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Tarzan's Peril (1951)

Escaped convicts are selling weapons to a warlike native tribe.


Byron Haskin


Edgar Rice Burroughs (characters), Samuel Newman (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Lex Barker ... Tarzan
Virginia Huston ... Jane
George Macready ... Radijeck
Douglas Fowley ... Herbert Trask
Glenn Anders ... Andrews
Alan Napier ... Commissioner Peters
Edward Ashley ... Conners
Dorothy Dandridge ... Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba
Walter Kingsford ... Barney
Frederick O'Neal Frederick O'Neal ... King Bulam


Escaped convicts are selling weapons to a warlike native tribe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Action | Adventure


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Release Date:

13 March 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarzan's Mate in Peril See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sol Lesser Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is one of two Lex Barker Tarzan films in which character actor Alan Napier appeared ( he was previously seen in Tarzan's Magic Fountain). Napier appeared in nearly 150 movies and television shows, including the horror classic The Uninvited and Danny Kaye's comic romp The Court Jester, but he's best remembered for playing Bruce Wayne's steadfast Butler Alfred in 120 episodes of the campy 1960s TV hit Batman. See more »


In her last scene, Jane is crying out to Tarzan but there is no sound to match her wide open mouth. See more »


Follows Tarzan and the Huntress (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Exciting Knife Fight in Tarzan's Peril
4 July 2005 | by Ozirah54See all my reviews

If one is interested in the action/adventure component of Tarzan movies, Tarzan's Peril does have something to offer.

While the plot may be simple, this first Tarzan movie ever filmed in Africa does have its moments, mostly revolving around one of the sub-villains, King Bulam, played by noted African-American actor Frederick O'Neal, founder of the American Negro Theater in New York which launched the careers of such notables as Sidney Poitier.

Gun runners have broken out of jail and have come to King Bulam's village to trade guns for jewels. Bulam, who has tangled with Tarzan before, intends to use the guns to make war on the peaceful Ashuba people, led by Queen Melmendi (Dorothy Dandridge).

Tarzan (Lex Barker) is unsuccessful in stopping Bulam and his Yurongan warriors and is even thrown over a waterfall and presumably drowned. King Bulam conquers the village and, after being rejected by Melmendi, he withdraws and his warriors get drunk. Tarzan returns and organizes an uprising after having freed the Ashuban men.

When Bulam arrives to check on the situation, Tarzan gives his famous yell and the Yurongans are caught off guard. Bulam sees that Tarzan is very much alive and flees in confusion and fear.

Tarzan catches up with the husky, proud, ambitious, and greedy African war chief and a knife fight, one against one, ensues. While a much trimmer stunt double is sometimes visible, this is still an exciting screen fight. Bulam manages to knock Tarzan's head against a tree trunk and then pulls out a rather hefty, oversize knife that we have seen dangling at his waist for much of the film. The knife is almost in Tarzan's neck when Tarzan grabs Bulam's wrist and causes Bulam to fling the knife away. It lands in some ferns, blade side up. Using his legs as scissors, Tarzan manages to spin Bulam away, and the chief rolls over several times.

Here is the part I savor. Bulam rolls over onto the clump of ferns where his knife is projecting skyward. As his ample belly passes over the knife, it is shoved into his body. The wicked, adventurous, risk-taking war chief is stunned; he has been stabbed with his own knife! Bulam makes several attempts to rise and continue the fight and Tarzan even draws his own knife, not certain as to whether Bulam is really done for. But, as his head lolls for the last time, with the knife partially obscured by all the vegetation the king has rolled into, it is certain that Bulam has been vanquished.

The next scene shows the warriors being herded into a corral and Tarzan is begged to stay for a celebration but he must go after the gun runners who are even now having a falling out of their own and, eventually, endangering Jane.

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