Director Richard Thorpe
Producer Frederick Stephani
Screenplay Myles Connolly, Gordon Kahn
& William R Lipman

Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller
Jane Maureen O'Sullivan
Boy Johnny Sheffield
Connie Beach Virginia Grey
Buck Rand Charles Bickford
Jimmie Shields Paul Kelly
Manchester Montford Chill Wills
Roustabout Elmo Lincoln

• MGM's Tarzan series had declined to become kiddies' matinee fare and Maureen O'Sullivan correctly felt that the films now lacked the dignity of the earlier MGM films.  Partly to appease her, producer Frederick Stephani commissioned scriptwriters Myles Connolly and William Lipman to develop a screenplay with a contemporary setting and an opportunity to wear a fashionable wardrobe.  The second world war had cost the studio a large proportion of the lucrative foreign markets, which meant at least 50 per cent of the Tarzan film grosses.  MGM kept the budget to an absolute minimum and the film was shot in six weeks for $700,000.  A film crew shot some establishing scenes of New York without the cast present and everything else was filmed on the back lot sets.  At the end of the closing credits the American audience were urged to buy war bonds.  It was also one of 1,200 films to be shown free to US armed forces.  Elmo Lincoln, the screen's first Tarzan in the silent Tarzan of the Apes (1918), had a brief cameo as a roustabout (see below).  (Essoe, Fury & St Andrews)  To read the full story visit Geoff St Andrews Tarzan's New York Adventure page

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

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• Boy is spirited off to America by a party of circus animal trappers who believe Tarzan and Jane have perished in an attack by natives.  The circus men are also impressed by Boy's ability with animals and begin teaching him the way of the circus.  Tarzan and Jane, who have been rescued by Cheta, learn from the ape that Boy has been stolen by an "iron bird".  They travel to New York to search for Boy and in a court battle over his custody must reveal that they are not his natural parents.  Tarzan goes wild and wreaks havoc in the courtroom and must escape across the rooftops pursued by police.  He dives into New York Harbour from the Brooklyn Bridge and manages to reach the circus.  He is overcome by roustabouts and is imprisoned in an animal cage but he calls the circus elephants to bend the bars and free him.  He prevents Boy's abductors from escaping by leaping into their speeding car, grabbing Boy and leaping out just before the car crashes killing the kidnappers.  Tarzan, Jane and Boy bid farewell to the "stone jungle" and return to Africa.

Click on the image below to view the trailer for this film:

Click on the image below to view 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
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) web site, by Geoff St Andrews
• The Spanish poster for this film was pilfered from an eBay auctio 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. 1

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