Director Kurt Neumann
Producer Sol Lesser
Associate Producer Kurt Neumann
Screenplay John Jacoby & Marjorie L Pfaelzer

Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller
Jane Brenda Joyce
Boy Johnny Sheffield
Sir Guy Henderson Henry Stephenson
Amazon Queen Mme Maria Ouspenskaya
Ballister Barton Maclane
Athena Shirley O'Hara
Anders Donald Douglas
Brenner Steven Geray
Splivens J M Kerrigan

• Sol Lesser's previous Tarzan film, Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943), was very poorly received by critics.  He decided to bring back Jane, who had been absent from the last two films, in an attempt to boost the series.  Brenda Joyce, a blonde ex-model, joined the series as Jane and stayed with Lesser for the next five Tarzan films.   On 8 August 1944 The Hollywood Reporter newspaper announced that director Kurt Neumann was seeking 48 six-foot-tall athletic females for a new film.  A high proportion of the successful applicants were showgirls and Johnny Sheffield remembered that very few of them had any archery skills.  Those who did were selected carefully and used repeatedly in the action scenes.  Brenda Joyce also remembered the very elaborate sets constructed at RKO studios for this film.  Veteran actor Maria Ouspenskaya, most famous for her role as Maleva the gypsy in Universal's horror classic The Wolf Man (1941), played the aloof and stoical elderly Amazon queen, one of her last roles.  The lovely Shirley O'Hara played Athena, the amazon whose actions are responsible for luring the greedy safari into the lost city of Palmyria (see photo right).  This was Weissmuller's ninth Tarzan film and he was now 40.  He had begun to neglect his physical training and was no longer the trim and taught athlete fans had come to expect (see photo below).  Read the full story at Geoff St Andrews Tarzan and the Amazons page  (Essoe, Fury & St Andrews)

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

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• A party of archaeologists become interested in the origin of a strange gold bracelet that Cheta gives to Jane when she returns from spending the war in England. They suspect that it may have come from a purported race of lost Amazon women. Tarzan, the only one allowed to enter or leave the Amazon's land, refuses to guide them because he respectes the Amazons desire for privacy. The archaeologists, guided by a greedy fortune hunter named Ballister, set out to search for the mythical realm.  Boy, who has followed Tarzan there, offers to guide them because he feels that Tarzan is being obstinate. The party and Boy are taken prisoner but are freed by Athena, an Amazon that Tarzan previously rescued and befriended (above). Overtaken by greed, the party begin looting the treasure vaults and must fight off the Amazons to escape.  Ballister succeeds in removing two large golden sacrements but Tarzan heads him off and the thief falls into quicksand. Tarzan returns the stolen sacrements just in time to save Boy who is about to drink poison as punishment for breaking the Amazons' laws. Tarzan makes his peace with the Amazons (left) and he and Boy return to Jane.

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 complete set of lobby cards for this film:

Tarzan of the Movies by Gabe Essoe, 1968, The Citadel Press
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) web site, by Geoff St Andrews
Kings of the Jungle by David Fury, 1994, McFarland Classics
• The background image of the symbol of Palmyria is from a leather belt replica created by Robert E Lee "Bob" Brown, the original wardrobe craftsman on this film.  The image was donated by Geoff St Andrews, as were both photos.  Many thanks 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 the At-A-Glance Film Reviews Tarzan and the Amazons page
• 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