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CALVIN'S ERB MOVIE OF THE
Read more of Calvin's weekly reviews in
This is my last review . . . for a while.
I am sorry but I had a death in the family
and working on those issues is preventing my continuing
this column at this time.
I really enjoyed the support of those who have written
me and I enjoyed working on the column and
I will come back and review the ones I have not done
But I must take care of thees issues first.
So THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED but it will reopen.
Welcome to this new series on Burroughs films. My name is Calvin Bowes
and I look forward to this journey as we look at the various films based
on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Each week I will randomly pick a film from the vault as our ERB movie
of the week. Then, in the following week I shall play movie critic
and give my thoughts on the film. I also invite you to submit your thoughts
I feel this could be a fun new feature for ERBzine and if you have any
ERB movie that you want featured in this section, please let us know and
we will work hard to incorporate that film as well.
This week's movie is TARZAN
CONTENTS OF ARCHIVE IV
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXVIII
can not tell you how glad I am to be back in the USA again. In Transylvania
there were no Big Macs and I'm enjoying one right now as we look at the
next film - TARZAN IN
MANHATTAN starring Joe Lara and Kim Crosby. This film takes place
in the present as Tarzan's mom Kala was killed and Cheetah was kidnapped
and brought to New York. Tarzan goes to rescue Cheetah and avenge the death
of his ape mother. One of my favorite moments in this film is when Tarzan
arrives in New York with a fake passport and the immigration official
ask for his passport. Tarzan sez: No problem. The immigration man
looks at the passport, pushes a button and sez: Problem. Tarzan is arrested
-- a very funny moment.
Joe Lara makes a very good Tarzan and he is a very good actor in the
role. The part of Jane is another matter. I don't care for Jane being a
cab driver, I also don't like a hard-edged Jane. I believe the actress
who plays her should have some real vulnerability which Kim Crosby does
not have. This film also has two heavyweight stars, Tony Curtis for one.
This is the first time I ever became annoyed with a performance of Mr.
Curtis but when he keeps calling Cheetah Chiquita over and over it does
become annoying. The best performance in the film is by Jan Michael Vincent
who plays a man who wants to use the animals for experiments. He can go
from charming to creepy on a dime which is very hard for actors to do.
So in judging this film I give it 4 JUNGLE KNIVES for a nice fun ride.
Next week join us for
THE PEOPLE THAT
ERBzine Silver Screen Reference:
so until then THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED.
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXVII
its time to open up our Jungle Vault as we look at another film based on
the work of the great Mr. Burroughs. This week's film is TARZAN'S
SECRET TREASURE starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan.
Actually I think this film should actually be called Boy's Secret Treasure
because Boy takes up most of the screen time.
In this film Boy (Johnny Sheffield) finds gold at the bottom of the
river and his mother Jane tells him how gold is very valuable in civilization.
She tells him about all the wonderful things that are in civilization and
so Boy takes it upon himself to try to see civilization for himself. Instead
he finds a village plagued with sickness and the natives blame him for
it and try to have him killed. He is rescued by a scientific expedition
and he and a friend named Tumbo (Cordell Hickman) are taken back
to the Escarpment. At this point boy reveals to two of the men (Tom Conway
and Phillip Dorn) that he has gold. Greed gets the better of them and they
decide they are going do whatever it takes to get the gold.
This is a very exciting film with great performances from Reginald Owen
who plays professor Elliot. The scene stealer and comic relief in this
film is Barry Fitzgerald as O'Doul. The bad guys are really terrific because
they have some charm at the beginning that turns on a dime when they find
out about the gold. Also making an appearance in this film for the third
time is our favorite alligator who Tarzan fought in TARZAN AND HIS MATE
and TARZAN ESCAPES and he will fight again in Denny Miller's TARZAN THE
APE MAN. You can't keep a good alligator down. That brings us to Tarzan
and Jane. Even though they don't have much screen time Weissmuller and
O'Sullivan light up the screen together and their chemistry has not been
matched by any others after them. This is a film that is a lot of fun to
watch. Only one thing bothers me. At the end of the film, when O'Doul is
leaving the jungle, Tarzan and Jane just put him on an elephant and send
him on his way. Why doesn't Tarzan escort him out himself?
Just a question.
But still this is a fun film that brings in 4 JUNGLE KNIVES.
Next week Joe Lara and Kim Crosby in TARZAN IN MANHATTAN
ERBzine Silver Screen
so watch this film with us and come back next week
but until the as always THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED!
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXVI
I'm back from my trip to Transylvania. I was there for about two
weeks -- a very interesting trip indeed. But now I'm back and ready to
open up our Jungle Vault for another film based on the work of E R B. This
week we discuss a very good film even though it stars one of my least favorite
Tarzans. The film is TARZAN'S
FIGHT FOR LIFE starring Gordon Scott and Eve Brent.
