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TARZAN AND THE GREAT RIVER (director: Robert Day; screenwriter: Bob Barbash/from a story by Bob Barbash/based on the characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs; cinematographer: Irving Lippman; editors: Edward Mann/James Nelson/ Anthony Carras; music: William Loose; cast: Mike Henry (Tarzan), Jan Murray (Capt. Sam Bishop), Diana Millay (Dr. Ann Phillips), Rafer Johnson (Barcuma), Manuel Padilla Jr(Pepe), Paulo Gracindo(Professor); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sy Weintraub; Paramount; 1967)

“Inferior Tarzan venture.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Robert Day(“She”/”The Green Man”/”Operation Snatch”)directs this inferior Tarzan venture. It’s based on a story byBob Barbash. This time the jungle setting is in Brazil’s Amazon jungle.

Tarzan (Mike Henry) visits his zoologist friend (Paulo Gracindo) at the Rio de Janeiro zoo and after learning that a killer ancient cult of jaguar natives has been revived and are burning and attacking villages in the Amazon and also taking slaves and, that its leader is called Barcuma (Rafer Johnson), the African discovers the professor killed by the cult. To stop the killings Tarzan determines he has to pursue Barcuna, and travels to the Amazon with his pet chimp Cheetah and pet lion Baron. When he reaches the Amazon river, he must rescue grumpy small cargo captain Sam Bishop (Jan Murray) and his cheerful 10-year-old orphan first mate Pepe (Manuel Padilla Jr)from a killer cult attack. The captain agrees to give Tarzan a ride upstream to the village of Calebah, where he’s to deliver medical supplies to Dr. Ann Phillips (Diana Millay). At the village they discover a frightened Dr. Phillips, the only survivor of an attack by the cult. She now joins the boat, as she must get the medicine to the Marakeet country to treat an epidemic. While there Tarzan discovers the spot where Barcuna is forcing the slaves to dig for diamonds and gets into a fist-fight with him. After killing Barcuma, the cult folds its tents and vanishes.

Too bad no one could act in this silly Tarzan venture, as Mike Henry makes for a wooden Tarzan and borscht-belt comedian Jan Murray is a fish out of water.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”