Tarzan secretly arrives in Blue Valley, the land of the magical fountain of youth, to find the intrepid aviatrix who can save an innocent man. But, is she the same person she used to be? Can Tarzan protect the vale's ultimate mystery?
As Jane and the local tribeswomen are abducted one by one by the wild Lionians, Tarzan attempts to persuade their prince to accept a potent medicament for his ailing men, while the girls face certain death. Can Tarzan set them free?
Ivory poachers, headed by Lyra the She-Devil, Vargo and Fidel, capture a native tribe to carry their loot. Tarzan intervenes and is captured. Jane is also captured and believed killed, so ... See full summary »
Tarzan leads five passengers from a downed airplane out of the jungle. En route white hunter Hawkins tries to sell them to the Oparian chief. Captured by the Oparians and nearly sacrificed ... See full summary »
H. Bruce Humberstone
Hunters trespass into Sukulu country, where animals are sacred, posing as photographers. Their work has the blessing of the U.N.'s Dr. Celliers, close friend of the Sukulu chief. The ... See full summary »
Tarzan must escort his prisoner Coy Banton out of the jungle to the authorities. The boat is blown up by Coy's father and brothers. In addition to Coy Tarzan must now lead five more of the ... See full summary »
With Jane still away for the war effort, Tarzan and Boy set off to retrieve rare medicinal herbs, only to run into an American messenger, Nazi spies, and the mysterious desert's treacherous fauna and flora. Will they make it in one piece?
To escape from an arranged marriage to Aquatania's pagan god, a desperate maiden ends up in Tarzan's fishing net. But soon, he, too, finds himself before a well-planned conspiracy. Can Tarzan save the mermaid from the barbaric idol's will?
A smuggling gunrunner stirs up the belligerent Yorango tribe knowing they will attack the peaceful Ashubs tribe and bring Tarzan swinging through the trees to liberate the innocent natives and their queen, and divert Tarzan from his weapon selling elsewhere. Tarzan does so and swings back to his tree-house in time to save Jane from the unwanted-attention of another menacing villain.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
TARZAN'S PERIL (RKO Radio, 1951) directed by Byron Haskin, the third of five installments starring Lex Barker as Edgar Rice Burrough's most celebrated jungle hero, is, by far, the most prestigious project to date. An improvement over the previous two entries, thanks to some authentic location filming in Africa where much of the Tarzan stories takes place, and the casting of George Macready as the most sinister villain thus far, ranking this possibly the best in the Barker series. Aside from location sequences mixed with the studio jungle sets, TARZAN'S PERIL was reportedly intended to become the first in the series to be lensed in color, something that never happened, at least for now anyway.
Rather than the traditional opening focusing on Tarzan, Jane and/ or Cheta's daily activities, which turns up 16 plus minutes into the story, TARZAN'S PERIL opens with a native celebration in British East Africa as Melmendi (Dorothy Dandridge) is made queen of the Ashuba tribe. Commissioner Peters (Alan Napier), about to retire after thirty years of service, witnesses the event with his soon-to-be replacement, Connors (Edward Ashley). King Bulam (Frederick O'Neal), a brutal chief of the Yorango tribe, comes to propose marriage to Melmendi, but is refused. Later, the pounding of drums brings forth a message that Radijack (George Macready), a ruthless slaver and gunrunner, has escaped prison and somewhere in the jungle. Assisted by Doctor Herbert Trask (Douglas Fowley) and Andrews (Glenn Anders) as his henchmen, Radijack intends on bringing in a load of illegal rifles to the natives. As Peters and Connors approach Trask to inspect their hidden items, Radijack makes his surprise attack by shooting them. During their journey climbing a cliff, Radijack arranges for Andrews to meet with an accident that handicaps him with a broken leg. Being left there to die, Andrews crawls through dangerous territory before grabbing gold onto a log and floating down the river. While canoing with Jane (Virginia Huston), Tarzan (Lex Barker) foresees danger and rescues Andrews from a crocodile attack. Taking the injured hunter to a doctor, Tarzan, having learned from Andrews of the killing of his friend, Peters, and Radijack's evil intentions, Tarzan swings into action to stop Radijack from supplying the Yorango tribe with guns to attack the peaceful Ashuba tribe. By doing so, Tarzan faces some perils of his own almost in the manner of a weekly chaptered serial.
Making every attempt on bettering this long running series to a point of recalling some highly entertaining adventure made famous by Johnny Weissmuller during his days at MGM, the strength to TARZAN'S PERIL rests on well developed screenplay by Samuel Newman and Francis Swann with enough action to hold one's interest. Although routinely made, much of it is presented in the manner with some originality. George Macready, as mentioned earlier, gives a standout performance as the villain. Aside from putting other characters to permanent rest, his intention on doing the same to Tarzan finds the jungle hero subdued by his native followers, only to somewhat finish him off by having him thrown into water rapids to plunge down from a high waterfall. Other dangers faced by Tarzan is one where he's entrapped inside spider-like arms of man-eating plants, a similar situation earlier used in Weissmuller's TARZAN'S DESERT MYSTERY (1943), plus his encounter with a giant poisonous snake that nearly takes Cheta. There's also interesting casting of Dorothy Dandridge as the African tribal queen, shortly before achieving immortality for her leading roles as her Academy Award nomination in CARMEN JONES (20th Century-Fox, 1954), and PORGY AND BESS (Samuel Goldwyn, 1959) opposite Sidney Poitier. As with her screen career, Dandridge's role comes short yet essential to the plot.
The weakness to TARZAN'S PERIL once again falls upon the Jane character, this time enacted by the blondish but average acting Virginia Huston. Aside from her short 1950s style haircut and noticeable facial makeup in the Virginia Mayo mode, her Jane character isn't dressed in traditional jungle dress tog but white animal skins resembling that of an Esther Williams bathing suit. Unlike previous efforts where Jane takes part in Tarzan's adventures, this time Tarzan says, "Jane, go home," leaving Tarzan to fulfill his mission alone with Cheta, his chimpanzee, along for the ride. Jane, being off screen for a long stretch, does reappear, doing housework in her tree house before being face to face with a deadly visitor.
While no masterpiece, TARZAN'S PERIL comes close to becoming 79 minutes of non-stop action, making whatever weaknesses that take place to be overlooked or forgiven. Never distributed to video cassette, TARZAN'S PERIL, formerly broadcast on American Movie Classics prior to 2000, and finally Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: July 16, 2011), has become available on DVD through Turner Home Entertainment. With more "Tarzan" adventures in the horizon, and the slow faze out of Jane before the end of the decade, the next installment in the series is TARZAN'S SAVAGE FURY (1952). (*** drums).
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