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Issue 0627
ERBzine Silver Screen Presents



TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS
Working Title: Tarzan's Dangerous Game
Starring Johnny Weissmuller ~ No. 11
RKO 1947 ~ 72 minutes

THE STORY

A hunting party led by famous adventurer and animal trainer, Tanya Rawlins (Patricia Morison) accompanied by her financial backer (John Warburton) and her cruel trail boss (Paul Weir) come to Africa looking for animals for zoos. They get permission from Ozira (Ted Hecht), nephew of the king (Charles Trowbridge as King Farrod) of the area  to capture one a male and female of each species. Ozira is actually plotting the “accidental” death of the king and the his son, Prince Suli so that he can gain the throne. Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), on the other side of the river, will not cooperate but the hunters resort to underhanded means to get what they want. When they cross the river, Tarzan steals their weapons and hides them behind a waterfall but Tanya tricks Cheetah into revealing the hiding place to the party. Tarzan and Boy rescue Prince Suli but are threatened by Ozira and band of palace guards. Tarzan calls the elephants in for help. The bad guys are disposed of and Tanya and Smithers (Wallace Scott) escape by plane.

CREDITS
CAST
Johnny Weissmuller: Tarzan
Brenda Joyce: Jane
Johnny Sheffield: Boy
Patricia Morison: Tanya Rawlins
Barton MacLane: Paul Weir
John Warburton: Carl Marley
Charles Trowbridge: King Farrod
Ted Hecht: Prince Ozira
Wallace Scott: 'Smitty' Smithers
Georges Renavent: Man Weighing King
Mickey Simpson: Monak
Maurice Tauzin: Prince Suli
 

Director: Kurt Neumann
Producer: Sol Lessor
Writer: Edgar Rice Burroughs (characters)
Writers: Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh
Producer: Sol Lesser

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Associate Producer: Kurt Neumann
Original Music: Paul Sawtell
Cinematography: Archie Stout
Film Editing: Merrill G. White
Production Design: Phil Paradise
Art Direction: McClure Capps
Costume Design: Harold Clandenning
Makeup Department: Irving Berns
Production Manager: Clem Beauchamp
Assistant Director Bert Briskin
Sound Department: Frank McWhorter
Stunts: Paul Stader
Associate Film Editor: John Sheets
Trainer of Cheetah: Albert Antonucci
Screenplay Constructor: Leslie Charteris
Director of the Elephant Stampede: B. Reeves Eason
Runtime: 72 min
Sol Lesser Productions
Distributors: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

TRIVIA
  • Production dates: 16 September 1946 -  November 1946
  • Filming Locations: Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden - 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, California and San Pedro, Los Angeles, California
  • (Elephant stampede sequence)
  • Famous English mystery writer, Leslie Charteris, who was at the studio working a "The Saint" script helped with the Huntress script.
  • Patricia Morison, disillusioned with Hollywood, turned to the Broadway stage and had starring roles in: Kiss Me Kate,  The King and I, and Kismet
  • After Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe did a non-Tarzan film called Swamp Fire.  The results were mediocre, the film went nowhere and Johnny seemed glad to return to his role as Tarzan
  • Weissmuller, having worked out and dieted, reported for The Huntress looking more fit than he had in years. 






Patricia MorisonPatricia Morison: Born Eileen Patricia Augusta Fraser Morison on March 19, 1915 in New York City, NY. She was billed as the actress with the longest hair in Hollywood (39 inches long). Universal pushed her as a 'rival' to Dorothy Lamour when she changed her hairstyle to a middle parting. She was an excellent actress who was never used to her potential in Hollywood. Finally, disillusioned with disillusioned with the system turned to the Broadway stage where she had a chance to use her fine singing voice and acting talents. She won the starring roles in: Kiss Me Kate,  The King and I, and Kismet. She also appeared in many Broadway-related television productions. Morison never married and is still very active with her many interests which include painting.

Filmography Highlights: Persons in Hiding (1939) ~ Night in New Orleans (1942) ~ Hitler's Madman (1943) ~ The Song of Bernadette (1943) ~ Dressed to Kill (1946) ~ Tarzan and the Huntress (1947) ~ Song of the Thin Man (1947) ~ The Prince of Thieves (1948) ~ The Walls of Jericho (1948) ~ Kiss Me, Kate (1958) (TV) ~ Song Without End (1960) ~ Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)





