Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Tarzan and the Mermaids Not Actual Mermaids, Though
Year: 1948
Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, George Zucco, Linda Christian, Andrea Palma, Fernando Wagner, Edward Ashley, John Laurenz, Gustavo Rojo, Matthew Boulton
Genre: AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), that denizen of the African jungles, lives near a river which stretches for many miles through the continent until it reaches the sea. It is there the tribe of the Aquatanians live in an apparent paradise, diving for pearls and fishing for their livelihood, enjoying the sunny climes and falling in love. Yet it used to be a lot better, as now they have to worship their god who stands at the top of the islands and makes demands on the natives to provide pearls for him, a duty the locals feel they cannot turn down. But when one of the young women, Mara (Linda Christian) has to be married to it...

Let's just say she's not keen and makes good her escape, diving off a high rock and swimming her way to freedom up that river where she arrives chez Tarzan and the adventure begins. This one would be a little more poignant than the others, not because of the plot but because it was to be the last time Weissmuller appeared in the role that had made him an international star; sure, he had made his name thanks to his record-breaking skills as a swimmer, but if he's recalled today it'll be as Tarzan. After this, life didn't work out entirely well for him, though he did continue in movies with the Jungle Jim B-movie franchise.

For a while at any rate, until other business pursuits took up his time. So as an apparent tribute to the star, Tarzan and the Mermaids featured him undertaking more swimming scenes than he had in the rest of the series put together, seemingly spending half the movie freestyling through the waves, diving off cliffs and venturing to the sea bed where he could get up to such business as battling a giant octopus for no other reason than the plot needed a spot of peril during the finale. The Ape Man was convinced to go to Aquatania when Mara spilled the beans about the repressive regime there, so he and Jane (Brenda Joyce, who would continue with Weissmuller's replacement Lex Barker) set off.

Feeling the need to right wrongs, and particularly rescue Mara from the heavies who kidnap her to return to the island she fled from. That island was a curious one considering it was meant to be African, resembling Hawaii instead though actually filmed in Mexico, yet another example of the geography of the forties Tarzan efforts growing stranger the further they went along. As for the godlike presence there, it is of course nothing of the sort and there's an avaricious pearl trader, Varga (Fernando Wagner), under the costume, in cahoots with the high priest Palanth, played by a familiar face in these things George Zucco, himself no stranger to outlandish costumes.

All of which he wore with his accustomed air of imperious regality, which was why he was so much fun to watch in these works. What wasn't fun was the story that went about concerning the high cliff dive Tarzan achieves near the finale; he had to prove himself as the best at that daredevil activity so took the highest spot to leap from and obviously the studio wouldn't have allowed Weissmuller to carry out the stunt even if he'd wanted to, so his stunt double did it. To all appearances this man genuinely did succeed without trick photography, but then an urban myth began to circulate about the diver actually being killed in the process of the jump, not something that seems to have any basis in truth, but still hangs around the yarns told about this run of movies featuring the Edgar Rice Burroughs character. Whatever, Weissmuller did come across as enjoying himself, maybe thanks to all that swimming, and if you could put up with singer John Laurenz as a Boy substitute (many cannot) then the skill of veteran director Robert Florey kept it rattling along. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3243 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith


Last Updated: