Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle...
This documentary on the filming of Elmo Lincoln's 1916 Tarzan movie just premiered a couple of days ago and they are now releasing the DVD. Looks very interesting I think.
There's a nice, brief overview of the whole idea behind the documentary quoted below, which is from Shreveporttimes.com.
And more in depth info on making the documentary and DVD ordering info at the official website. http://www.tarzanlordlajungle.com/
Shreveport Time article...
The documentary was produced and directed by the father-daughter team, Al Bohl and Allison Bohl, and focused on the making of the 1918 silent movie in Morgan City.
"A number of years ago I was in south Louisiana having breakfast with a group of men. One of them mentioned that he was from Morgan City, and they had made the Tarzan movie there in 1917," Al Bohl said. "And then he said, 'you know, they brought in apes and monkeys for that, and they just left them behind when they were finished. So that just stuck with me for years, and I wondered if the apes were still there."
Bohl, a resident of Shreveport, began digging for information on the Internet and discovered that the man in south Louisiana was right. After the filming of "Tarzan of the Apes," the monkeys were left behind, and Bohl's fascination with the man raised by apes was born.
He isn't alone in his interest in Tarzan. Forty movies were spawned from the 1914 book, "Tarzan of the Apes," written by Edgar R. Burroughs. There also have been hundreds of Tarzan merchandise sold through the decades including tobacco, coffee, glue and gum ball machines. Bohl and his daughter spent four years interviewing scholars, biologists, fans and members of Burroughs' family. They acquired 70 hours of footage for the documentary and visited Morgan City several times.
According to Bohl, Morgan City was chosen as the location of the film for three reasons."They had jungle that resembled the description of Africa by Burroughs in his book, and the second reason is they needed a large population of African-Americans to play the natives. At that time, California was maybe 1-2 percent African-American," Bohl said. "The third thing is they needed a good rail system, and because of the cotton and sugarcane industry, they had a tremendous rail system here."
The movie had a significant impact on film and holds many industry "firsts," adds Bohl.
"It was one of the first to earn a million dollars at the box office. It was the first major motion picture shot on location in the United States," he said. "And it was the first film to use all African-Americans to portray Africans or people of color, so there's just a whole lot of things about this film that are very unique."
Another fact about the film: They killed a lion on set. But according to Bohl, the Humane Society didn't have any say in movies until 1940.
Jim Sullos, of Tarzana, Calif., is the president of Edgar R. Burroughs Inc. He said the reason Tarzan is such an iconic figure worldwide is because everyone can relate to him.
"He represents something that everybody worries about a little bit in their lifetime — survival against all odds," Sullos said. "His story is a lot of different stories but certainly one of survival."Article by Devon White