A group of archaeologists asks Tarzan to help them find an ancient city in a hidden valley of women. He refuses, but Boy is tricked into doing the job. The queen of the women asks Tarzan to... See full summary »
An aviatrix emerges from the jungle looking as young as she was when her plane went down many years before. Unscrupulous hunters discover that this is due to a secret fountain of youth. ... See full summary »
An African tribe devoted to the leopard cult is dedicated to preventing civilization from moving further into Africa. Tarzan fights them when the cult first attacks a caravan and next ... See full summary »
Tarzan leads five passengers from a downed airplane out of the jungle. En route white hunter Hawkins tries to sell them to the Oparian chief. Captured by the Oparians and nearly sacrificed ... See full summary »
H. Bruce Humberstone
Zandra, white princess of a lost civilization, comes to Tarzan for help when Nazis invade the jungle with plans to conquer her people and take their wealth. Tarzan, the isolationist, ... See full summary »
Tarzan must escort his prisoner Coy Banton out of the jungle to the authorities. The boat is blown up by Coy's father and brothers. In addition to Coy Tarzan must now lead five more of the ... See full summary »
The Lionians are a tribe dying of a mysterious disease. Their Chief decides to kidnap Jane and Lola, a half-breed nurse, in order to help repopulate his civilization. Tarzan must rescue ... See full summary »
A shortage of zoo animals after World War II brings beautiful animal trainer Tanya, her financial backer and her cruel trail boss to the jungle. After negotiating a quota with the native ... See full summary »
A group of archaeologists asks Tarzan to help them find an ancient city in a hidden valley of women. He refuses, but Boy is tricked into doing the job. The queen of the women asks Tarzan to help them. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
When Athena is struck in the back with the knife, she falls over but manages to survive long enough to strike the gong. The entire time she falls right up until she strikes the gong, no knife is seen in her back, nor is one seen on the ground. See more »
If Tarzan had had a pet cheetah, would he have called it "Chimpanzee"?
Tarzan has appeared on screen in nearly a hundred films, mostly made in the thirties, forties and fifties; they were often shown on television during my childhood and were a favourite of mine. Edgar Rice Burroughs' character was originally a British aristocrat abandoned in the jungle as a baby and raised by a tribe of apes, but these aspects of the story were often omitted from the later films. The basic set-up is that Tarzan lives in the African jungle with his wife (or girlfriend- the question of whether they actually possess a marriage certificate is discreetly avoided) Jane, their unimaginatively named teenage son Boy and their more imaginatively, but confusingly, named pet chimpanzee Cheeta. (If they had had a pet cheetah, would they have called it "Chimpanzee"?) This particular episode came out early in 1945, so includes a patriotic sub-plot involving Jane's return from England, where she has been working as an army nurse.
As its title suggests, this movie concerns a tribe of Amazons living in a mountain fastness not far from Tarzan's lair. The Amazons have a rather unusual society; all of its members are female (again, the question of how they reproduce is tactfully avoided), and all are young and attractive apart from their elderly Queen. A group of explorers turns up in search of Palmyria, the lost city of the Amazons. Tarzan, suspecting their motives, refuses to assist them, but Boy, believing he is aiding the advancement of science, is happy to do so. It is left to Tarzan to sort out the problems which result when some of the explorers try to steal the Amazons' treasures.
The film is, officially, set in Africa, but the film-makers do not seem to have been aiming at realism, at least not of the zoological variety, because the creatures inhabiting this particular jungle include Indian elephants, South American monkeys, Australian cockatoos, deer (native to Eurasia and the Americas but not Africa) and Canada Geese (North America). In fact, the only continent not represented here is Antarctica, and that is possibly only because no penguins were available at the time. Even some of the authentically African animals we see, such as lions and crowned cranes, are natives of the continent's savannas rather than its jungles.
Another strange thing about the film is that nearly all the cast are white. Tarzan, Jane and Boy are white, as are all the explorers. Even the Amazons, drawn partly from Greek mythology and partly from the pages of a "Wonder Woman" comic, are all Caucasian. The only black characters we see are a few servants and bearers. In fact, although the film is set in sub-Saharan Africa not a single black actor has a speaking role. I knew that Hollywood operated an unofficial colour bar in the forties, but I did not realise that it went quite as far as that.
Before he became the cinema's best-known Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller was an Olympic swimmer and won five gold medals in that sport. Truth to tell, if acting had been an Olympic sport he would not even have been a contender for a bronze medal, but he was cast more on the basis of his impressive physique than of his acting skills, and might have made more of an impression had he been able to deliver his lines in normal English. (Tarzan always speaks a sort of broken pidgin English, although Jane and Boy always speak normally). Moreover, his acting is no worse than that on display from a lot of his fellow cast members.
Despite some dodgy acting, dodgy zoology, banal plots and some covert racist assumptions, I have always had something of a soft spot for these old Tarzan films, doubtless based on my childhood memories. They have a certain innocence about them, taking place as they do in some idealised never-never land where good always triumphs over evil and the big man will always come swinging through the trees to sort everything out and put everything right. Although they were probably not made exclusively as children's entertainment, they have the sort of charm and sense of moral rightness which will always appeal to children, and to those adults who still remember their childhood with affection. 5/10
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