First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 6785

LIFE: June 4, 1963
From the Marc DeLamater Collection

Jungle hero is a changed ape man
He looks like the old Tarzan, clenching his teeth in a showdown with the villain (previous page). But there is a difference. The new Tarzan, portrayed by Jock mahoney, 13th actor in the role, speaks not in grunts but in impeccable English. And Jane is gone (Dead? Divorced? Who knows?). The action in this latest adventure, MGM's Tarzan's Three Challenges, takes place in Thailand and the plot is older than The Prisoner of Zenda. Tarzan must perform super-human feats to guarantee a boy lama his religious throne. The ape man flashes through the ordeals and vanquishes the villain -- and, to that extent, is the same old Tarzan.


In Buddha-filled Petchaburi caves, in southwest Thailand, Tarzan prepares to defend hero from murderous villain.
Suddenly civilized, Tarzan offers his warm respects to the boy lama and the comely heroine in perfect English.
Haggard Tarzan finishes marathon race which is one of the challenges. He also fights a pair of water buffalo,
New Tarzan, ex-stuntman Jock Mahoney, caught fever durng filming, lost 20 pounds, manfully finished the role.

Gone Are the Pals of Yesteryear
Goodby Cheetah . . .  So Long, Jane . . .  See you later, alligator
Tarzan's favorite companions, Cheetah (shown with Gene Polar) and
Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan with Johnny Weissmuller), have been banished into limbo.
Frank Merrill as Tarzan wrestled alligators which are gone but may come back some day.

Right from the start there is something strange about this movie. In the middle of a jungle clearing a Buddhist monk is flying a shimmering red kite. Gradually the audience realizes that the kite is a signal to a plane flying overhead. A parachutist hurtles from the plane. As he hits the ground and rolls over, the monk runs up to him. Then, the script puts it, "as parachutist turns . . . it is TARZAN" But can it really be he? This well-mannered, soft-spoken, shrewd man is Tarzan?

A lot of Tarzans have swung through the celluloid tanglewood since 1918, when a strongman named Elmo Lincoln gamboled on a studio back lot with a contingent of men dressed like chimpanzees. In 45 years of Tarzan films there have been 13 different Tarzans -- among them three Olympic champions, one weight-lifter, one son-in-law of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan's creator, and one man named P. Dempsey Tabler. On screen, all of them until recently had several hallmarks which over the years built up a clear image of the intrepid ape man.

Most Tarzans wore a loincloth. They sheathed a trusty knife at the hip. They confided in and were warned by a cute chimp called Cheetah. They lived in a tree house with an American girl, Jane. If they talked at all, it was strictly out of the grunt-and-groan primer, "Me-Tarzan-You-Jane" came to enjoy the same international currency as Mae West's "Come up and see me some time."

No more. Tarzan has been so refined that, were it not for loincloth, knife and long locks the average moviegoer would have difficulty telling him from James Bond. Not once in his latest film does Tarzan put his foot on anything's dead chest, throw back his head and loose that fearsome yodel, "the awesome challenge of the bull ape that has just made a kill."

The shocking change can be blamed on a bright, amiable ex-TV producer named Sy Weintraub who in 1958 bought the movie Tarzan for almost three million dollars. Sy decided he had to get adults, particularly women, interested in Tarzan. Out went Jane ("Tarzan is more exciting to women when he doesn't have to come home on the 5:430 vine to tell his wife what he did at the jungle today")

Out went the safaris and the corn-shuck scripts that were not written so much as grunted. Finally it was decreed that Tarzan must move on to other, more exotic jungles.

Weintraub proceeded cautiously with his new formula. The first two movies he made were shot 60% on location in Africa and the rest in a London studio. Although Jane was out, Sy had hoped to keep Cheetah in. He carted two chimpanzees from England to Kenya. They were absolutely terrified of the jungle, froze up even though Sy built them a special cage to shut out the scary night noises. So he used one of them exactly one-and-a-half minutes in the film, just long enough for Tarzan to say, "So long, Cheetah."

In 1962 Weintraub mate Tarzan Goes to India, shot in Cinemascope and colour on location in India. It was the biggest commercial success in Tarzan history.

New Tarzan, ex-stuntman Jock Mahoney, caught fever during filming, (Tarzan's Three Challenges) lost 20 pounds, manfully finished the role.

