Blu-ray Review “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes”

Actors: Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm, Christopher Lambert, Andie MacDowell
Directors: Hugh Hudson
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Bros.
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Run Time: 137 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” might not be considered the most popular portrayal of Tarzan but has always been one of my favorites. It is far for the worst, has anyone ever seen “Tarzan and the Lost City” back in 1998. Christopher Lambert aka Connor MacLeod from “Highlander”. took on the lead role in the film and does a great job. This version on the Blu-ray is the same extended version of the film which is roughly six minutes longer than the theatrical cut. This production is quite lavish and very beautifully shot.  It also focuses on the character’s dual nature as King of the jungle and as John Clayton, seventh Earl of Greystoke, heir to one of Scotland’s great estates. So I liked that angle of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story being explored within the film. If you have never seen this film, this would be the way to watch it for sure.

Official Premise: Hugh Hudson’s refreshingly adult revisionist take on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ immortal apeman arrives on Blu-ray like a blast of warm rain forest air. Robert Towne’s script (writing as P.H. Vazak) hews close to Burroughs’ origin as found in Tarzan of the Apes by way of modern anthropology. The second half may thread in some movie mythos (like Jane as English gentry) but plays out its savage vs. civilization theme. Gorgeously shot by John Alcott (The Shining, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?), Greystoke also boasts an acting pedigree worthy of Burke’s peerage, including Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm , David Suchet, James Fox, and Nigel Davenport with Andie MacDowell and Glenn Close handling Jane physicality and vocality respectively. But the film belongs to Lambert’s heart-wide open performance as Tarzan and Rick Baker’s amazing simian simulations.

Thanks for Warner Archive for giving this film some love to this.  This film has never looked better on this Blu-ray.  Warner Archive has been slowly crossing over into the world of Blu-ray with these classics and this one really benefited from the format. This Blu-ray was set to be released numerous times but was held back in order to perfect the transfer and damn, did it make a difference. The 1080p transfer looks stunning and it has been taken from impressive sources that have been restored with a very close eye to attention.  The film was originally with Dolby Stereo on 35mm and even had a 70mm release with 6-track sound and this film sounds amazing on Blu-ray with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. It works very well with the action and jungle scenes.  The special features are not jam-packed but still work checking out.  There is a fine commentary track with Director Hugh Hudson and Line Producer Garth Thomas, which is quite detailed and thorough.  Lastly there is a trailer included.


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