28 user 22 critic

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


For the first time, the King of the Jungle comes face to face with the strange and terrifying perils of a big city! See more »


Action | Adventure


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The circus scenes in this film "recycle" sets from the Marx Brothers vehicle A Day at the Races (1937). See more »


Tarzan gives the spear to Boy handle up and blade down. When Boy takes it, next shot, it is reversed. 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 Huntress (1947) See more »


Maisie Theme
Music by David Snell
Played during main titles
See more »

User Reviews

Tarzan Takes Manhattan!
16 August 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

As MGM knew Maureen O'Sullivan was departing the 'Tarzan' series, and budget and talent constraints were forcing the long-running series out of the studio (RKO would soon be Tarzan's new home), they decided to end things with a bang, clothing Johnny Weissmuller in a double-breasted suit, and setting him loose in New York's concrete jungle. The gamble worked, magnificently!

The premise is simple; Boy, thinking Tarzan and Jane are dead, after falling into a raging fire during a tribal attack, is whisked away by an evil circus big game hunter (Charles Bickford) in a chartered plane. (How so many planes land safely in the middle of the jungle in these films is never explained...)

Rescued by Cheetah, Tarzan and Jane hike across Africa, dress in more modern attire (a VERY funny scene!), and fly across the Atlantic to try and retrieve their son.

The fun begins when the pair reach New York. Tarzan's bemused reaction to a black taxi driver, his takes on radio, indoor plumbing, and nightclubs, are priceless (and were recreated years later in Paul Hogan's wonderful 'Crocodile Dundee'). There are a few slightly offensive racial stereotypes displayed, but considering the period of the film, these are really quite tame.

A few nagging questions about the series are addressed in this film...'What happens if Boy gets sick?' and 'How is he being educated?', although the biggest question is never addressed...How does a boy with a British 'mother' and an Ape Man 'father' end up with an American accent?

When the courts fail to return Boy (the jungle couple can't prove legal custody), Tarzan takes matters into his own hands, breaking out of the courthouse, and performing an extraordinary series of rooftop swings, leaps and acrobatics to get to the New Jersey home of the circus, climaxing with a breathtaking 100-foot dive off the Brooklyn Bridge. The sequence is still fabulous, over 50 years after the film was released!

The film concludes with the almost stereotyped rescue scene, as elephants rescue Tarzan and Boy, yet again! Evil is vanquished, the family is reunited by the court, and the judge is going to catch some really BIG fish when he comes to visit!

If you're looking for gritty realism, you won't be popping a Tarzan flick into the VCR, anyway, but if you want thrills, laughs, and wonderful escapism, look no further!

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Release Date:

May 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarzan Against the World See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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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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