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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 king, they take more animals than allowed. Tarzan intervenes. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tarzan's knife has the ability to appear and disappear between shots. In one scene, he throws his knife at a hunter on the ground, hitting him in the back. A moment later, he goes to attack another man, and lo and behold, the knife has returned to its sheath. A second later, when the shot changes, the knife is gone again. And, after he defeats the man in the tree and runs off to save everyone else, the knife is back in its sheath again without Tarzan going to retrieve it from the man he threw it at! See more »
Edgar Rice Burrough's TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS (RKO Radio, 1947), directed by Kurt Neumann, being Johnny Weissmuller's 11th portrayal as the king of the jungle, and fifth under Sol Lesser's unit distributed by RKO, can be summed up by this time in saying, "If you've seen one Tarzan movie, you've seen them all," however the series continues.
The plot revolves around a zoological expedition headed by Tanya Rollins (Patricia Morison) and her guide, John Weire (Barton MacLane) who make arrangements with Prince Ozira (Ted Hecht), nephew of King Farrod (Charles Trowbridge) to capture wild animals for the zoos. After arranging for the death of the king, leaving Prince Suli (Maurice Tauzen) in charge command of the throne, Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), having learned of the capture of his animal friends, including Cheta, starts to oppose the expedition and intervene.
Brenda Joyce in her third go round as the blonde Jane, and Johnny Sheffield in his eighth time playing Boy, each continue their recurring roles in the usual manner. This was to be the teen-aged Sheffield's farewell performance as Boy, now being more physically muscular and nearly as tall as Weissmuller's Tarzan, giving full indication that while the writers kept him on as long as possible, he has outgrown his part. Hence, in one scene where Boy wanting to make amends for the wrong he has done, is complimented by his jungle warlord father by telling him, "Boy man now." Indeed he's now a man. Being omitted in the next and all future installments, other jungle boys would be introduced as a replacement to Sheffield's Boy, but never seen on a regular basis. Sheffield was the only young actor whose character was consistent. He would return to the jungle in the character of "Bomba, the Jungle Boy" a new film series as produced by Monogram Pictures (1949-1955). Bomba could very well be Boy returning to Africa after a few years attending school in England, thus, starting life anew and following the tradition of jungle living amongst the animals and facing every day danger like Tarzan. As with the Tarzan/Weissmuller adventures, the writers of the "Bomba" series failed to introduce the jungle boy's origin as to where he came from, who were his people and how did he end up in the jungle. He was already roaming the jungle holding his sphere awaiting for something to happen. Anyway, that's entirely irrelevant to the story department and movie making at that time. Now back to TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS.
Others appearing in the cast include John Warburton as Carl Morley; Wallace Scott as Smithers; and Mickey Simpson as Monak. And of course there's Cheta, the chimp, hogging many of the scenes, and trying to help out her animal friends from captivity. It's not Tarzan, Jane nor Boy who get to appear in the final fadeout, but Cheta being parachuted from the airplane with the "The End" inter-title superimposed over her puss having the time of her life.
TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS returns Barton MacLane to the series, once more playing the villain, having already appeared two years earlier in TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS (1945), by whose presence in these two movies could stir up confusion. It would be impossible for MacLane to reprise his original role since his character has met his demise by falling victim to sinking in quicksand. An interesting switch from previous episodes is having a safari leader portrayed by a woman, the role awarded to Patricia Morison, who makes a fine villainous in the most sultry manner. Unlike the previous efforts made for RKO, "Huntress" gets plenty of use of animal extras along with an climatic elephant stampede.
TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS, clocked at 77 minutes, is acceptable fun but a far cry from being the best in the series. It was one of the many movies from the "Tarzan" package to be presented on the America Movie Classics cable channel (1997-2000) before shifting over to Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: June 18, 2011). As much as to where this annual series was heading, the Tarzan adventures continued to hold their own as one of the most popular film series ever produced, enjoyed by many, especially youngsters in the Saturday afternoon matinée crowd cheering on the jungle hero as he battles against the bad guys entering his domain once again. Next installment, TARZAN AND THE MERMAIDS (1948) (*1/2).
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