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Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942)

Passed | | Action, Adventure | May 1942 (USA)
Tarzan and Jane go to New York to rescue Boy after he is kidnapped into a circus.


Richard Thorpe


Myles Connolly (screenplay), William R. Lipman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Johnny Weissmuller ... Tarzan
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Jane
Johnny Sheffield ... Boy (as John Sheffield)
Virginia Grey ... Connie Beach
Charles Bickford ... Buck Rand
Paul Kelly ... Jimmie Shields
Chill Wills ... Manchester Montford
Cy Kendall ... Colonel Ralph Sergeant
Russell Hicks ... Judge Abbotson
Howard Hickman ... Blake Norton
Charles Lane ... Gould Beaton
Miles Mander ... Portmaster
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matthew Boulton ... Portmaster (scenes deleted)


Circus owner Buck Rand kidnaps Boy to perform in his show. He forces a pilot to fly him, Boy and his animal trainer out of the jungle. Tarzan and Jane follow them to New York. At a trial over custody of Boy, Tarzan becomes violent and is jailed. With the help of the pilot's girlfriend Tarzan (who has since escaped, diving off the Brooklyn Bridge) finds the circus. He and the circus elephants complete the classic rescue. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't Miss It! 1942's Best and Most Thrilling Picture! See more »


Action | Adventure


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Tarzan jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, a dummy was slid down cables from a tower into a studio water tank.. See more »


Cheetah is shown drinking from 3 of four bottles in Jane's suitcase and then throwing each of those three bottles away. But after the alcohol bottle is discarded, a medium view of the suitcase reveals all four bottles still in their carrier in the suitcase. See more »


[first lines]
Boy: Cheetah! What is it?
Jane: Cheetah must be seeing things. What is it, Tarzan? What is it?
Tarzan: Uguna. Strange sound in sky. Big. Far off.
Jane: I don't hear anything.
Tarzan: Tarzan hear. Cheetah hear. Elephant hear.
Boy: Now I hear it. Like a great wind coming.
See more »


Followed by Tarzan and the Amazons (1945) See more »


Dance of the Hours
from the opera "La Gioconda"
Music by Amilcare Ponchielli
Played by the orchestra at Club Moonbeam
See more »

User Reviews

Entertaining and fun adventure movie in which Tarzan gets into trouble with bad guys and modern civilization
27 May 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Nice adventure movie in which Boy is kidnapped and Tarzan and Jane head out from jungle to N.Y. to rescue him . Enjoyable Tarzan movie , plenty of action , adventures and quite entertaining . Fast fun , fresh but no very much in the spirit of the original novel by Edgar Rice Borroughs . It starts with the following preface : ¨Beyond the last outpost of civilization , a mighty escarpment towers the skies of Africa -uncharted on maps- a strange world , a place of mystery¨ . The picture concerns a naive Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller , longer-haired and slimmer than in later efforts) in his loincloth , living his fairy tale with Jane Parker (Maureen O'Sullivan) and cohabiting in unmarried bliss , this situation being really criticized ¨Hays Code¨ period . As Boy is tricked by an evil Circus owner , Buck Rand , (Charles Bickford) and kidnaps him to perform in his show . As the greedy owner scheme heinous plans and wants Boy as a trainer for his pet baby elephants . Thus , our protagonists , now head to the big metropolis in order to save the boy . But Tarzan doesn't take kindly to threat and kidnap to his boy and is even forced to go to court to maintain custody , executing against the evil-doers an extreme lesson .

