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.