Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Mr. and Mrs. Reed and their daughter Eleanor are on safari in Africa, hoping to take some live animals back to place in zoos, while Eleanor's fiancé Nevin is killing crocodiles on the river. The wealthy Ben Alleu Bey comes on to Eleanor, though she thoroughly rebuffs him. When Eleanor falls and gets stuck in the riverbank mud, Nevin wrings his wussy hands while Tarzan comes swinging in to help her. Safari guide Olaf, a burly guy with a facial twitch, eggs the group on to find the rare white crocodile, leading them toward Bey's palace in the jungle. After some adventures with lions and chimps, Eleanor is snatched by Bey's men, Nevin proves again to be the non-heroic type, and Tarzan again comes to her rescue.  This is an "unofficial" entry in the Tarzan series, made not by MGM but as an indie production by Sol Lesser, so instead of Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan is played by Glenn Morris (pictured), an Olympic decathlon champ. Morris is a bit goofy looking and a little wooden but serviceable. Swimming champ Eleanor Holm is his leading lady who decides to stay in the jungle with Tarzan at the end. Neither one ever starred in a movie again. There's a good supporting cast including George Barbier as Dad, Hedda Hopper as Mom, C. Henry Gordon as the slimy Bey, George Meeker as the wimpy—and eventually villainous—Nevin, and Joe Sawyer as Olaf. The budget for this was lower than for the MGM films, but the palace sequence is quite impressive, with elaborate sets and a dancing-girls number. Quite watchable with adjusted expectations. [TCM]

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