In this film Tarzan's mate Jane is sick with appendicitis and Tarzan
must take her to the doctor in Randini for surgery. The other problem is
that a neighboring tribe is controlled by the witch doctor (James Edwards)
who has forbidden his people from seeing and being treated by the white
doctor (Carl Benton Reid) so he has put fear into his people and its up
to Tarzan to show them the light. I enjoyed this film very much. It gives
us a good story built more on drama than action, athough there are good
action sequences as well. Good examples are when Tarzan fights the 70-foot
snake and when he swings over the hungry lion. But this film concentrates
mostly on the drama of the story, which I feel is a good thing. My favorite
scene is the part when Futa the witch doctor has stolen what he thinks
is the white doctor's medicine, but is actually poison and then tries to
give it to the chief's son to cure him. Tarzan warns that the serum is
poison and the witch doctor does not believe him and drinks it himself
and dies. Great moment indeed.
One part in the film bothers me, however. Why, when the natives capture
Tarzan and tie him up, don't they take his knife away from him? He only
uses it to escape which he could not have done without. But even with this
obvious error its still a good film. Gordon Scott, as I said, is not one
of my favorite Tarzans but he still gives an adequate performance here.
Eve Brent is a terrible Jane. She reminds me of a classic Las Vegas showgirl.
Tommy Sorrenson is OK as Tartu, although he doesn't have much to do in
this film. The best performance is by James Edwards as Futa. He plays a
villain who works well on many levels.
So in Judging this film I give TARZAN'S FIGHT FOR LIFE 4 1/2 JUNGLE
Next week we will watch
TARZAN'S SECRET TREASURE
starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan
ERBzine Silver Screen Reference:
but until next week THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXV
back to the jungle as we present another film based on the work of Edgar
Rice Burroughs. This week we watched THE
LION MAN based on the book THE
LAD AND THE LION. In this film, Sir Ronald Chatham (Eric
Snowden) makes a deal for surveying with an unscrupulous Sheik (Ted Adams)
who basically ordered him and his son killed. But the son is rescued and
raised by Hassan El Dinh (Richard Carlyle). The child grows to manhood
and becomes El Lion (Jon Hall) who then searches for the man who had his
This, in my opinion, is a very bad film and moves very slowly for an
action film. They spend a lot of time speaking in biblical English, which
is annoying if it isn't Shakespeare. The worst part is that when we finally
have the big fight between El Lion and the man who murdered his father
it looks more like a staged dance that is done badly than a fight to the
death that it is meant to be. West Side Story this is not.
Of all the non-Tarzan ERB films I feel this one is the worst. It's sad
too because the book was quite enjoyable and could have been a good movie
in other hands. So, in judging this film THE LION MAN only gets 1/2 of
a JUNGLE KNIFE.
Next week we will watch
TARZAN'S FIGHT FOR LIFE with GORDON SCOTT
ERBzine Silver Screen
but until then like I always say THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXIV
we are again with another Tarzan flick. This week we watched TARZAN
AND THE HUNTRESS starring Johnny Weissmuller and Brenda Joyce.
In this film a group of people come to Africa to capture animals for zoos
in America as at that time there is a shortage of zoo animals. The group
is led by a beautiful woman (Patricia Morison) with her fiance (John Warburton)
and their trail boss (Paul Weir).
Tarzan, Jane, and Boy (Johnny Sheffield) have come to bring gifts to
King Farrod (Charles Trowbridge). Also attending is the king's son (Ted
Hecht) who is very greedy and has agreed to help the hunters by taking
away the quotas of animals that the king has allowed. So to accomplish
this Prince Ozira has his father killed so he can be the prince. Tarzan
tries to stop them from trapping the animals but finds they are doing this
with the prince's permission. So Tarzan tells the hunters to stay on their
side of the river and he will stay on his. After getting to the other side
he calls all the animals to his side of the river.The hunters won't take
this so they cross the river to trap the animals and like in so many other
Tarzan films this one ends with a big elephant stampede.
This film is a lot of fun and Weissmuller is very good in his Tarzan
role. Brenda Joyce is OK in this film, but she is not one of my favorite
Janes. This was Johnny Sheffield's last Tarzan film and you can see
why -- he is now too big to be called Boy. He is almost as big as Weissmuller.
He could even have played the Tarzan role at this time.
So, in judging this film, TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS brings in a solid
4 JUNGLE KNIVES for being a fun Tarzan film.
Next week Tarzan will take a break as we watch the movie THE LION MAN
ERBzine Silver Screen Reference
so watch this film with us, but until then THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED!
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXIII
jungle time again as we look into our jungle vault and pull out another
film. This week we watched TARZAN
AND THE SHE DEVIL starring Lex Barker and Joyce Mackenzie -- a
pretty good effort.
In this film a group of ivory hunters led by Vargo who is played by
Perry Mason himself, Raymond Burr, are hired by a beautiful She Devil (Monique
van Vooren) to discover a herd of elephants. Their plan is to enslave a
local tribe and get Tarzan to call the elephants so they can kill hem.
Their main idea is to capture Jane and hold her hostage to force Tarzan
to call the elephants since he would not do this willingly. But when trying
to capture Jane they think they have accidentally killed her. When Tarzan
hears this he loses his will to survive. But miraculously Jane is not dead
and when Tarzan finds she is alive his will to survive returns. The film
has some really good action sequences, especially the last one -- the elephant
Now for the bad point of this film. When the film ends it is in the
middle of the elephant stampede. It's true we do see all the bad
guys die and Tarzan and Jane escape but it feels like the film just ends
abruptly with no tag at the end. Very strange indeed.
