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I have a genuine fondness for TARZAN GOES TO India. If you remove the
Air India 707 from the opening credits and the early sixties
automobiles, it feels like something that Edgar Rice Burroughs would
have written, possibly after the Second World War, if declining health
hadn't caught with him.
Jock Mahoney gives the legendary ape-man something that the other previous actors had not provided to this part -- a sense of maturity and gravity. Yes, Mahoney is almost too rangy, particularly when compared to his immediate predecessor, the hefty Gordon Scott. But Mahoney makes every scene seem real; with his Midwestern accent sounding neutral, almost international, in tone in keeping with Tarzan's unique origins. The additional kick is knowing that Mahoney does all of his stunts, including an eye-popping dive from an moving airplane into a lake. But his greatest stunt is being able to work with an inexperienced child actor and a four-ton elephant and not get loss in the shuffle. That's charisma!
Yes, the storyline is somewhat juvenile, but there was a definite market in the early Sixties for movies pitched to a pre-teenage audience. Witness such films as CAPTAIN SINBAD, FLIPPER, ZEBRA IN THE KITCHEN, and Disney's output of movies during this time. Robert Harding Andrews does a credible job with the script while John Guillermin provides fast-paced direction although this film lacks the flourishes of his 1959 Tarzan outing, TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE.
Overall, TARZAN GOES TO India is a pleasant diversion well worth checking out.
This is quite an enjoyable film with as an added bonus, 300(!!) elephants and spectacular Indian scenery. I don't think I've ever seen India look so beautiful in any movie. Jock Mahoney makes an articulate and athletic(if a bit lean) Tarzan. His easy-going performance is quite fun to watch, as is his interplay with the Maharaja's daughter. There seems to be a nice chemistry between these two. It is really too bad that their relationship isn't allowed to progress further but this being a G-rated film, the line has to be drawn somewhere. As this film is aimed at the very young, a lot of emphasis is put on Jai the elephant boy. This turns out to be the film's greatest weakness. The character is irritating and obnoxious. Not surprisingly, Mahoney looks a little uncomfortable in his scenes with the young boy and some of their moments together are downright corny. It's a good thing that the film's fast paced action sequences and beautiful scenery make up for these weaknesses(the final charge of the elephants is very exciting).Also of note, Leo Gordon is quite effective as the villain Bryce. On the whole, this is a good way to pass a rainy Sunday afternoon. You'll have to close your eyes and ears every time Jai appears, but the rest will go down easily enough, especially for the younger set. By the way, don't miss Tarzan's arrival into India. It's an eye opener!!
Jock Mahoney's first outing as Burroughs' Tarzan makes for a nice, enjoyable movie. Though like many sixties adventures it is aimed at a younger crowd, accounting for a rather irritating kid sidekick, it is much truer in tone to Burroughs' work than most of what preceded it. Mahoney is a good Tarzan, portraying him as intelligent and articulate as the written version, although a bit to mellow. This is not the savage Tarzan of the books. The Indian scenery is wonderful, the story, while fairly simple, is well done, and most of the acting is good for it's genre and time. The elephant roundup is spectacular. All in all, one of the better Tarzan movies of those i've seen so far.
For the first time since Johnny Weissmuller took that plane with Jane
to New York to rescue Boy in Tarzan's New York Adventure, the famed
jungle man leaves the African continent. Tarzan Goes To India, but in
this case the title does not say it all.
Tarzan who is now played by Jock Mahoney is summoned to India at the request of a local maharajah. A needed dam is being built to provide hydroelectric power for his area. But the maharajah is also a conservationist. The dam will flood a certain valley that has been an animal preserve and a rather large herd of elephants will drown.
Mahoney's mission is to save the animals and his biggest problem is a nasty and mean rogue elephant who is leading the herd. Assisting him is Jai the elephant boy, a Twentieth Century version of Sabu and his pet pachyderm. Tarzan's also got some human opposition in dam engineers Mark Dana and Leo Gordon, the latter with whom Tarzan has some history with.
Just the mention of Leo Gordon and you know who the real villain is. On his last job in Africa which brought him into contact with Tarzan he did a little ivory poaching on the side.
Jock Mahoney replaced Gordon Scott as Tarzan and at 43 he brings a more mature Tarzan to the picture. But Mahoney who was a college jock and a stuntman before becoming an actor and he's one fit and athletic Tarzan in the first of two films he did as Edgar Rice Burroughs's legendary primeval hero.
What I like about this film is not only is it shot in India, but brings Tarzan fully into the present era. This film could never have been done on the MGM back lot, let alone RKO's back lot later on.