Filming Tarzan outside of Hollywood has not been an easy business. In Kenya a group of 300 Kikuyu tribesmen, hired as extras, went on strike one day for 1) shorter hours so they could get home in time to milk their cows; 2) more milk in their posho, or porridge, and 3) freedom from England.

Weintraub settled the first issues, told the warriors, on the third, that their quarrel was not with Tarzan but the Queen of England, In India on one black Monday 150 Indians working in the movie simply announced, "Sahib, we can't work today because the end of the world is upon us." Hindu astrologists, noting an unfavorable conjunction of seven planets, were predicting the world would come to an end that day. "But," the workers added, "we'll be back to work tomorrow."

Weintraub is convinced he has found the formula for making Tarzan a household word again. He has a long time to prove it. Under his deal with the Burroughs estate he has the movie rights till 1984. He must make a movie at least once every 18 months and he may neither kill off nor seriously injure Tarzan -- physically, that is. But admirers of the old Tarzan may feel that the changes wrought on his character have already inured the ape man beyond repair.

Source: LIFE Magazine ~ June 14, 1963

The Marc DeLamater Collection

Click for full-size images

Three Tarzans

Jock and More Tarzans . . . and Janes
James Pierce, Jock Mahoney, Johnny Weissmuller, Denny Miller
 Joyce Mackenzie, Louise Lorraine, Eve Brent, Karla Schramm, Vanessa Brown




Marc DeLamater is a Senior Technical Writer by profession.  His LinkedIn profile is at::

Marc is also a would-be screenwriter.  Nothing produced, but he has won a number of awards.
See the brief write-up at

By profession, Marc DeLamater has been a technical writer at such companies as Reed Business Data, Nortel Networks, MCI WorldCom, UPS, AREVA NP, General Electric, IBM Internet Security Systems, ACS, and Xerox. Significantly, He was also a technical writer at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, the shipyard that built the USS Triton.

However, his avocation is to become a screenwriter. Mr. DeLamater has taken a number of screenplay writing seminars conducted by such industry-recognized individuals as Syd Field, Linda Segar, Michael Hauge, Michael A. Simpson, and Carl Sautter, Hal Croasmun, and Michael Elliot; and sponsored by such organizations as the American Film Institute, Georgia State University, IMAGE Film and Video, and ScreenwritingU.

TRITON has been reviewed by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Information in Los Angeles, California, and has received a letter of initial interest from that office regarding future cooperation and support from the Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense. The link to his screenplay TRITON has all sorts of things about the script:

There is also a web site about his screenplay TRITON.  Marc's sister-in-law actually did a coming attraction video that was very clever.  This link is:

Marc explains his interest in Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan
"I read the first three books of Tarzan and really loved them, plus Philip Jose Farmer's "bio" on Tarzan.  We used to have Tarzan Theater which showed old Tarzan movies on WSB-TV back in the 1960s on Saturday afternoons, and I enjoyed them, particularly the Sy Weintraub productions.  I was a huge fan of the 1960s Tarzan TV series with Ron Ely, who was my image of Tarzan as a young man.

"I went to see the Disney version of Tarzan with my niece.  I saw the Caspar van Dien Tarzan to an nearly vacant movie theater.  When I saw Greystoke, my friend Signe Hoved told me she had never seen me squirm so much during a movie so it is safe to say that I was very disappointed in that film.

"I did love Legend of Tarzan and saw it numerous times.  Alexender Skargard remnded me a lot of Ron Ely, and Margot Robbie rivals Maureen O'Sullivan as the most beautiful and sexiest Jane of the silver screen.

"In addition to Tarzan, I am also a big fan of Doc Savage and Star Trek, plus Cheyenne (Clint Walker) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  In fact, I did spec (un-produced) scripts on Doc and Star Trek.  I enjoy Tom Clancy's novels and the Isaac Bell novels by Clive Cussler.

"FInally, I really like the John Carter movie and thought it was really well done.

Click for full-size


Tarzan Goes To India (1962)
Tarzan Goes To India Lobby Display
Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963)
Tarzan's Three Challenges Lobby Display
ERBzine Guide to ERB Films
Philip Jose Farmer's Tarzan Alive
ERBzine Silver Screen

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2019 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.