Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

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linquist

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Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 7:19 pm

The above title is a questionable piece of trivia that I have a fairly hard time believing and I can not find where this information came from. I found it on the AFI website tonight. AFI said that, at the time, there was no credit given for writing TARZAN OF THE APES (1918) but it was believed to have been William Wing. AFI then goes on to state that "modern sources" attribute the films script to Lois Weber and Fred MIller.
The Lois Weber books I found in Google Books did not refer to Lois writing TARZAN but a number of "other" modern books do mention it. Most of them seem to be from small presses but there is one from the University of North Carolina that also refers to Weber as the writer of the scenario. Lantern makes no reference to it, either.
This may be a post Thanksgiving errand to myself, but if anyone knows anything about this, I'd love to know. Thanks.
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Big Silent Fan

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 11:56 am

linquist wrote:The above title is a questionable piece of trivia that I have a fairly hard time believing and I can not find where this information came from.


I had a hard time too, but looking again at the writing credits, IMDB credits Fred Miller and Lois Weber as the script writers. Lots happened in the early days of production.
For example, the Tarzan seen swinging in the vines wasn't Elmo Lincoln, but an actor who, when War was declared, abandoned the role without notice and entered the Armed Forces.
From the Elmo Lincoln Bio:
He got the role in "Tarzan of the Apes" when, a few days after production began, World War I broke out and the man originally contracted to play Tarzan (Stellan Windrow), a Naval Reserve officer, was recalled to active duty.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0511104/bio
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missdupont

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 4:20 pm

The person to ask for factual information would be professor Shelley Stamp, who recently wrote Weber's biography from archival resources. I would trust her over anything that is just sourced over the internet or gossip.
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linquist

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSat Nov 25, 2017 9:21 pm

"The person to ask for factual information would be professor Shelley Stamp.."

I checked and it was Ms. Stamp's book that I had checked. She said nothing about it and I tend to agree. I think some kind of wild rumor has been started and people are spreading it without bothering to check it out. If the opportunity arises, I'll contact her.
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FrankFay

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSun Nov 26, 2017 6:35 pm

It wasn't at all unusual for a script to pass through several hands
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almcmahan

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSun Dec 03, 2017 1:12 pm

Weber is credited in the films credits on this restored version:
http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi3881542169
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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSun Dec 03, 2017 2:20 pm

almcmahan wrote:Weber is credited in the films credits on this restored version:
http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi3881542169" target="_blank" target="_blank


Thanks for the link! I've never seen or heard a better version than this.

Coincidentally, I wished for a better copy of "Tarzan of the Apes" as my Christmas wish in the annual contest.
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linquist

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostSun Dec 03, 2017 5:50 pm

So the newly restored version is giving credit to Lois Weber and Fred MIller for adaptation. It seems that people are taking this to be true. I didn't think she had the time but, maybe, she did.
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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 7:34 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:
Coincidentally, I wished for a better copy of "Tarzan of the Apes" as my Christmas wish in the annual contest.


Christmas certainly has come early for me. Perhaps it's not a stunning image but considering the film, it's likely close to the original quality, giving me an opportunity to see things missed before. One nice surprise I never noticed before; I saw Tarzan kiss the unconscious Jane. That was special.
The music was well done, a nice change from all the different scores I've heard.

I no longer need wish for a better version of "Tarzan of the Apes."
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 8:54 am

This would have had to happen right as she was going from Universal to her own production company. It's not impossible that she needed some cash on the side right then, but I'd sure like to see the slightest evidence that she ever even met the guys at the production company that made this film.

I suspect, in the absence of any other evidence, that there's a feedback loop here. Remember the supposed John Wayne guy (too old to my eye, but never mind) in a production still from What Price Glory? Say someone added Wayne to the Imdb credits based on that photo. Then someone investigating the photo sees that listing-- and uses it as proof that Wayne was in What Price Glory?, so it must be him in the photo! I suspect that's roughly what's happening here.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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linquist

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Re: Lois Weber wrote TARZAN OF THE APES (1918)?

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 11:01 am

Mike, I believe you are probably right. Nothing else makes sense. Sorry to beat this to death but this is what i found.
Tarzan was produced by Smiling Bill Parsons for his fly by night production company National Film.
William Wing was hired in very early 1917 to write the story and then supervise the scenario.
An ad was run for a director and a lead actor in the spring of 1917. Parsons hired Scott Sidney as director but the man they hired for Tarzan had enlisted (can't remember his name) so they hired the soon to be famous Elmo Lincoln.
Filming start that summer and they started filming in Louisiana in August. Boy, that must have been hot.
Lois Weber and her husband were extremely busy from 1916 until the Spring of 1917. Many of her classics were released at that time, such as SHOES, PEOPLE VS, JOHN DOE and THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE. But they also made a number of shorts for Universal's Rex in which they also starred. The only time that Wing could have cornered her would have been in the spring when she left Universal to start her own production company. She left for New York in June and returned by the end of the month to start setting up her company. Within two weeks, she was filming what would be THE PRICE OF A GOOD TIME (it had a different name then) in classy Hollywood houses while her studio was being built. She was supervising that too.
So short of shaping Jane's image in the scenario, what would Ms. Weber have done that couldn't have been done by anyone else? (Maybe Phillip did the work?) And who is Fred Miller that she is credited with? The name shows up as a manager of a theater in 1917. It is also the name of an actor who started at Paramount in 1919. It all sounds fishy.

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