TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS (director: Kurt Neumann; screenwriters: John Jacoby/characters by Edgar Rice Burroughs; cinematographer: Archie Stout; editor: Robert Crandall; cast: Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), Brenda Joyce (Jane), Johnny Sheffield (Boy),Henry Stephenson (Sir Guy Henderson, the Archeologist), Mme. Maria Ouspenskaya (Amazon Queen), Barton Maclane (Ballister), Don Douglas (Anders), Steven Geray (Brenner), J.M. Kerrigan(Splivens), Frederic Brunn(LaTour), Lionel Royce (Basov), Shirley O’Hara (Athena), Aquanetta (Amazon Maiden); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sol Lesser; RKO; 1945)
“This ninth Tarzan film in the franchise is a ridiculous tale made more palatable only by Tarzan just being Tarzan.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This ninth Tarzan film in the franchise is a ridiculous tale made more palatable only by Tarzan just being Tarzan (swinging from vines, fighting a crocodile and upholding the pure values of the jungle). Director Kurt Neumann (“She Devil”/”Kronos”/”The Deerslayer”) has to deal with a new actress playing Jane, Brenda Joyce, as Maureen O’Sullivan relinquished the part. Writer John Jacoby has to deal with coming up with some fresh material in a franchise going stale.
After two years in London, Jane returns home to the jungle to be with her mate Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) and adopted son Boy (Johnny Sheffield). Also accompanying Jane are five upper-crust scientist friends from London. The jovial Sir Guy Henderson (Henry Stephenson) is to lead an archeological expedition to study tribes in the area. But at the docking area the scientists’ curiosity is aroused when Cheetah, Tarzan’s frisky pet chimpanzee, gives Jane a welcome home present of a rare gold bracelet that’s worth a fortune. This is the bracelet lost by an Amazon Woman from the secret city of Palmyra, a city of women hidden behind the mountains, who broke the rule of leaving the city and had to be rescued by Tarzan from an attack by leopards and a panther. Tarzan carried her back to her people because she sprained an ankle. The diminutive Amazon Queen (Mme. Maria Ouspenskaya) allows Tarzan to leave because she trusts him to keep the secret and knows he’s indifferent to all the gold treasures in the city. But Tarzan doesn’t realize that the naive Boy followed, and will disobey Tarzan’s orders to not tell the white men where they got the gold bracelet. Thinking he’s helping science make a great discovery Boy leads the scientists to the hidden city, who travel with the thugs Ballister (Barton Maclane) and Splivens (J.M. Kerrigan). The latter two run the outpost by the river, where the boats dock. Once inside the hidden city, greed overtakes the men and the greediest of them all, Ballister, goes on a killing spree until all the greedy white men get served their just desserts, while Boy at the last minute is rescued by Tarzan.
Tarzan, as is the theme of most of these ventures, has to contend with white men who come to Africa with guns with the intention of ripping off the land. They serve as a bad influence on a wide-eyed Boy. Though Tarzan can distinguish between good visitors and bad, the Amazons consider all intruders evil and subject to their harsh punishment.
REVIEWED ON 6/7/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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