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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 attacks Jane and Boy. Tarzan is captured. Boy is bothered by the Leopard Priestess' younger brother. Cheetah saves the day. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Before Kimba goes off to spy on Tarzan and later befriend him, Lea and Kimba are both talking in front of a mirror, approximately two feet from each other. When the camera pans back for a wide shot, they are both further apart. See more »
TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD WOMAN (RKO Radio, 1946), directed by Kurt Neumann, brings forth Tarzan, the jungle lord, in another Saturday afternoon matinée adventure story.
The story opens with Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), Jane (Brenda Joyce) and Boy (Johnny Sheffield), along with Cheetah, strolling through the village doing some afternoon shopping. Tarzan is seen having fun by wrestling with a strong man named Tall Bull the Terrible (Tor Johnson), while Cheetah watches a snake charmer and nearly getting bitten by one of the snakes. Then comes a wounded man riding on an elephant who soon succumbs from wound scars acquired by a leopard. Tarzan examines the dead man and tells the authorities that the man's death was not caused by a leopard, but by people dressed in leopard skins and iron claws. Aside from solving the mystery, Tarzan and his family find themselves in danger after taking in Kimba, a native boy (Tommy Cook), who not only happens to be the brother of the evil high priestess (Acquanetta) of the leopard tribe, but trouble to all those around him.
The supporting cast includes Edgar Barrier as Lazar; Dennis Hoey as The Commissioner; Anthony Caruso as Mongo; and Doris Lloyd as the Superintendress. Acquanetta, best known for her role as Paula, the Ape Woman in Universal's CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN (1943) and JUNGLE WOMAN (1944), makes a fine tribe leader this time around.
With the Tarzan movies being distributed in theaters on an annual basis, the writers attempt to come up with new and fresh ideas surrounding the old, familiar characters, headed by Weissmuller. Brenda Joyce returns as Jane for the second time, while the teenage Johnny Sheffield, outgrowing his part, appears to be a bit too old now to be called Boy. One scene in the shopping village finds young native girls giving Boy the eye, but Boy becomes bashful and passes up on them. The native tribes from the MGM movie days seem to have moved to another part of town, thus, being substituted by a jungle shopping mall. Another noticeable change finds Tarzan acquiring neighbors with each passing film, this time a Leopard tribe who don't seem to be the sorts to be calling on Tarzan and Jane at their treehouse for a cup of sugar this time around. For the first time since TARZAN'S SECRET TREASURE (MGM, 1941), Boy is able to bond with another lad close to his own age, but with friends like Kimba, who needs enemies? One highlight finds Boy in a fight to the finish with Kimba attempting to endanger Jane with a knife, with Boy subduing Kimba, having his hands tied behind his back and placing the little demon in a cage like a wild animal. As for Tarzan, he's captured by the leopard tribe and held captive by the priestess.
Not bad entry in the long running series, but by this time, the yarns are becoming routine and still quite watchable by fans of the series. Aside from commercial television revivals during the 1960s to 1980s, this and the other Tarzan adventures did enjoy frequent reruns on American Movie Classics (1997-2000) before moving to Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: June 11, 2011). TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD WOMAN has been distributed to video cassette but did become part of the Tarzan/RKO package on DVD around 2009. Next in line: TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS (1947). (**1/2)
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