REVIEWS
 

Variety

Latest of the "Tarzan" jungle pictures is one of the best and strongest of Sol Lesser's series featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs' character and should clock up better than average grosses. Film carries more movement and sincerity than majority in series, and boasts largest number of wild animals and animal sequences to date, all adding up to top entertainment. Lesser and Kurt Neumann, who handled dual chore of associate producer-director, evinced shrewd showmanship in building up story and packed production with values which will sock popular audiences. Cast headed by Johnny Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce and Johnny Sheffield, in their customary roles are as usual okay. Plot revolves around party of Americans who arrive in Tarzan's part of Africa, bent on capturing wild animals to sell to zoos of the world, and ape man's efforts to rout them and save his four-legged friends of the jungle. Intervening action permits plenty of excitement, with a thrilling climax of an elephant stampede. Script by Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh, as handled by Neumann in his direction, puts over theme in a suspenseful manner and early catches imagination of spectator. Film is liberally sprinkled with all types of African wild life, and these contribute heavily to entertainment values of picture as a whole. Animal sequences are splendidly atmospheric. Weissmuller offers his usual convincing characterization, ably supported by Miss Joyce and Johnny Sheffield, as Boy, latter now almost as large as his "father" in series.
Patricia Morison, as femme hunter, scores nicely. Barton MacLane is up to his usual villainy and John Warburton does well as Miss Morison's partner on the safari. Others in the cast rank highly. Apart from the elephant charge, most entertaining portion of film is antics of Cheta, the chimp, who is allotted more footage than usual, all of it welcome. Monk gets number of belly laughs, as do her adopted family of chimps, and otherwise performs for delight of the audience. Technical departments generally are of high order. Archie Stout handled his cameras effectively, and Paul Sawtell's musical score contributes more than a little to film's atmosphere. Phil Paradise acted as production designer and McClure Capps as art director, both rating highly for their work.

The Hollywood Reporter

 Again Cheta proves to be the best actor in a "Tarzan" picture. This remarkable chimp has plenty of competition from other animals, for in "Tarzan and the Huntress" producer Sol Lesser gives the jungle lord a problem of defending the wild beasts in his domain. It amounts to returning Tarzan to the realm in which his creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, first imagined him that is, before the films made 22 pictures concerning his jungle exploits. "The Huntress" is Tarzan's 23rd screen adventure and the eleventh time he has been played by Johnny Weissmuller. Attempts to vary the annual releases have resulted in some pretty fanciful tales, but here is the type of entertainment preferred by the Tarzan following. It mixes deeds of derring-do with elephants, lions, monkeys, buffalo, and even kinkajous in fact all of the wild life to be found in Africa. Top Tarzan grosses are to be expected everywhere. Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh wrote the original screenplay, which is directed by Kurt Neumann who rates an additional credit of associate producer. The shortage of animals in zoos following World War II has sent several bands of Bring-'Em-Back-Alive hunters to Africa. One such band is led by pretty trainer Tanya. With her are an unscrupulous financier and a brutal trail boss. These two talk her out of observing permission by King Farrod to trap only two of each species of animals. They plot with a greedy prince to violate the agreement. But they reckoning without the power of Tarzan ruling his domain. Weissmuller looks better as the jungle lord than he has in the last couple of appearances. Brenda Joyce is now playing Jane, and Johnny Sheffield as Boy has gotten to be a big boy. It is no longer possible for him to do cute things. That puts the burden of comedy on Cheta, and the chimp is more than able. There is a swell running gag about Cheta's desire to gain possession of Tanya's lipstick, and several hilarious contributing moments. Patricia Morison is excellent as Tanya. Barton MacLane appears as her white hunter trail boss, and John Warburton is her financial partner in the venture. Wallace Scott has the bit of the Britisher, Smithers. Charles Trowbridge shows to advantage as King Farrod, but he is the only one of the natives who is acceptable. Archie Stout takes splendid care of the camera requirements of Lesser's production. Phil Paradise did the art direction. Paul Sawtell's music is outstanding as is Merrill White's smooth editing. Don't overlook the animal footage in selling the show.

The Toronto Star

"Tarzan and the Huntress," which opened yesterday at the Victoria and Capitol theatres, is completely characteristic of all Tarzan pictures. That is to say its plot is as outlandishly foolish as its photography of animals is excellent. In the current adventure, Tarzan, in the person of the corpulent Johnny Weissmuller, Jane (Brenda Joyce) and Boy (Johnny Sheffield) are fighting against a band of hunters led by Patricia Morison, who have invaded the jungle in search of wild animals for European zoos. What preposterous shenanigans are then perpetrated can best be left to the imagination, and the wildest supposition is probably not too wild at that. Enough to say that the youngsters will love it, particularly the antics of Cheta, the chimp, who, as usual, completely dominates the film, and makes monkeys out of the humans. She is involved in one of the most peculiar fadeouts ever tacked on to a film a scene in which she descends by parachute from an airplane, applying lipstick as she comes.

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Volume 0627

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