Tarzan’s Magic Fountain

Tarzans Magic Fountain
Tarzan’s Magic Fountain (1949)
Directed by Lee Sholem
Sol Lesser Productions / RKO Radio Pictures

Tarzan’s Magic Fountain marked the beginning of a new era for Tarzan films.

Film Producer  Sol Lesser  and RKO Radio Pictures eventually cast 29-year-old  Lex Barker as Tarzan.

Lex Barker who was a native of Rye, New York and a member of a prominent family, and a veteran of World War II had been chosen to take over the role of the ape man from the legendary Johnny Weismuller.

Barker 1949

The script for Tarzan’s Magic Fountain, by Curt Siodmak and Harry Chandlee, tells a story that will be familiar to fans of the film series. Greedy outsiders become aware of something very valuable hidden deep within the jungle, and Tarzan must act to  guard it.

While flying her aircraft some years ago,  Gloria James Jessup (Evelyn Ankers), had been lost and presumed dead but miraculously she walks out of the jungle one day and doesn’t appear to have aged a day since she disappeared.

However a certain Mr. Trask (Albert Dekker) realises that if she’s telling the truth — and there really is a fountain of youth — and that he could stand to make millions selling the water.

The beautiful Brenda Joyce returns in the role of Jane. She appeared in four Tarzan films opposite Weissmuller, and her presence in Tarzan’s Magic Fountain helps to make the transition from Weissmuller to Barker a smooth one. In fact she is the only ‘Jane’ to appear with TWO different Tarzans.

She also plays a pivotal role in the film’s story, as she becomes close friends with Gloria and decides she will do anything to help Gloria be happy — even if it means doing exactly what Tarzan warns her not to do.

Joyce Barker Ankers

Tarzan’s Magic Fountain is a great entry in the series. It’s full of excitement, fantasy and action with lots of  animal action too. Elmo Lincoln, who played Tarzan in the first film adaptation of Burroughs’s novel, Tarzan of the Apes (1918), has an uncredited cameo as a fisherman repairing his net.

 

 

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