HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Eye for an Eye
Prisonniere, La
Z for Zachariah
Marty
Walk with Me
JFK
Kirlian Witness, The
Kid for Two Farthings, A
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
   
 
Newest Articles
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
   
 
  Tarzan's Desert Mystery Sun TrapBuy this film here.
Year: 1943
Director: William Thiele
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Nancy Kelly, Johnny Sheffield, Otto Kruger, Joe Sawyer, Lloyd Corrigan, Robert Lowery, Frank Puglia, Philip Van Zandt, Frank Faylen, Nestor Paiva
Genre: Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Boy (Johnny Sheffield) is out riding an elephant in the jungle with Cheeta the chimp by his side when he hears an aeroplane flying overhead and calls for Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) who is swimming nearby. The plane drops a canister with a parachute attached, and it floats down to be caught on the branches of a tree. Surmising that Jane has sent it, they set about opening the canister inside which they find a letter from her, which Boy reads out: she wishes them well, but requests Tarzan bring her medicine for the troops fighting in the war...

This was the second film in the Weissmuller Tarzan series not to feature Jane, Maureen O'Sullivan having opted out of the franchise for pastures new, though that did not stop the script from making Jane the impetus for her partner to get out into the desert for this instalment's adventure. This was generally considered one of the craziest of the Lord of the Jungle's movies, apparently made in a hurry after the previous one, Tarzan Triumphs, was a hit due to its wartime propaganda, though while Nazis are the bad guys this time around, this was not quite as heavyhanded on the war aspect.

Nevertheless, Tarzan did have to negotiate his way around a couple of devious spies, Hendricks (Otto Kruger) and Straeder (Joe Sawyer), who actually have him put behind bars for a long stretch of the middle section of the movie. This meant quite often the film was carried by both Boy (and Cheeta, of course) and the female lead, who this time round was Jane substitute Connie Bryce, a magician and performer doing her bit to entertain the Arabs. She was played by former child star Nancy Kelly, who garnered an Oscar nomination over ten years later in The Bad Seed.

She didn't get a nomination for this, mainly because this type of B-movie was not the thing to bother The Academy, but she was certainly a bright spot here. With a wealth of slangy dialogue which made her perfectly of her time and endearingly quaint to modern eyes, she proves plucky in the face of death, both when she is threatened with execution and later on when some wild beasts loom large in the plot. She meets Tarzan and Boy when they "save" her from being sawn in half: she was demonstrating her act for her bearers, but Tarzan gets the wrong end of the stick and chases them away, leaving her to team up with him.

Connie also has an important message to impart, hidden in a bracelet given to her by a sheik which will reveal the true nature of Hendricks and Straeder to the authorities, but it does not quite go to plan. Even at just over an hour, the filmmakers managed to resort to padding this out with an acrobatic act from Cheeta, during which Kelly sings a song, but to be fair this was what the series' fans were expecting. What they might not have been expecting was the last twenty minutes where things get even more presposterous as Tarzan and the gang wind up in a large desert oasis to secure the fruit from which the medicine is made. It was evidently decided to turn this into a "Lost World" affair, so the characters are not only menaced by the requisite lion, but man-eating plants, dinosaurs, and most memorably a huge spider which amusingly chomps on one of the baddies. Not exactly Tarzan's finest hour, but it was... interesting. Music by Paul Sawtell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2060 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: