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 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. Tarzan tries to keep the hunters from finding the hidden valley setting of the fountain. The flyer ages as the effects of the fountain wear off. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
At the end of the movie, Cheeta (who is an ape) drinks the elixir. She does not turn into a baby chimp, she becomes a monkey with a tail. The Fountain of Youth retards aging, it would not cause evolutionary regression. See more »
Not a Classic But a Step Up From the Previous Few Films
Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
After Johnny Weissmuller walked away from the Tarzan series RKO was quick to replace him with Lex Barker and the first of the new series actually turned out to be a good little film. Tarzan (Barker) and Jane (Brenda Joyce) find a cigarette case, which just happens to belong to Gloria Jessup (Evelyn Ankers), a pilot who went missing twenty-years earlier. It turns out that her plane crashed and she was taken in by a local tribe who also happen to have a magic fountain that can keep something youthful forever. Gloria returns back to her homeland but begins to grow old so she wants Tarzan to take her back to her village. TARZAN'S MAGIC FOUNTAIN certainly isn't a masterpiece but it's still a lot better than the previous five films from the Weissmuller series. I think a lot of the credit has to go to Curt Siodmak who co-wrote the screenplay. Film buffs will recognize his name as the man behind many of the Universal horror movies like THE WOLF MAN and BLACK Friday. He certainly knows how to add in some good touches and he turns this typical story about youth into a pretty good adventure film. I think the screenplay does a nice job at not taking itself too serious but at the same time it works well for adults. The previous few films were certainly aimed at children but this one here has a more serious tone including a couple rather violent deaths and another sequence with some nice black humor involving the skeletons of the plane crash victims. There's no question that Weissmuller was the greatest screen Tarzan so Barker had a large loin cloth to fill. For the most part I thought he was decent in the role as he certainly has the physical appearance for the part and he handled most of the dialogue just fine. Joyce, in her final appearance as Jane, isn't too bad either but I'm a little surprised the producers brought her back considering they were trying to start a new series. Ankers is as charming as ever and Albert Dekker makes for a good villain. The screen's very first Tarzan, Elmo Lincoln, appears quickly at the start of the film as a fisherman. There are a few pacing issues and there are some dry moments here and there but it's hard to not say that the series at least got going back in the right direction after some pretty lifeless films.
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