Sunday Matinee: Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure

Tarzans Greatest AdventureGordon Scott took over the role of Tarzan from Lex Barker in 1955 with Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle. Scott’s first outing was a bland one, the plot had evil hunters with Jack Elam out killing animals and angering a tribe and Tarzan. There was no Jane in most of Scott’s Tarzan films starting with this one. Instead Vera Miles stars as a nurse that helps Tarzan. The minimalist speech patterns of Tarzan also continued.

The next movie was Tarzan and the Lost Safari and to change things up it was shot in colour but the plot was more of the same. A plane crashes and the survivors are rescued by Tarzan who tries to get them to safety. An evil tribe and an evil white hunter are in their way.

The next two would be the last produced under Sol Lesser. Tarzan and the Trappers was actually three failed TV pilots edited together into a mediocre movie. Tarzan’s Fight for Life was the last to feature Jane and Tarzan’s inability to speak English.

With Lesser gone as producer Sy Weintraub took over and quickly decided to change the series. Gone was the pidgin speak and suddenly Tarzan was a lot more like the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel character. 1959 brought Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure, Tarzan is chasing down some white criminals who posed as an Africans that attacked a village and murdered some people. The bad guys are looking for diamond mine. Lead by Slade (Anthony Quayle) with O’Bannion (Sean Connery) as muscle. Sara Shane joins Tarzan in the search. The movie is quite a step up from the usual Tarzan fair and it works.

Scott’s last turn as Tarzan came with Tarzan the Magnificent. Tarzan has to escort a captured bank robber (Jock Mahoney) across the jungle to the next town along with a group of passengers that got stranded by Mahnoey’s Dad (John Carradine). Carradine and his three other sons are trying to rescue Mahoney but Tarzan keeps thwarting them. Sadly the series would take a step down with the next Tarzan, this film’s villain Jock Mahoney.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbRYX7RfdqE

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.