Director Lee Sholem
Producer Sol Lesser
Screenplay Curt Siodmack & Harry Chandlee

Tarzan Lex Barker
Jane Brenda Joyce
Gloria James Evelyn Ankers
Trask Albert Dekker
Dodd Charles Drake
Douglas Jessup Alan Napier
Vredak Henry Kulky
Siko Henry Brandon
Pasco Ted Hecht
The High One David Bond
Fisherman (uncredited) Elmo Lincloln

• The challenge of finding an actor who could live up to Weissmuller's reputation was assigned to RKO director Lee Sholem.  Publicity claimed he interviewed over a thousand actors and athletes before 29-year-old Alexander (Lex) Crichlow Barker, an RKO contract player, walked into his office to inquire about the role.  Barker had excelled at track and field in his youth and his six-foot-four, 203 pound (92 kg) build and handsome, masculine face suited the role.  Lesser saw no reason to change Brenda Joyce's portrayal of Jane, but this was her fifth and last film in the role and she retired after this film to spend more time with her family.  Several sources claim she was the only Jane to appear with two difference Tarzans but this honour also goes to Karla Schramm who appeared with Gene Pollar in The Revenge of Tarzan (1920) and also with P Dempsey Tablar in The Son of Tarzan (1920).  Barker would have a different Jane in each of his five Tarzan films as Lesser was supposedly searching for an actress with that "special quality" possessed by Maureen O'Sullivan and Brenda Joyce.  The film is also memorable for including the screen's very first Tarzan, Elmo Lincoln (Tarzan of the Apes - 1918), in a very brief role as a fisherman mending a net. (Essoe & Fury)
• To hear the ape cry used in this film click on the image at right

• Tarzan learns that the long-lost aviatrix, Gloria James, is the only one who can clear her fiancé, Douglas Jessop, who is serving time in England for her murder.  Tarzan is reluctant to bring Gloria out of The Blue Valley, a lost world where she has been living for many years.  The residents use the waters of an unusual stream which prevents people from ageing, but anyone who leaves The Blue Valley begins to age quickly.  Gloria returns to England to free Douglas and when they return as husband and wife Gloria is now an old woman (right).  Dodd and Trask, who run the local aviation service, fly them to Tarzan's jungle and when they learn they are going on safari they tag along, hoping to find the secret of eternal youth.  Some angry dissidents of The Blue Valley resent the invasion of their land and capture Tarzan, planning to poke his eyes out with hot pokers to prevent him from leading others to their secleded land.  Tarzan breaks free from his chains and escapes his captors, and Dodd and Trask are killed by the guards' flaming arrows.  Gloria and Douglas are invited to stay in The Blue Valley indefinitely and Tarzan and Jane return to their jungle home.

Click on the image below to see a tribute to Lex Barker with German text:

Click on the image below to see a complete set 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

• Many thanks to Dave Eversole for pointing out that Karla Schramm also appeared with two different Tarzans
• The poster for this film was pilfered from a Heritage Auctions item
• The top photo is from Tarzan of the Movies by Gabe Essoe
• The bottom photo is a screenshot taken from my DVD of this film
• The Lex Barker tribute video was provided by Youtuber BarkerTribute
• Read a review and rating of this film at At-A-Glance Film Reviews
• IMDb's (Internet Movie Database) Lex Barker filmography
• This film has never been released commercially but collectors sometimes offer it on DVD on eBay

TARZAN® is the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana CA.
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2002-2007 Paul Wickham
This page was updated June 2008