. And one involving a room full of New Orleans Athletic Club gymnasts. Elmo Lincoln is Tarzan and Enid Markey is his Jane in a colorized lobby card for the 1918 silent film 'Tarzan of the Apes,' shot in Louisiana. It also holds a special place both in film history and Louisiana history, marking the first on-screen appearance of Edgar Rice Burroughs' feral-boy-turned-jungle-lord, as well as the birth of the state's film industry.

But that's all getting ahead of ourselves. First, that monkey myth, which captured the imagination of filmmaker Al Bohl and sparked a curiosity that would send him down a four-year path culminating in the arrival this weekend of the well-researched and hard-to-resist documentary "Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle." "Originally what excited me about it was when a guy told me about the film -- I was unaware of it -- and he said they left monkeys and apes behind," Bohl said, repeating an oft-told Morgan City legend. "That just stuck with me: Do we have apes and monkeys in Louisiana -- which wasn't unusual in Florida, where they shot the (Johnny) Weissmuller films?"

The quick answer, if you ask the right people in Morgan City, anyway, is that, yes -- or at least, we used to -- as the production reportedly set loose many of its simian co-stars following its nine-week local shoot in August and September 1917. But it's not the only intriguing question Bohl explores in his genial stroll through history. Did, for example, "Tarzan of the Apes" star Elmo Lincoln really kill a lion onscreen? (Lincoln long claimed he did, although -- despite corroborating reports -- some consider the idea to be his own bit of myth-building, disturbing though it would be to modern audiences.)

Also, did the movie mark the first time a Hollywood studio shot on location outside of the Los Angeles or New York areas? ("Probably," Bohl says.) And, most glaringly: "Why Morgan City?" Bohl asks. "That's what everybody seems to be interested in."

The original 1918 "Tarzan of the Apes" is venerated by Burroughs fans -- an aging but avid group -- for one key reason: It marked the first appearance on film of Tarzan. There are more famous versions, of course. Weissmuller, for example, is probably the most famous Tarzan. Ron Ely brought the character to the TV-watching masses in the late 1960s. And Disney's 1999 animated version won an Oscar for its music.

But first came the shoot in Morgan City, some 90 miles west of New Orleans. It's the story behind that shoot that Bohl reconstructs -- with help from his filmmaker daughter, Allison Bohl -- based on four years of research, including interviews with Tarzan experts, Louisiana film experts, and members of the Burroughs and Lincoln families.

Directed by Scott Sidney for the Hollywood-based National Film Corp. of America, "Tarzan of the Apes" starred the barrel-chested Lincoln as Burroughs' vine-swinging hero -- a touch more Neanderthal-looking than modern audiences are likely used to -- and Enid Markey as his Jane. Hitting theaters just six years after Tarzan first appeared in print in 1912, it would become one of Hollywood's first bona fide blockbusters, and one of the first six films in history to cross the $1 million threshold in ticket sales.

The production arrived in Louisiana with a rail car filled with film equipment and exotic animals, including monkeys, a few chimps and a lion. Setting up shop in the Costello Hotel, the production also had on the payroll some 20 gymnasts from the New Orleans Athletic Club, who donned goat-skin costumes to play Tarzan's adoptive "Mangani" family.

Shooting in such Morgan City locations as Avoca Island and Lake End Park, the film also would be noted for its use of hundreds of African-American extras, as the production eschewed the lingering practice of having white performers don blackface. Bohl notes, however, that the decision was more pragmatic than progressive. Most of the film's black actors -- male and female -- appear nude from the waist up, making blackface impractical. Also, in addition to being numerous, they came cheap.

In fact, it was the availability of so many black extras, combined with nearby rail access and the wealth of moss-draped vistas, that Bohl says drew the production to Louisiana.

As popular as it was in its day, only about 60 minutes of the original 210-minute film still exist, as unofficial edits began even as the film was still in its initial release. For instance, audiences found that the scenes set in England paled in comparison to the excitement of the jungle-set scenes -- so away they went. (An entire sequel, the less-popular "The Romance of Tarzan" is considered lost to the ages.)

That prompted the Bohls to re-edit the jumbled public-domain version of the film currently available, mostly for chronology. ("Act 3 was in the middle of Act 1. It really wasn't very enjoyable to watch," Bohl said.) In a masterstroke, they also commissioned Shreveport Symphony Orchestra conductor Kermit Poling to write a wonderful new musical score.
1215 tarzan of the apes.JPGElmo Lincoln mourns the death of his ape 'mother,' Kala, in 1918's 'Tarzan of the Apes,' which was shot in Morgan City.

"There are four versions out there besides ours," Bohl said. "There's one with no sound at all, one with piano music, one with organ music (and) one with ragtime music, public domain music, that didn't match at all."

Both films -- the original "Tarzan of the Apes" and Bohl's documentary, "Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle" -- will screen daily at the Chalmette Movies starting today (May 11) and continuing for the next week as part of a single-ticket double feature.

And although it comes nearly a century after the original "Tarzan of the Apes," Bohl -- who will attend the 7 p.m. showings today and Saturday (May 11 and 12) -- is confident that there are more than a few Tarzan fans willing to swing on by for the show.

"That's another thing that fascinated me is, that so many people have been interested in it over the years," Bohl said. "We didn't have a real problem finding books and sources and interviews. People are fascinated about the Tarzan myth around the world, but especially the first film."

For your one 'must see' movie this week, Mike Scott suggests that you head down to the Chalmette Theaters to see the documentary, 'Tarzan Lord of the Louisiana Jungle' about the first Tarzan movie ever, made in Morgan City.
What: The new documentary "Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle," about the 1918 Louisiana-shot silent film "Tarzan of the Apes." The documentary will be followed by a screening of the 60-minute silent film.
When: 2, 7 and 9:30 p.m. today through Tuesday (May 11-15; and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday (May 16-17).
Where: The Chalmette Movies, 8700 W. Judge Perez Drive.
Tickets: Ticket ($8.50-$6.50) are available at the theater box office.
More: Documentary filmmaker Al Bohl will participate in a post-screen discussion of the film after the 7 p.m. screenings today and Saturday (May 11 and 12).

Submitted by James O'Brien

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