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Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure  |  8 July 1959 (USA)
6.5
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Reviews: 19 user | 8 critic

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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Slade
Sara Shane ...
Angie
Niall MacGinnis ...
Kruger (as Niall Macginnis)
...
O'Bannion
Al Mulock ...
Dino
Scilla Gabel ...
Toni
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Storyline

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. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Adventure's Mightiest Hero Lives His Mightiest Adventure!

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan's Greatest Adventure  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cheetah appears only during one line ("So long, Cheetah"). This is because the chimpanzees brought from England to Kenya for the filming were so terrified of the jungle night noises they wouldn't perform. See more »

Goofs

When the people in the boat throw the first stick of dynamite after being trapped between two fallen trees on the river, only one stick is thrown but several different explosions occur simultaneously. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Quarles: What's wrong with you, little chap? Come on, Little Francis. I love you.
See more »

Connections

Follows Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

Goodbye, "Me, Tarzan"...
6 January 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

When producer Sy Weintraub took over the reins of the "Tarzan" franchise, in 1958, he set as his goal the dream of Edgar Rice Burroughs and countless fans of the Jungle Lord over the years; a return to the character as originally envisioned in Burroughs' novels. An intelligent, articulate 'defender of the jungle' gifted with nearly superhuman abilities, John Greystoke, aka Tarzan, had the savagery to survive in a primeval environment, but could also function comfortably in the world of men. MGM had thought the concept too far-fetched, and had turned Tarzan (as personified by Johnny Weissmuller) into a monosyllabic savage, only 'humanized' by the love of British society girl Jane Parker (Maureen O'Sullivan). When the formula proved successful, the Ape Man was 'locked' into the characterization, much to the chagrin of Burroughs, and when RKO took over the series, in 1943, no effort was made to change the formula. Weismuller eventually aged out of the role, but successor Lex Barker, despite credentials that would have made 'smartening' Tarzan logical (he was an Ivy Leaguer with a pedigree nearly as impressive as Greystoke), was forced to carry on the "Me, Tarzan" tradition through four more films.

When Barker became fed up with being stereotyped, and passed the Tarzan loincloth to ex-lifeguard Gordon Scott, in 1955, the powerfully-muscled Scott carried on the duties of role adequately, but the series had degenerated into low-budget formula pictures, only notable for an occasional future star in an early role (Vera Miles appeared in TARZAN'S HIDDEN JUNGLE, and would, in fact, marry Scott, after filming was completed).

After four mediocre Gordon Scott "Me, Tarzan" films, the time was ripe for change, and Weintraub was a man of vision, and terrific entrepreneurial skills. Not only would the actor speak full sentences in TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE, he'd be backed by a first-rate supporting cast, and the film would be the first "Tarzan" shot, in Technicolor, in Africa! With a large contingent of press on hand, the cast and crew arrived on location, and Gordon Scott proved himself the very personification of Tarzan, riding a zebra, wrestling a lion, and performing other tasks with grace and astonishing skill. It was an auspicious start to what would become a landmark "Tarzan" film.

The tale of a band of escaped British criminals killing innocents, and stealing dynamite for a robbery, the gang leader, Slade (Anthony Quayle) is a homicidal maniac that Tarzan had put in prison before, making the Ape Man's pursuit a 'personal' vendetta. Not even the presence of an alluring distraction (Sara Shane) would deter him on his quest, and the frequent close-ups of the scarred and cold-blooded Slade, and Tarzan, with a fixed, merciless grin across his face, give clear evidence of two predators, circling for a kill. As Tarzan whittles down the gang, the stage is set for a terrific, violent climactic fight that ranks as one of the best of the entire "Tarzan" series. When Tarzan beats his chest and gives the classic Ape yell at the conclusion of TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE, he's EARNED the right!

Featured in the cast is 29-year old Sean Connery, excellent as the brutal, but wise-cracking "O'Bannion", Slade's right-hand man, and he so impressed Weintraub and director John Guillermin that the pair actually asked him to become the next screen "Tarzan", after Gordon Scott's last contracted film, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT. Connery, thrilled, was prepared to accept the role, but a call back from another audition...to play a secret agent in an upcoming production called DR. NO, resulted in a contract, and he, regretfully, passed on Tarzan, and became James Bond, instead! Weintraub ended up replacing Gordon with his 41-year old TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT co-star, Jock Mahoney, and the new, literate Tarzan would continue on into the sixties.

TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE may not be everyone's favorite Tarzan film, but in it's daring approach to both the character and the use of actual locations, it certainly deserves it's place as a classic of the series!


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