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Volume 6732

Unauthorized Tarzan Films
II: TOOFANI TARZAN (1962)
By
Robert Allen Lupton

AR Zamindar directed the 1962 film, Toofani Tarzan, (The second Bollywood movie to use the name) and kicked of a barrage of similar films, several starring Azad as Tarzan. In the film, written by Raisa Khan, Azadís Tarzan faced off against a sly magician, Samri, who was in pursuit of a hidden treasure guarded by Tarzan. Samri decides to use Tarzanís own love, Sushma, played by Shanta Kumari, to trap him. It canít be a coincidence that Toofani Tarzan was released the same year as Tarzan Goes to India. The literal translation of Toofani Tarzan is Stormy Tarzan, but it could also be translated as Tarzan the Storm.

The following actor / actresses are credited with appearing in the film. Details about three of them are included in this article. Jeevankala, Santha Kumari, Lata Aurora, Julini, Tun Tun, Azad, Baburao Pahelwan, Leela Agha, Fani Walker, Bilkis, Bangali, Aruna Irani, Babu Bakre, Amir Ali, Sarir, Neeta, Nawab, Noor Mohammed Charlie, Nore Belgum, and Sheikh. Credited Playback singers were Asha Bhosle, Yusuf Azad Quawal, Sabita Banerjee, and Khurshid Bawra.

Frequently the filmographies listed online are incomplete and websites donít list the same information. Some sites frequently ignore entire years in an actorís career. An actor will appear in the credits of a movie, but the movie wonít appear on any lists of his or her filmography. The other side is true. Sometimes, a film is listed in a filmography, but I canít find the actor listed in the credits for the film. Such is life.

Toofani Tarzan (1962) starred Azad Irani in his first appearance as Tarzan. Azad Irani belonged to that rare breed of Zoroastrian actors who dominated the early Indian Cinema Ė especially Silent Cinema Ė because of their good looks and build but with limited Hindi language and/or actin g skills. Azad started his career as a hero with the B-Grade jungle film Zimbo (1958) which was a Tarzan wannabe movie and a success at the box-office. Along with Dara Singh, he remained a popular stunt hero in many B-Grade ventures including Lady of the Lake (1960, Pedro (1960), Zimbo Comes to Town (1960), Tarzan aur Gorilla (1963) and many more. Unfortunately, with the beginning of the 70s when the popularity of jungle and stunt films went the way of all flesh, Azad switched to cameo roles before he faded into oblivion by the beginning of the '80s.

Azad stared as Tarzan in eleven movies, Toofani Tarzan, Tarzan Aur Gorilla, Tarzan Aur Jadagar, Tarzan and Captain Kishore, Tarzan and Deliah, Tarzan and Japari, Tarzan and Circus, Tarzan Aur Jadui Chirag, Tarzan Ki Mehbooba, and Tarzan In Fairyland. It could be argued that Jungle Ki Hoor should be on this list. I donít agree and havenít included it here. Azad also played a jungle king named Zimbo in three films. But a Zimbo does not a Tarzan make. Azad made eleven Tarzan films that I can identify Ė one less than Johnny Weissmuller. He played the role more than anyone except Weissmuller. IMBD.com reports, ďAzad entered the Guinness Book of World record for acting as Tarzan in the most Tarzan movies.Ē My records show that he acted in one less than Johnny Weissmuller, but I could be missing a film.

As of November, 2017, Azad resided in Maryland. He was diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease in 2001. However, as a true Tarzan, he was still going strong and fighting Parkinsonís disease on a daily basis. The pictures below show Azad in 2016, a publicity still and as Tarzan.


Vellaala Subbamma (stage name Santha Kumari) 1920 Ė2006) was an Indian musical artist and film actress. She was married to the Telugu film director and producer P. Pullaiah. Vellaala Subbamma was born in Proddatur. Her father was an actor and her mother was a classical music singer. Santha Kumari was trained in classical music and violin by Professor P. Sambamurthy. She joined a drama troupe and was an AIR (All India Radio) performer and sang along with music director S. Rajeswara Rao.

