TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS (director: Kurt Neumann; screenwriters: story and screenplay by Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh/based on the characters by Edgar Rice Burroughs; cinematographer: Archie Stout; editor: Merrill White; music: Paul Sawtell; cast: Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), Brenda Joyce (Jane), Johnny Sheffield (Boy), Barton Maclaine (Weir), Patricia Morison (Tanya Rawlings), John Warburton (Carl Marley), Charles Trowbridge (King Farrod), Ted Hecht (Prince Ozira), Wallace Scott (‘Smitty’ Smithers), Maurice Tauzin(Prince Suli); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sol Lesser; RKO; 1947)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A flabby 43-year-old Johnny Weissmuller once again plays Tarzan, but is only one pic and two years away from being replaced by Lex Barker in 1949. Writers Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh give us the familiar Tarzan tale, based on the characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs, of white men coming to the jungle with guns to exploit the natural resources and Tarzan thwarting their dastardly plans. Kurt Neumann (“Mohawk”/”The Fly”/”Tarzan and the Amazons”) manages to make this into enjoyable rubbish.
Famous animal trainerTanya Rawlins (Patricia Morison) and her assistant, Carl Marley (John Warburton), fly their small private plane into the jungle and begin their unfriendly expedition. The greedy duo aim to bring back as many animals as possible to stock zoos around the world. They hire as their expedition guide the evil trapper Weir (Barton Maclaine), who informs them the local ruler, King Farrod (Charles Trowbridge), allows only one pair of each animal species to be taken from his turf. But the cunning Tanya attends his birthday party and when the King fails to relent, Weir and Tanya bypass the kindly ruler by making a nefarious secret deal with the King’s ambitious and corrupt nephew, Prince Ozira (Ted Hecht). He promises to let them take as many animals as they want for a bounty on each. To make sure Farrod doesn’t stop this deal, Prince Ozira has his native goons assassinate the ruler, and then the goons throw Farrod’s young son Suli into an alligator pit. Fortunately Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), Jane (Brenda Joyce) and Boy (Johnny Sheffield), along with their prankster pet chimp Cheetah, live next door, across the river, and Tarzan makes sure the villains don’t succeed in taking the animals out of the jungle. Tarzan says animals don’t belong in cages.
This was Johnny Sheffield’s last movie in the series, as his contract was not renewed.
Cheetah’s pranks give the film its energy and laughs. It offers no surprises anymore, but it once again shows Tarzan swinging on the vines and calling out in a signature Tarzan yell to his Elephant friends to obey his commands.
REVIEWED ON 6/19/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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