It's a nice story and while Jock Mahoney replaced my favorite Tarzan Gordon Scott he certainly does credit to the part and to the film. Tarzan Goes To India holds up very well after almost 50 years. It's quite a bit more than just G rated family entertainment, the film is a nice statement about the other creatures with whom man shares domain of planet earth with.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The ape lord of darkest Africa gets a change of setting in this
globe-trotting adventure yarn. The opening shot sees him literally
dumped out of a bi-plane into a lake in India, but from then on the
jungle antics are much the same as in previous Tarzan movies, as he
battles evil developers and fights the odds by himself. Taking over the
role from Gordon Scott (who had relocated to Italy to make a series of
sweaty peplum epics by this time) is the lean and lithe Jock Mahoney
(who incidentally had played the chief villain in Scott's previous
outing, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT), who, whilst pretty forgettable as
screen Tarzans go, proves himself mildly worthwhile in both the acting
and action stakes - but he's no Gordon Scott, because he just lacks the
muscle and doesn't play to the camera in the same way.
The Indian locations are put to good use, and the movie is well-filmed and always colourful to watch. The film is aimed at youngsters with short attention spans which is why there is a wealth of easy action, including attacks by "rogue" elephants which are filmed in such a way that they resemble attacks by Godzilla or any other large monster, with screaming villagers fleeing for their lives and lots of destructive power. One scene, in which Tarzan dodges bullets from the enemy in a quarry, puts the boundaries of credibility to the edge (I can't believe the bad guys manage to hit both sides of the ground around Tarzan but not actually touch the guy himself) but its all clean fun. Tarzan also gets up to his old tricks by dodging deadly snakes and battling a ravenous leopard. Keep an eye out for the mondo-style sequences in which a ferret (?) ferociously fights a snake and two elephants battle it out, for real. No need to say which film genre those scenes remind me of.
Aside from Mark Dana, and Leo Gordon's dastardly evil turn as the villainous Bryce, the cast is mostly taken up by Indian actors and actresses who acquit themselves well with their roles - especially the singularly-named Simi's turn as Princess Kamara; quite charming. Unfortunately there's a sickeningly cute child actor called Jai around who rides elephants and is required to be rescued and looked after by Tarzan - not only does he drag the pace of the film down every time he appears, but he's really obnoxious too and should have been written out. Also, the sequence in which Tarzan and Bryce fight it out should appear at the end of the film, as its played as the climax, but instead there are another twenty minutes involving a march of elephants which, despite being visually impressive, just aren't really all that interesting. And try and avoid the sentimental ending unless you have a bucket to hand.
According to Pete Tombs' excellent Mondo Macabro book, Tarzan Goes to India inspired a number of low-budget Indian adventure films such as TARZAN AND HERCULES and TARZAN AND KING KONG. I can't help but wonder if these cheap quickies might in fact be more entertaining than the rather predictable and simplistic film which helped inspire them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Former stunt man and "Range Rider" TV star Jock Mahoney makes a rather
scrawny ape man in "Tarzan Goes to India." Apparently, producer Sy
Weintraub felt like Tarzan should no longer be as brawny as Gordon
Scott so he replaced Scott with Mahoney. Earlier, Mahoney had portrayed
a villain opposite Scott in the 1960 production of "Tarzan the
Magnificent." Actually, Weintraub flip-flopped on his attitude about
the ideal Tarzan physique. After the lean mean Mahoney turned in his
loincloth following "Tarzan's Three Challenges" in 1963, Weintraub
hired muscular Mike Henry to replace him. A former Pittsburgh Steeler,
Henry boasted a spectacular physique, too. Ron Ely took over the role
for the NBC-TV series after Henry turned down the part and Ely
resembled Mahoney more than either Scott or Henry. Happily, the one
thing that neither Weintraub nor director John Guillerin changed was
the way that Tarzan delivered his dialogue. In "Tarzan Goes to India,"
our barefoot protagonist speaks in English and usually in complete
This time around the resourceful Lord of the Jungle flies into India where a huge hydro-electric dam is under construction to end a drought as well as provide jobs. The chief problem is 300 elephants are at stake. You see, once construction is completed on the dam, the jungle behind the dam will be inundated and those elephants will drown. The price of progress and economic prosperity is high. Bringing electricity to the backwaters has to have an impact on either somebody or someplace and the elephants are the victims. To exacerbate tensions, the elephants are being led by a wild rogue elephant, and Tarzan has to kill that troublemaker. Somehow, this part of the plot got left on the editing room floor. Meantime, the villagers behind the dam are fleeting, too. Tarzan encounters another elephant that attacks the work camp, but this elephant has been dispatched to attack the camp by a youth, Jia the Elephant Boy (Jia), who Tarzan later befriends. Guillerin stages an okay elephant stampede, but the drama is like the Mahoney Tarzan, it is a little on the lean side.
