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Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966)

 |  Adventure  |  July 1966 (USA)
6.0
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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 »

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Title: Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mike Henry ...
David Opatoshu ...
Augustus Vinero
...
Ramel
...
Sophia Renault
Don Megowan ...
Mr. Train
Enrique Lucero ...
Perez
Eduardo Noriega ...
Insp. Talmadge (as Edwardo Noriega)
John Kelly ...
Captain Voss
Francisco Riquerio ...
Mango
Frank Brandstetter ...
Ruiz
Carlos Rivas ...
Romulo
Jorge Beirute ...
Rodriguez
Oswald Olvera ...
Antonio
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Storyline

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 fights the evil Mr. Train, six-foot-six bodyguard of Vinaro, and rescues Sophia, who has been left to die with an explosive around her neck. Various animals help Tarzan locate Vinaro's tanks and helicopters, the city and the boy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tarzan | gold | lost city | mexico | lion | See All (27) »

Taglines:

All New High Adventure!

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

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Details

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|

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Release Date:

July 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarzan '65  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sharon Tate was the original casting pick for the female lead. There are photographs in existence from 1965 of her with Mike Henry along with a lion at a press conference that was held to promote the two newcomers. Martin Ransohoff who had the starlet under exclusive contract changed his mind about having this being her first film and the role was recast with Nancy Kovack. See more »

Quotes

Tarzan: [Challenged on wearing the loincloth he has constructed:] The outfit is casual, but practical.
See more »

Connections

Follows Tarzan Goes to India (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Mike Henry plays the best Tarzan in this Bond-esque take on the ape man
12 July 2015 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

Released in 1966, "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold" stars Mike Henry as the ape man who travels to Mexico and tussles with international criminal Vinaro (David Opatoshu), who enjoys ridding his enemies in explosive ways. Vinaro kidnaps a boy, Ramel, whom he thinks will lead him to a lost city of gold. Nancy Kovack is on hand as the requisite babe while Don Megowan plays the intimidating Mr. Train.

This movie has a lot of good elements. For starters, former NFL-player Mike Henry is arguably the best actor to play Tarzan ever, at least as far as looking/acting like Burroughs' character goes. Here Tarzan doesn't speak in monosyllables, like the Weissmuller films or early Gordon Scott ones. He's articulate, intelligent and noble.

Released at the height of the mid-60's James Bond craze, this movie could've been called "The Man from A.F.R.I.C.A.," which is an actual line in the movie. It's akin to 007 in a loincloth with various friendly animals (a chimp, a lion and a jaguar). Speaking of which, it's amazing what you see Henry and the boy do with the latter two (the boy actually rides the lion!).

Other positives include the last act's inclusion of the incredible Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacán in central Mexico, highlighted by the huge Pyramid of the Sun. Today, the sequence would've been done with cartoony CGI, but here it's all authentic locations and quite impressive.

You might remember the stunning Kovack from the 1968 Star Trek episode "A Private Little War" where she played the flirtatious and orgasmic Nona. She also had a good role in 1963's "Jason and the Argonauts." Unfortunately, while she has some quality screen time, not enough is done with her.

I've heard the argument that Tarzan belongs in mythical Africa not mythical central America, but Burroughs had Tarzan globetrotting a bit, particularly back-and-forth from Europe to Africa, but the story in one book -- "Tarzan and the Foreign Legion" -- takes place on the island of Sumatra and another -- "Tarzan and the Castaways" -- takes place on a Pacific island inhabited by the remnant of a lost Mayan civilization, which isn't far removed from what he experiences in "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold." One book (probably more) he's in the friggin' desert. Basically, as long as Tarzan's in action, fighting evil/corruption and hanging out with nature & animals it's Tarzan.

All the above positives almost compel me to give "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold" a marginal thumbs up, but something holds it back. For one, there's a semi-goofy kiddie animal section in the second act, which seems incongruous with the serious air of the proceedings. I can live with this flaw, however. So what's the major problem? There's just something off with the script that prevents the movie from being compelling. The reason all the James Bond films of the 60s through mid-80s were hits is because the producers hired great writers who knew how to make a story flow and keep the movie entertaining. Not so here, but it's okay and worth catching if the positives trip your trigger.

The film runs 90 minutes and was shot in Mexico.

GRADE: C+


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