Tarzan in films

Tarzan and his adventures have filled the Cinemas around the World for close on 100 years.

Johnny Weissmuller took on the role in 1932 with ‘Tarzan and His Mate’ which proved very successful and was quickly followed by many more over the next decade or more. Johnny seemed to fit the part so well and perfected Tarzan’s call

Tarzan – BELOW In a publicity shot, here Johnny is with Maureen O Sullivan ( Jane) and Johnny Sheffield as ‘Boy’ in ‘Tarzan Finds a Som’

BELOW A much later Tarzan – this time Gordon Scott who took on the role in the late fifties and made the first Tarzan Film in colour

Here he is with Vera Miles who later became his wife

Tarzan BELOW – Gordon Scott this time with Betta St John

Tarzan BELOW Johnny Weissmuller

Tarzan – Lex Barker took over the role in 1949 with ‘Tarzan’s Magic Fountain’ – in my book one of the best story-lines that Tarzan in films ever had.

Lex Barker (as Tarzan) and beautiful Brenda Joyce (as Jane) are given an old cigarette case -“Cheeta” the chimp finds while frolicking with a mate. It belong to famous pilot Evelyn Ankers (as Gloria James), who disappeared in a 1928 plane crash. Evelyn Ankers survived the crash and took up residence in a “Shangri-la” known to only a few, Tarzan being one of them.

Tarzan needs to find her because she has information that would help clear a man unjustly accused of murder…

However the fact that she hasn’t aged while living in “The Blue Valley” for 20 years – very much in the Lost Horizon style – proves very interesting to people who could exploit the ‘youth secret’

This was the last appearance of Brenda Joyce as Tarzan’s “Jane.

Albert Dekker and Charles Drake make fine villains.

Around the same time as Lex Barker took on the role. ‘Boy’Johnny Sheffield starred as Bomba in a series of jungle films. These did not have big budgets but were quite successful, mainly as supporting films on a programme.

BELOW Tarzan again with Johnny and Maureen O Sullivan BELOW


ABOVE – Lex Barker as Tarzan in Colour. I am surprised that we haven’t had a Colorised release of one of the Tarzan films – I later discover that some are now available

I also wish that Lex Barker’s Tarzan had been given the big budget treatment of MGM as I do believe that he could have been a really special Tarzan – he remains my favourite in the role I think, just ahead of Johnny

10770 Chalon House John Farrow

ABOVE – The home of Maureen O Sullivan and her husband John Farrow in Bel Air.

John Farrow, was an Oscar-winning film director from Australia, and Irish-born actress Maureen O’Sullivan, is most often remembered as Jane in six “Tarzan” films between 1932 and 1942 and six of the very best.

Her earnings from those films must have helped her and her husband buy this beautiful house

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Tarzan in films”

  1. Robert says:

    I must watch the Magic Fountain,though I do prefer Gordon Scott.

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