The movie is dubiously faithful to Edgar Rice Borroughs story . It contains noisy action , sensational adventures , many angry natives , hungry animals and marvelous outdoors , though mostly shot in Hollywood studios . Well starred by a sympathetic cast who bring wit and style to their classic characters . However , Johnny Weissmuller is better Olympic swimmer than actor . Here shows off his jungling off the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River . In the scene where Tarzan jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, Johnny Weissmuller actually jumped 250 feet off the bridge . There stands out Johnny Sheffield whose first role was in ¨Tarzan finds a son¨ (1939) as an orphan whose ambitious relatives hope he stays lost so they can collect an inheritance . And , of course , special mention for the likable Chimpanzee Cheeta that steals the show , giving some humorous moments with his antics , frolics and mayhem . Allegedly , Cheeta died of kidney failure in 2011 according to Florida's Suncoast Primate Sanctuary . However , the Associated Press reports that chimps in captivity live between 40 and 60 years . Cheeta, oftentimes spelled as Cheetah, would have been 80. Also, more than one chimp played Cheeta in the various Tarzan movies . One of those, known as either Jiggs or Mr. Jiggs, is supposed to have died of pneumonia at a very young age in 1938 . Support cast is pretty well , such as Charles Lane , Paul Kelly , Virginia Grey , Miles Mander , Anne Jeffreys uncredited . And Elmo Lincoln's the screen first Tarzan has a cameo as a circus roustabout . The sets and production design are visually appealing , including a brilliant cinematography by Sidney Wagner . The motion picture was decently directed by Richard Thorpe . He directed lesser Western and thrillers when he moved into features in 1924 and did little of note before joining MGM in 1935 . Thorpe made routine studio fare until 1950s when he was given more major assignment . He then made various big-budget productions financed by Pando S Bergman among his best known films are all the MGM Tarzans following his arrival at the studio in 1935 and a series of swashbuckling adventures in the early 1950s featuring Robert Taylor , the most successful of these were three swashbucklers made in England as ¨Knights of Round Table¨ , ¨Ivanhoe¨ and ¨Quentin Durward¨ . Thorpe was an expert on all kind of genres as Western as ¨Wild horse¨ , ¨Under Montana skies¨ and ¨Last challenge¨ but his specialty resulted to be adventures as ¨Prisoner of Zenda¨, ¨The prodigal¨ , ¨Challenge to Lassie¨ , ¨Tarzan¨ films and Musicals as ¨Fun in Acapulco¨ , ¨Rainbow over Broadway¨ , ¨The prince student¨ and his biggest money-maker to date was ¨The great Caruso¨ and his last big box-office hit was ¨Presley' Jailhouse Rock¨ . He also worked briefly in television before retiring in 1968 .

First Tarzan/Johhny Weissmuller was ¨Tarzan , the ape man¨ (1932) by W.S. Van Dyke , this one being the definitive Tarzan movie , the original of the long series . Followed by ¨Tarzan and his mate¨ (1934) by Jack Conway and arguably one of the best of the jungle adventures . Richard Thorpe continued the following sequels : ¨Tarzan escapes¨(1936) , ¨Tarzan finds a son¨ (1939) with the addition of the five-year-old Johnny Sheffield as Boy , ¨Tarzan's secret Treasure¨ (1941) , and ¨Tarzan's New York adventure¨ (1942) where Boy is abducted by an evil circus owner , then Tarzan goes to rescue him and he meets N.Y. big city , being Maureen O'Sullivan's final appearance . These stories were lavishly produced by M.G.M. and R.K.O. Subsequently , to be appeared other Tarzans produced by independent producers as Sol Lesser ; the latter being replaced by Sy Weintraub , these movies were interpreted by Lex Barker and Gordon Scott : ¨Tarzan the Magnificent¨ and ¨The greatest adventure¨ directed by John Guillermin . And ¨Tarzan the Ape Man¨(1959) stars Denny Miller and directed by Joseph Newman . Furthermore , Mike Henry starred as Tarzan in ¨Tarzan and the jungle boy ¨ , ¨ Tarzan and the great river¨ , and ¨Tarzan 66¨ directed by Robert Day . Besides , two performed by Jock Mahoney : ¨Three challenges¨ and ¨Tarzan goes to India¨ directed by John Guillermin , among others . And , to forget ¨Tarzan the Ape Man¨ (1981) by John Derek with Miles O'Keefe . Plus , other TV Tarzan as Ron Ely , Wolf Larsen , Joe Lara ...

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Release Date:

May 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarzan Against the World See more »


Box Office

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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