Director William Thiele
Producer Sol Lesser
Producer (uncredited) William Thiele
Story Carroll Young
Screenplay Roy Chanslor &
Carroll Young

Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller
Boy Johnny Sheffield
Zandra Frances Gifford
Colonel Von Reichart Stanley Ridges
Sergeant Sig Ruman
Captain Herb Baush Phillip Van Zandt
Lieutenant Schmidt/Mr Sheldon Rex Williams
Oman, the Patriarch Pedro de Cordoba

•  When MGM withdrew from the Tarzan market in 1942, independent producer, Sol Lesser (Tarzan the Fearless [1933] & Tarzan's Revenge [1938]) acquired the contracts of Johnny Weissmuller and Johnny Sheffield.  He also obtained an option on Maureen O'Sullivan if she was interested, but she was happy retire from the role.  Lesser chose to replace Jane with a strong female lead in beautiful 21-year-old Frances Gifford (right), veteran of the Republic serial Jungle Girl.  When Lesser was contacted by State Department representatives, who considered Tarzan an important propaganda vehicle, he agreed to portray him as an isolationist who decides to fight to protect his family.  Supposedly, when American audiences heard Weissmuller utter the classic line, "Now Tarzan make war!" they leaped to their feet and cheered.  Curiously, the film was directed by exiled German director, William Thiele.  This film was also the beginning of a 12 year/12 picture collaboration between Tarzan, Lesser and RKO studios. (Essoe, Fury & St Andrews)  Read the full story at Geoff St Andrews' Tarzan Triumphs page.

• To hear the ape cry used in this film click on the image at right

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• A large Nazi safari, headed by Colonel Von Reichart, arrives in the jungle and they head straight for the lost city of Palandrya to establish a base in order to exploit the tin and oil reserves of the region.  The Palandryans greet the invaders with hospitality and kindness but the Nazis conquer the city and enslave the people.  When Princess Zandra's brother is killed by the Nazis (left) she escapes and dashes to Tarzan's tree house to seek his assistance.   Tarzan, however, wants nothing to do with the Nazis.  Tarzan resists Zandra's attempts to recruit him to her cause until the Nazis kidnapped Boy.  Tarzan then he leaps into action with his usual fearless zeal.  Tarzan and Zandra are both captured trying to steal into Palandrya at night but they both escape with Cheeta's assistance.  They set about recruiting an army of Palandryans to expel the Nazis and many die on both sides in the firefight.  Von Reichart escapes into the jungle and Tarzan stalks him but until the Nazi commander falls into a pit holding a trapped lion.  Tarzan and Boy farewell the liberated Palandryans and return home.

Click on the image below to view the trailer for this film (with documentary narrator's commentary):

Click on the image below to view a collection of several styles of lobby cards for this film:

Tarzan of the Movies by Gabe Essoe, 1968, The Citadel Press
Kings of the Jungle by David Fury, 1994, McFarland Classics
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) web site, by Geoff St Andrews
• The poster for this film was pilfered from a Heritage Auctions item
• Both photos were donated by Geoff St Andrews. Thanks a million, Geoff!
• The video of the trailer was uploaded to Youtube by me specifically to embed in this web page

• Read a review and rating of this film at At-A-Glance Film Reviews

• Bag yourself a copy of this film on DVD at Amazon.com or eBay - it is part of the The Tarzan Collection, Vol. 2

TARZAN® is the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana CA.
This independent, nonprofit, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2002-2008 Paul Wickham
This page was updated March 2008