The cast in this film is very good. Lex Barker who, as you know, is
my favorite Tarzan gives an unusually emotional performance in this film.
Joyce Mackenzie is a very good Jane and she and Barker have a great chemistry
together. Now for the villains. Raymond Burr is very good as Vargas, a
real scum bucket and Monique van Vooren is very evil and sexy as the She
So in rating this film TARZAN AND THE SHE DEVIL brings in 4 1/2
JUNGLE KNIVES. It would have gotten five had it not had that weird abrupt
Next week we are watching Johnny Weissmuller and Brenda Joyce in
AND THE HUNTRESS
ERBzine Reference: http://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0627.html
but until then THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXII
we are again as we look at yet another ERB film and this week it is TARZAN'S
HIDDEN JUNGLE starring Gordon Scott. The film concerns some hunters
(Jack Elam and Charles E. Fredericks) who are posing as documentary film
makers and trick a doctor (Peter van Eyck) and his assistant (Vera Miles)
into taking them into Sukulu country. The Sukulu see the animals as sacred
and anyone who kills an animal dies.
Now I know that this sounds like an exciting action-packed plot. But
the truth is there is no real action until the last 10 minutes on the screen.
It's mostly just standing around talking about how deadly the situation
is and nothing really happens. The high point in this film is Vera Miles
who plays Jill and she is very sexy. She and Gordon Scott light up the
screen together. This is probably why he married her a year later. Now
I know I have said this before but Gordon Scott is one of my least favorite
Tarzans. In this film he looks mostly like he is posing for a Mr. Olympia
contest instead of making a Tarzan film. Other than Vera miles this film
has very little to offer.
So, in judging this film, TARZAN'S HIDDEN JUNGLE brings in 1
1/2 JUNGLE KNIVES.
Next week Lex Barker will be with us in TARZAN AND THE SHE DEVIL
ERBzine Silver Screen Reference at:
so until then THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED!
ERB MOVIE OF THE WEEK XXXI
Disney's TARZAN AND JANE
Compilation of 3 TV episodes: See the TV Episode Titles at:
that time again when I pull a film out of the Jungle Vault and this week
is Disney's TARZAN AND JANE. In this animated film, Jane (voiced by Olivia
D'Abo) is trying to figure out what to do for Tarzan (voiced by Michael
T. Weiss) for their one-year wedding anniversary. First she thinks it would
nice to have a party, but the animals remind her of a time when three of
her girlfriends came to visit her and the danger they got into. Next she
thinks of giving him a diamond but remembers when Tarzan helped two unscrupulous
men find diamonds and the trouble they got into.
Lastly she thinks of dancing with him and then she remembers an ex-boyfriend
who was a double agent and kidnapped her in his plane. She is totally baffled.
Whatever shall she do to celebrate their anniversary. This is truly a wonderful
film that recreates the magic from Disney's first Tarzan film. My only
complaint is that it has Mandy Moore's music instead of that of Phil Collins
which is featured only over the opening titles. This is still a fun movie
which brings in 3 1/2 JUNGLE KNIVES.
Next week we will look at TARZAN'S HIDDEN JUNGLE starring GORDON
See the ERBzine Silver Screen reference at:
but until then THE JUNGLE IS CLOSED!
Read more of Calvin's weekly reviews in the Archive
OF ARCHIVE ROOM 1
ERBzine Silver Screen
|1. TARZAN'S PERIL
|2. TARZAN OF THE APES
|3. TARZAN THE APE MAN
|4. TARZAN FINDS A SON!
|5. TARZAN AND THE TRAPPERS
|6. TARZAN AND THE GREEN
|7. GREYSTOKE THE LEGEND
|8. TARZAN GOES TO INDIA
|9. TARZAN AND THE VALLEY
|10. THE LAND THAT TIME
|Reflections: TARZAN TRIUMPHS
Back to Calvin's latest
To ERBzine Silver Screen
CONTENTS OF ARCHIVE II
ERBzine Silver Screen
|11. TARZAN AND THE GOLDEN LION
|12. TARZAN AND THE LOST CITY
|13. DISNEY'S TARZAN
|14. TARZAN AND THE AMAZONS
|15. TARZAN'S MAGIC FOUNTAIN
|16. TARZAN THE APE MAN
|17. TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT
|18. TARZAN THE FEARLESS
|19.TARZAN'S THREE CHALLENGES
to Calvin's latest reviews
CONTENTS OF ARCHIVE III
ERBzine Silver Screen
|21. TARZAN'S NEW YORK ADVENTURE
|22. TARZAN AND THE SLAVE GIRL
|23. TARZAN AND THE GREAT RIVER
|24. AT THE EARTH'S CORE
|25. DISNEY'S TARZAN II
|26. TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD WOMAN
|27. TARZAN'S SAVAGE FURY
|28. TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE
|29. TARZAN AND THE JUNGLE BOY
|30. TARZAN AND HIS MATE
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