Friday, February 26, 2010

1959 - TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE, is actually very good.

Let's give the producers of this film their due, this is actually a good Tarzan film with a great cast.

The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films are pretty bad.  They were always filmed on phony jungle sets with Tarzan fighting the same phony alligator in the river and the films always had way to many scenes with Cheetah the monkey. Weissmuller  sounded and looked like a half wit when he spoke,  you would hardly know the guy was a five time Olympic gold medal winner.

Somehow the producers of the 1950's Tarzan films got their act together for Tarzan's Greatest Adventure.  They hired a pretty good action director in John Guillermin, they actually filmed most of the movie on location in Africa for a change and most importantly they hired an excellent cast for the film.

Anthony Quayle, Sean Connery and Neil MacGinnis are the bad guys heading up river on a boat in search of a diamond mine.  Gordon Scott as Tarzan is in pursuit, he's stuck with the usual woman in tow played by a British actress named Sara Shane, who actually has a personality. Their relationship almost seems realistic considering the situation. 

Probably the big change in this Tarzan film was giving the Tarzan character a vocabulary.  He doesn't sound like a dumb jock although I'm not so sure about his American accent.  You know you're in for a different kind of Tarzan film, when Tarzan tells Cheetah to stay behind and take care of the tree house. 

The on location filming and the action scenes really make this picture.  There is an exciting scene on the river where Tarzan attacks the bad guys and the final fight on a cliff with an animal snare is very exciting.

Tarzan's Greatest Adventure is a fast moving 90 minutes and this is a movie where you get to see Sean Connery in black face.

88 minutes.

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