7 user 3 critic

Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953)

Ivory poachers, headed by Lyra the She-Devil, Vargo and Fidel, capture a native tribe to carry their loot. Tarzan intervenes and is captured. Jane is also captured and believed killed, so ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lee Sholem
Stars: Lex Barker, Vanessa Brown, Robert Alda
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Tarzan acts as a guide for two British government agents recently arrived in Africa to secure a great cache of diamonds for the English military. However, the agents are not what they seem.

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Lex Barker, Dorothy Hart, Patric Knowles
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Escaped convicts are selling weapons to a warlike native tribe.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Lex Barker, Virginia Huston, George Macready
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lee Sholem
Stars: Lex Barker, Brenda Joyce, Albert Dekker
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Dr. Sturdy is trying to establish a modern hospital in the jungle. His efforts are strongly opposed by Futa, the witch doctor, and Ramo, a native warrior. There are kidnappings, a race ... See full summary »

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Gordon Scott, Eve Brent, Rickie Sorensen
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A reporter and her fiance are conducting a search in the jungle for a wild boy, the lost son of a downed geologist.

Director: Robert Gordon
Stars: Mike Henry, Rafer Johnson, Aliza Gur
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Betta St. John
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Gordon Scott, Robert Beatty, Yolande Donlan
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Hunters trespass into Sukulu country, where animals are sacred, posing as photographers. Their work has the blessing of the U.N.'s Dr. Celliers, close friend of the Sukulu chief. The ... See full summary »

Director: Harold D. Schuster
Stars: Gordon Scott, Vera Miles, Peter van Eyck
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Boy is away at school in England. The high priest is trying to force a young girl to marry an evil pearl trader posing as the god Balu. She escapes, is recaptured and is finally rescued by ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, George Zucco
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Four British villains raid a settlement to obtain explosives for use in a diamond mine. In doing so they nearly destroy the settlement, so and Tarzan pursues them to their mine.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Gordon Scott, Anthony Quayle, Sara Shane
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The international criminal Vinaro enjoys sending explosive wristwatches to his enemies. Here he kidnaps ten-year-old Ramel whom he thinks can lead him to the lost city of gold. Tarzan ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Mike Henry, David Opatoshu, Manuel Padilla Jr.


Complete credited cast:
Joyce Mackenzie ...
Jane (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Lyra, the She-Devil
Michael Granger ...
Philippe Lavarre (as Michael Grainger)
M'Tara, Locopo Chief


Ivory poachers, headed by Lyra the She-Devil, Vargo and Fidel, capture a native tribe to carry their loot. Tarzan intervenes and is captured. Jane is also captured and believed killed, so the despairing Tarzan endures endless torture until he learns she is alive. He rises to the occasion and leads his elephants in the usual victory stampede. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Adventure


See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarzan Meets the Vampire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Returning-type boomerangs are not used in actual war or hunting. They are practice "toys." See more »


Follows Tarzan Escapes (1936) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Tarzan's Fight for Wife
15 October 2005 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL (RKO Radio, 1953), directed by Kurt Neumann, stars Lex Barker making his fifth and final screen appearance as Edgar Rice Burrough's lord of the jungle. As the writers of the series attempt new ideas with their screenplays, and gearing to another direction from its previous efforts, for the first time since TARZAN ESCAPES (MGM, 1936) starring Johnny Weissmuller, does the fearless Tarzan allow himself to become the victim, losing his savage fight to overpower the villains, who, in this production, are strong enough to gather more attention than to the main characters. While the title reads like a horror movie, giving indication of Tarzan matches wits with Dracula's daughter, the woman in question is a princess compared to the male hunters she supervises, particularly one enacted by Raymond Burr only a few years before changing his frequent bad guy image to prosecuting attorney in TVs long running series, "Perry Mason" (1957-1966).

The story begins with routine everyday life as Tarzan (Lex Barker), his companion, Jane (Joyce McKenzie), and pet Cheta, find peace and tranquility in their jungle habitat until ivory poachers, Lyra (Monique Van Vooren), Fidel (Tom Conway), Vargo (Raymond Burr), Maka (Robert Bice), and others enter the scene. They want Tarzan to round up a large heard of elephants for them. Naturally, Tarzan refuses, so Lyra, leader of the expedition, attempts to persuade the lawman of the jungle by having Jane kidnapped. As the hunters carry out her plan, a struggle ensues, starting off a fire that burns down the tree-house. As Jane makes her escape, she is injured, left in a semi-conscious state, roaming about the jungle to face the dangers of the wild, including a crocodile and deadly snake before she is taken in and cared for by a native tribe. As for Tarzan, he returns to find his home burned and Jane gone. Believing Jane has perished in the fire, he becomes despaired. Not caring what happens now, he allows himself to be captured by Lyra's men, chained like a slave, held prisoner in a cottage, submitted to whippings (with limited scars of his torso), and when all else fails, extreme measures are used by having his arms tied above his head onto a wooden-like door frame structure. The angry Vargo tells Tarzan that if he doesn't do what they want, he'll hang there "until he rots." At this point the nearly unconscious Tarzan continues to be the prisoner, making no attempt whatsoever to save himself.

The problem with the Lex Barker's "Tarzan" series is the lack of consistency from one film to another. After succeeding Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, Barker never played opposite the same Jane twice. He inherited Brenda Joyce in his initial role in TARZAN'S MAGIC FOUNTAIN (1949), followed by Vanessa Brown, Virginia Huston, Dorothy Hart and finally Joyce McKenzie. Second problem is having the much younger Barker, who looks very educated, to not be more articulate. In fact, in his last as Tarzan, he has fewer lines than ever before. Those familiar with the Barker/Tarzan series might ask themselves, "whatever became of their adopted son, Joey?" introduced by Tommy Carlton in TARZAN'S SAVAGE FURY (1952). Characters simply come and go, and while Cheta remains, Tarzan and Jane are once more childless. A few years later, Tarzan would go it alone, with Jane written out of the stories, forever absent with no explanation.

While the proposed title, TARZAN MEETS THE VAMPIRE, is a misnomer, TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL is even more misleading. As for the scenario, which finds Tarzan enslaved, it's at times unpleasant, especially witnessing an action hero who never loses to become weakened while submitted to torture. At any rate, TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL which runs at 76 minutes, does have its moments of interest, but not enough for excitement purposes. It may not the best nor the worst in the series, but its action relies mostly on suspense, whether or not Tarzan will be able to regain his strength, free himself from his captivity and do what's traditionally expected of him other than his ape calls.

TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL, which has never been distributed on video cassette or DVD, did become one of a whole series of Tarzan adventures from 1934 to 1968 to be presented on American Movie Classics cable channel (1997-2001). In spite of the weakness in the scenario, which might have been the reason for Lex Barker to surrender his loincloth, Tarzan, like Ian Fleming's James Bond, due to its popularity, would continue to hit the theater screens for many years to come, performed each decade by different actors. Next chapter: TARZAN HIDDEN JUNGLE (RKO, 1955) starring Gordon Scott. (**1/2)

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: