For more than a
year Jane and Tarzan lived happily with Chita in their treetop home. Jane
learned to know and to love the animals and to speak their language. She
fashioned dresses of soft skin to match Tarzan's leopard skin clothing.
She taught Tarzan to speak a few words of her language. Together they swam
in the shaded streams, raced along the trails and swayed in the branches
of the trees.
Then, one day when they were
returning home from a hunting trip, they heard the strange sound of gunfire
and the growl of battling gorillas. Quickly Tarzan swung through the trees
until he looked down upon a long safari of natives led by two white men,
fighting an army of maddened gorillas.
Tarzan's cry rang above the
noise of the battle. The guns were silenced and the gorillas stood motionless.
Tarzan dropped rapidly to the ground. Sternly he ordered the animals back
into the jungle and walked forward to meet the white men.
"Tarzan," cried one, rushing
toward him, "Don't you remember me. I'm Holt. Harry Holt."
"Holt," Tarzan repeated,
"And this is Martin, my friend,"
"Martin-my friend," Tarzan
repeated slowly. "Holt. Tarzan. Martin-my friend," he continued, pointing
to each one in turn.
The three men looked upward
as the leaves parted and Jane appeared on a low branch above their heads.
Tarzan held his arms and the girl slipped down into them.
"Jane," Holt cried.
"Harry," she exclaimed in
glad surprise. "Is it really you?"
Holt introduced "Martin-my
friend" and the three chatted gaily as they walked to the camp of the safari
with Tarzan stepping silently at Jane's side.
"Aren't you homesick, Jane?"
Holt asked when they were sitting before the fire.
"Not a bit," the girl answered
proudly, "I love Tarzan and I'm happy. I never want to go back to the other
world. I guess that I belong to Tarzan and his jungle."
Then Holt told her that he
had come back with Martin and the huge safari to find again the Burial
Ground of the Elephants and to carry away the ivory.
"Tarzan is our only hope
of finding the way," he said. "You will persuade him to take us there,
won't you Jane?"
Jane promised. As they talked,
Tarzan arose and quietly slipped away into the jungle.
"He has gone to build a house
for us in the trees," Jane smiled. "We always have our little sky mansions
wherever we go."
"And we have a brought a
surprise for you Jane," Holt said. He pointed to a trunk standing beside
his tent. Slowly Jane opened it and gasped at what she saw. There were
lovely dresses, perfumes, powders, all the things which she had not seen
for so long a time.
Holt persuaded her to go
into the tent and put on one of the dresses. When she came back, wearing
a trailing evening gown, Holt turned on a portable phonograph and Jane
danced with Martin to its melodies.
"Doesn't this make you want
to go back to England?" Martin asked.
"No," Jane answered, "I couldn't
be happy away from Tarzan."
When Tarzan appeared noiselessly
from the darkness, he stared with surprised fright at the phonograph. Suddenly
he sprang upon it and slashed it with his knife. Jane, smiling, stopped
him and explained to him that it was not a strange animal. Then he noticed
her changed clothes and smelled the sweet odor of the perfume. With a smile
he swung her up through the branches to the little house he had built high
above the camp of the safari.
The next morning they started
on their long, weary journey to the secret tomb of the elephants. Above
the safari, in the treetops, travelled Tarzan and Jane to show the men
the way. When Jane's lovely, trailing dress caught in the branches, she
suddenly threw it away and put on her skin clothing. Tarzan smiled happily.
When they made camp that
night the natives cut stout poles and tested them for strength under Martin's
direction. Tarzan sat by the fire and watched with eyes which did not understand
until Jane explained that the poles would carry the tusks of the dead elephants
away from the Burial Ground.
"No," Tarzan said, "No!"
He broke one of the poles in his steel-strong fingers and walked away from
"The elephants are Tarzan's
friends," Jane explained to Holt and Martin, "I hadn't thought of that
before. I know he will not like it if you disturb their resting place."
"But he must go with us,
Jane," Holt pleaded. "We can't find the place without him. Please ask him
to do it."
Tarzan refused to go on to
the Burial Ground. Holt understood and was willing to turn back. But Martin
insisted on pushing forward without Tarzan. As they talked, Saidi, their
native gun-bearer, ran into camp to tell them that the elephants were grazing
near by. Martin seized is gun and ordered the natives to follow him. He
remembered Holt's story of the dying elephant which had led them to the
Creeping through the bushes,
followed by Holt, Martin came upon a peaceful scene, two grown elephants
and a baby feeding beside a water hole. Before Holt could stop him, Martin
fired, wounding one of the beasts. The injured elephant staggered into
"Hurry, Saidi," Martin ordered.
"Get the boys. We'll follow the trail. You brought me out here, Holt, with
the promise of wealth in ivory. Are you going with me or will you
stay with Tarzan?"
"I'll go with you," Holt
As the two men started on
the trail, Tarzan dropped from the trees in their path. Martin raised his
gun. But Tarzan quickly grabbed it from his hand and broke it into two
pieces. Then he seized Martin and held him above his head, poised to hurl
him to the ground.
"Stop, Tarzan, please," Jane
cried, running to his side.
Seeing her tears, Tarzan
dropped the man to the ground. Martin scrambled to his feet and led the
safari along the trail of the wounded elephant. Holt lingered for a minute,
then followed Martin. The safari disappeared.
For many days Holt, Martin
and the natives followed the wounded elephant until they stood, at last,
in the hidden tomb. Their eyes glittered greedily at the sight of the piles
of precious ivory. Martin ordered the weary natives to load the tusks on
poles so they could be carried away.
As they finished tying the
last tusk to the heavily-laden poles, the trumpeting of the elephants shattered
the torch-lighted silence of the tomb. Tarzan's cry rang above the angry
roars of the animals. A horde of the huge beasts surged through the entrance.
Tarzan leaped from back to back, urging them onward.
Frantically the safari dashed
for the narrow passage-way at the opposite end of the tomb. Again Tarzan's
cry echoed against the rocky walls. Through the other entrance a second
army of elephants thundered into the little valley. The trapped, terror-stricken
men stood still. Martin pointed his gun toward Tarzan but Holt struck it
from his hand.
Then above the clamor came
the sound of Jane's voice, calling to Tarzan. He commanded the elephants
to be quiet. Through the path which they opened for her, Jane rode into
the tomb on the back of an elephant. She held little Chita in her arms.
Tarzan followed her as she jumped from the elephant to the ground and ran
to Holt and Martin.
"Don't you understand?" she
asked them. "The elephants are Tarzan's friends. He loves them and they
love him. He will not let you disturb their burial ground."
"Will Tarzan lead us safely
out of here if we do not touch the ivory?" Martin asked, craftily pretending
"Of course," Jane answered.
Then she turned to Tarzan, "They understand now, Tarzan. They will go back.
They don't want the ivory."
Tarzan smiled. He then sounded
his call. This time it had a note of command in its gentleness. The elephants
turned slowly and left the Burial Ground.
Martin suggested that they
remain there for the night, so the safari made its camp in the quiet of
the little valley. Tarzan, Jane and Chita slept in the soft moss on a ledge
overlooking the silent tomb.
With the first rosy gray
of the dawn, Tarzan slipped from his mossy bed, aroused the sleeping Saidi
and told him in gestures that he would hunt meat for breakfast. As Tarzan
disappeared through the entrance, Martin walked out of his tent. Saidi
told him that Tarzan had gone to the jungle in search of fresh meat.
"I'd like to watch him hunt,"
Martin said, "But I won't disturb him. See, Saidi, I'm not even taking
a gun." But as soon as he was out of Saidi's sight, Martin tightened his
belt around the revolver which he had hidden beneath his shirt.
At the edge of the crocodile-filled
stream, the two men came face to face. Suddenly a crocodile slipped from
the river, its angry head turned toward Martin.
"Martin-my friend," Tarzan
shouted in warning. At the sound of his voice, the crocodile slid back
into the water. Tarzan plunged into the river. With a quick slash of his
knife he wounded the animal and came hastily back to shore.
As he stepped from the water
and smiled, Martin raised his revolver and fired straight at Tarzan's body.
With a look of surprised bewilderment, Tarzan dropped his knife and fell
backward into the river. Again and again Martin fired at the spot where
Tarzan had sunk beneath the water. Then he flung his revolver into the
middle of the stream.
Martin returned breathlessly
to camp to tell of Tarzan's tragic death in a fight with a crocodile. "If
only I had had a gun with me," Martin murmured sadly.
The sorrowing natives searched
the underbrush along the stream and came back to camp, bringing with them
only Tarzan's knife, mute evidence of the owner's death.
Sadly and silently, bearing
its load of ivory, the safari started back toward civilization. Since Tarzan
was gone, Jane did not care about the ivory. She walked slowly, leaning
against Holt. Martin mercilessly whipped the overloaded natives forward.
But little Chita did not
go with the safari. Jane, in her grief, did not notice the little small
monkey's absence from her side. Along the riverbank ran the frantic Chita,
calling to Tarzan. Suddenly her bright eyes saw a hand lying among the
grasses. She parted the leaves. There lay Tarzan, unconscious and bleeding
from a wound in his shoulder. Swiftly Chita ran through the trees, screaming
for the apes. She led them to Tarzan. In their strong arms they lifted
him and carried him to his treetop home.
Then little Chita returned
to the safari and tried to tell Jane what had happened. But the heartsick
girl was too numb with grief to notice the monkey's chatter.
As the weary, footsore safari
struggled along the rough trail, it was suddenly stopped by a rain of arrows
from the trees. The Lion Men, a savage, cruel tribe of jungle warriors,
leered down upon them. The safari dropped the ivory and huddled together
in fear. From the trees the savages roared their summons to the lions in
the jungle. Slowly the underbrush around the terrified safari was filled
with the tawny beasts.
Once more Chita crept away
from Jane. Unseen, she fled into the jungle. Straight to Tarzan's house
she hurried. He listened to her excited chatter, called together his army
of apes and raced through the trees behind Chita.
With the coming of darkness
the Lion Men and the lions charged the safari and the fighting was furious
Then, ringing above the
clamor of the battle, came the cry of Tarzan as he reached the fray with
his army of apes. The apes fell upon the Lion Men in the trees in a desperate
Again Tarzan's call echoed
through the night -- a weird call with a strange compelling note. It was
answered by the trumpeting of his elephant friends.
Jane forgot all danger and
rushed happily toward Tarzan whom she had thought was dead.
A Lion Man hurled a spear
at her running figure. But Hold saw it and flung himself directly in its
As Holt fell lifeless to
the ground, the spear in his heart, Tarzan leaped from the tree and seized
Jane in his arms.
The Lion Men fled before
the mad onrush of the apes. The lions, hearing the battle cry of the elephants
as they rushed in a great herd to help Tarzan, gave up the fight and slunk
away into the jungle.
Martin, in desperate fear
of Tarzan, raised his gun and pointed it toward the tall figure in the
leopard skin. As Martin pulled the trigger, an elephant seized him in his
trunk and hurled him with bone-crushing force against a tree. Martin dropped
to the ground and lay motionless. The bullet sped on until it buried itself
harmlessly in a branch.
At Tarzan's words of quiet
command, the elephants picked up the ivory and lumbered off into the forest,
carrying it back to its resting place.
Then, hand in hand and smiling
into each other's eyes, Tarzan and Jane with brave little Chita, swung
through the branches to their treetop home where they would find safety
Tarzan and His Mate
~ 1934 (01h:43m:57s)
Review of the MGM DVD Version
from the Digitally
Obsessed Site by Nate Myers
Sequels are rarely superior
to their predecessor, especially when the original is as much fun as W.S.
Van Dyke's Tarzan the Ape Man. However, when watching Tarzan and His Mate,
Van Dyke's movie doesn't seem to be as much fun as it used to. It now appears
to have been the setup, and this Tarzan adventure is the punchline.
The on-screen duo of Weissmuller
and O'Sullivan continues in this bigger and more risqué installment.
So risqué, in fact, that the original director (Cedric Gibbons,
MGM's legendary art department head) was replaced after three weeks with
veteran Jack Conway (who goes uncredited here). The steam still sizzles
decades after the movie's premiere, with Jane wearing a two-piece jungle
bikini for the most part. For the most part, that is, because she and hubby
Tarzan take a joy swim in the nude. Oh, yes, all is there for the audience
to see (well, except for Tarzan). Breasts, butt, and even...um, Jane's
frontal area get the big screen treatment. How MGM was able to sneak this
out (eventually the Hays Office removed the scene completely) is flabbergasting
to say the least.
Oh, wait, that's right! There's
a movie here, not just an "immodest" swim scene. Harry Holt (Neil Hamilton),
the longtime friend of Jane's father that was introduced in the previous
movie, is returning to the jungle with his scavenger friend, the cruel
and greedy Martin Arlington (Paul Cavanagh). They're on the hunt for the
elephant graveyard and its piles of ivory. But there's one catch: they
need Tarzan to lead the way—and he isn't too keen on the idea of grave
robbing. Sound like a good ride that promises adventure and double-crosses?
It is, and so much more.
Tarzan and His Mate plays
like Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it is far more daring than anything in
Spielberg's blockbuster masterpiece is. Aside from the nude scene and the
sexually suggestive dialogue, Jane is a strong woman. She doesn't have
Tarzan's strength to kill crocodiles with nothing but a knife, but she
is one of the most feisty and intelligent heroines ever thrown into a jungle.
Her vine swinging has come quite along way since the last movie and she
vigorously holds off an army of lions. That's right, an army of lions.
There's also an army of elephants and some amazing matte paintings. The
technical accomplishments and special effects are impressive even to this
day, though modern viewers will easily spot the techniques employed to
create the exhilarating action sequences. It may not seem so to today's
audiences, but the camera work present here is quite daring and kinetic
for its time. However, the story and its telling are too fun for anybody
to really care.
Adding to the movie's daring
qualities is the fact that Jane and Tarzan, properly speaking, have never
been properly married, yet still live together (though they refer to each
other as husband and wife—perhaps Cheeta is a Justice of the Peace). Another
great aspect of this installment in the Tarzan series is its thematic content.
The script hits on Burroughs' themes of civilization destroying the individual's
strength, suggesting the need for mankind to embrace and make peace with
its animal qualities. Obviously, such themes are not deeply explored and
do not provide serious food for thought, but it's enough to make this adventure
movie just a little more substantive. In essence, Tarzan and His Mate is