Monday, 14 June 2010


This was the last of the RKO Tarzan series featuring Johnny Weissmuller as Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle hero. Although the film is mildly entertaining and certainly not the worst of the series it is easy to see why the end was in sight. Weissmuller is too old for the part and is obviously overweight. Boy (usually played by Johnny Sheffield) is away being educated in England, there's a new smaller Cheetah and Tarzan is wearing sandals. The famous tree house is only seen in a couple of stock shots from earlier films with Jane and Tarzan's home being limited to a cramped soundstage set. Worst of all is the comedy relief provided by John Laurenz who bursts into song several times during the movie. Like most of the series during the 40's the African jungle is totally devoid of black natives and Tarzan's home seems to be situated a few miles upstream from a Mexican coastal village. The plot is a cast off from an old Republic serial with wicked whites masquerading as a talking idol to control the simple natives. On the plus side the main villain is George Zucco in High Priest mode who veers between looking as though he is enjoying himself and looking distinctly embarassed by the crown of seashells he has to wear in some scenes - but mostly the old Zucco twinkle is still there. The film benefits from an interesting location and some impressive sets. But it was obviously time for Weissmuller to put on his clothes again and become JUNGLE JIM for rival studio, Columbia. Rating ***

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