St. Mary

Apr 9, 2012 6:51 PM by Jenise Fernandez

Morgan City's First Ever Tarzan Festival

A new festival celebrates Tarzan's 100th birthday. The three-day festival is in St. Mary Parish. A documentary filmmaker is bringing Tarzan back to life.

The year was 1918, the silent film "Tarzan of the Apes" hit theatres making it one of the first films to make $1 million at the box office. There's been more than 40 movies featuring him, the original filmed in Morgan City.

"What I wanted to do was bring that movie back and show it to the people," said Al Bohl.

Bohl's documentary "Tarzan: Lord of the Lousiana Jungle" premieres at the festival. He got the idea talking to a friend about the film's production 94 years ago.

"And he told me something very weird, he said they used monkeys and apes in the film and left them behind," said Bohl.

Bohl and his daughter researched and found more interesting facts about the film.

"They actually killed a lion in the production of the film for the sake of a movie," he said.

The festival will unveil a year-long Tarzan exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum in Patterson.

"We even have a painting by Cheeta, the ape from the Tarzan film that recently died," said Bohl.

Besides Tarzan, Bohl says the documentary also focuses on life in the early 1900s.

"I think people will be surprised by how much of what we're going through today is similar to what we were going through at that time," said Bohl.

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