Santha Kumari debuted in Telugu Cinema with Mayabazar (also known as Sasirekhaa Parinayam) in 1936. In the following year she was a member of the cast of Sarangadhara, a film that was directed by P. Pullaiah, whom she met and married in the same year.

The couple used the name of PadmaSree Pictures, named after their daughter Padma, for some of their movies and had success with films such as Jayabheri (1959), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), and Preminchi Choodu (1965). Santha Kumari acted in most of the movies that were made by her husband, including Shavukaru (1950), Ardhangi (1955), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), Shanti Nivasam (1960), and Ramudu Bheemudu (1964).

In 1947, the couple started the Ragini Pictures banner with Bheemavarapu Narasimha Rao and Bhakta Jana. They made 22 films on both PadmaSree and Ragini banners put together.
She played many lead and supporting roles, with around 250 appearances in total.

Tun Tun was the screen name of Indian singer and actress-comedian, Uma Devi Khatri, who was called "Hindi cinema's first-ever comedienneĒ. Uma Devi was born in a village of Uttar Pradesh, India in 1923. Her parents and brother were murdered over their land and it was seized and taken from her family. In her final interview, she told film critic and historian Shishir Krishn Sharma, "I donít remember who my parents were and how they looked, I was two to two and half years when they passed away, I had a brother eight or nine years old whose name was Hari. I just remembered that we were living in a village named Alipur.Ē

Uma Deviís childhood was marked by poverty. She later met Akhtar Abbas Kazi, an Excise Duty Inspector, who helped and inspired her. At the time of the India-Pakistan partition, Kazi moved to Lahore, Pakistan. Devi moved to Mumbai to pursue singing in movies. Kazi eventually followed her to Mumbai, where they got married in 1947.

She arrived in Bombay (Mumbai) at the age of 23, and sought out composer, Naushad Ali. She told him she could sing and that she would drown herself if he didn't give her a chance. He auditioned her, and hired her on the spot. She made her debut as a solo playback singer in Nazir's Wamiq Azra (1946). She signed a contract with the producer-director A.R. Kardar, who used Naushad as music director, and she went on make a place for herself amidst music stalwarts as Noor Jehan, Rajkumari, Khursheed Bano and Zohrabai Ambalewali.

In 1947, she had several hits. Her future husband, a man from Delhi was so enamored by her song "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon," that he stayed with her in Bombay. They married, and had two daughters and two sons. Her husband, whom she called Mohan, died in 1992.

By 1948 she was one of the most highly rated playback singers. A playback singer is a singer whose singing is pre-recorded for use in movies. Playback singers recorded songs for soundtracks, and actors or actresses lip-sync the songs for cameras; the actual singer does not appear on the screen. Tun Tun reached her peak as a vocalist in director S.S. Vasan's Chandralekha (1948) made by Gemini Studios, Chennai. Her seven songs, which included hits such as "Saanjh Ki Bela" (Good Evening) remain her most accomplished work in her singing career. Signing to do the film violated her contract with producer-director Kardar, which led to her dwindling fortunes in the industry. In America, this is known as the ĎYouíll never work in this town againĒ protocol.

In the following years, because of her dated singing style and limited vocal range, she found it difficult to compete with the younger singing stars. She used her sparkling personality and wonderful comic timing, to reinvent herself as an actress. She was inspired and awestruck by actor, Dilip Kumar and insisted that she would act alongside him in her first film. She appeared in Babul (1950) with him, and Kumar is credited with renaming her "Tun Tun" to suit her comic persona, the name stayed with her, and a comedic legend was born.
She went on to act in Guru Dutt's classics such as Aar Paar (1954), Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955) and Pyaasa (1957). In the 1960s and 1970s, she found a niche as the comic relief in numerous Bollywood films.

In a career spanning five decades, she acted in about 200 films and was paired with top comedy actors of her times such as Bhagwan Dada, Agha, Sunder, Mukri, Dhumal, Johnny Walker (I wonder if he played a drunk) and Keshto Mukherjee. Her last appearance was in the Hindi film, Kasam Dhande Ki (1990).
The name Tun Tun is synonymous with a fat women in India.


MORE ROBERT ALLEN LUPTON FEATURES IN ERBzine
Unauthorized Tarzan Films
ERB On D-Day
The 100-Word Drabble Series

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