Director John Guillermin has to monkey with the camera speed during the elephant attacks. As the dam construction foreman, veteran heavy Leo Gordon makes a solid villain for about 55 minutes before he meets his match. He abducts Jia, tries to ambush Tarzan in a three-way crossfire, and takes shots at a bull elephant. The elephant puts an end to him. Tarzan braves his share of dangers. He tangles with a cobra, a leopard, and the trigger-happy villains. Jock Mahoney has his moments, but not enough of them. He looks at home in the wilderness and he cuts a pretty impressive figure when he climbs aboard an elephant and rides the beast through the jungle. The shift in setting from Africa to India is a splendid change of pace and lenser Paul Beeson of "Mosquito Squadron" and "To Sir, With Love" captures the immense, rugged scenery.
With freshly shaved chest and golden tan, Jock Mahoney (as Tarzan)
takes over for departing jungle king Gordon Scott. Sporting a more
traditional muscular frame than his pumped-up predecessor, Mr. Mahoney
had been the main villain in the previous "Tarzan" movie. He would
stick around for one more film. Like the title says, "Tarzan Goes to
India" where Mahoney must move an elephant herd because a newly
constructed dam will flood their valley home. He receives help from an
"elephant boy" named Jai (as Jai the Elephant Boy). Filling secondary
roles are impressive prince Feroz Khan (as Raju), villainous Leo Gordon
(as Bryce), and local princess Simi (as Kamara). The Indian scenery is
**** Tarzan Goes to India (7/62) John Guillermin ~ Jock Mahoney, Jai, Feroz Khan, Leo Gordon
Tarzan Goes to India (1962)
** (out of 4)
A group of evil contractors are in India building a damn, which is going to flood several villages as well as kill over three hundred elephants. Tarzan (Jock Mahoney) is called in to try and rescue the elephants but a rogue is causing all sorts of trouble and making the other elephants do a lot of harm. Not only does Tarzan have to fight the elephant but he must also go against the head engineer (Leo Gordon) who doesn't care about human life. TARZAN GOES TO India comes as a major disappointment and especially when you consider it followed TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT, which was one of the greatest in the series. That film got a great villain performance by Mahoney who wound up taking the lead role here. Having seen both of his Tarzan films, it's clear Mahoney really wasn't the right person for the job. He was a very good actor as the previous film shows but he just didn't have the personality for Tarzan. You never believed him in the part and this is something that really kills this film because it really does seem like a non-Tarzan movie. The excitement of the character is missing and Mahoney just seems as if he's either bored and just doesn't know what to do with the part, which is a real shame because some of the story here is interesting. The one major benefit going on here is that the film was actually shot partially in India so we get some nice visuals. Another major plus is that there are quite a bit of elephants on hand and we get some very good shots of them. There's even a major battle between two of them that contains some nice drama. The rest of the story is pretty much the same thing just a new location. Once again Tarzan has to battle an evil person who is evil for no other reason than to have someone for Tarzan to fight. Gordon is very good and sinister in his role but at the same time you really wish the screenplay had given him more to do or at least built up his character some. The supporting cast also includes Jai "The Elephant Boy" playing Tarzan's travel mate. Fans of the series who must see all of them are the only ones that this is going to be recommended to.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Poor Jock Mahoney gets saddled with "Jai the Elephant Boy" in this snorefest. Worse even is that this is the follow up to one of the best Tarzan's, "Tarzan the Magnificent". No spoiler here, one look at the cast list tells you that Leo Gordon is the main bad guy. Dumb Jock, looking all of about 130 pounds, after picking off one baddie with his bow and arrow, inexplicably drops his bow and sneaks up another armed baddie he easily could have skewered with an arrow. I suppose his reasoning was to trade this baddie for the captured Jai. But even the elephant knew Leo would blow this guy away to get to Tarzan. Leo gets dispatched an hour in and what follows is a herd of elephants going left to right... right to left ... left to right ... you get the picture. Worth watching once if you are a Tarzan fan but don't let this be the first one you watch!
Might as well been titled "Tarzan Goes To Indiana", and it would have been just as believable. A good example of what Hollywood producers can do to a good concept. By this time they had ridden this horse into the ground and kicked the crap out of it. Naked Tarzan in a biplane with aviator goggles and cap? The first scene turned me off completely.Take Tarzan out of darkest Africa and he's no longer Tarzan(with the exception of Weismuller's "Tarzan Goes To New York"- at least he put some clothes on for that one).Throw some khakis and a pith helmet on Jock Mahoney and call him Jungle Jim, for Pete's sake!The post- Weismuller Tarzans were just a little too sophisticated for me.They lost some of the charm and mystery of the "ape-man". Don't bother with this one if you're a traditional Tarzanist.
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