Director Robert Florey
Producer Sol Lesser
Story and Screenplay Carroll Young

Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller
Jane Brenda Joyce
Mara Linda Christian
Palanth George Zucco
Benji John Laurenz
Varga Fernando Wagner
Commissioner Edward Ashley
Tiko Gustavo Rojo
Luana Andrea Boulton

• This was Johnny Weissmuller's twelfth and last film as Tarzan.  Significantly, it was the first Weissmuller film since 1939 that did not feature Johnny Sheffield as Boy.  After appearing in the role in eight films (3 for MGM and 5 for RKO) Lesser was forced to remove Sheffield because he was almost as big as Weissmuller.  His absence was explained by a reference that he had gone to England to study.  The film was also unusual in that it was the first Sol Lesser Tarzan film to be shot entirely on location.  Lesser shipped cast and crew off to Mexico where locales such as Acapulco and studios in Churabusco and Mexico city were utilised.  A lovely Mexican actress, Linda Christian, played the runaway, Mara (left).  Weissmuller, aware that lesser was making considerable profits on the films began lobbying for a percentage of the gross.  He was being paid $50,000 per picture but only working twelve weeks a year.  Lesser wouldn't concede and let Johnny go, informing the press that he was "no longer trim" and that Johnny was "too out of shape for the role". (Essoe) Read the full story at Geoff St Andrews Tarzan and the Mermaids page

• The ape cry was not used in this film.

• A race of strange people on a remote forbidden island named Aquatania are exploited by their power-mad high priest, Palanth (above and left), and a profiteering accomplice from the mainland named Varga.  Varga poses as the Aquatican's god, Baloo, and demands that the superstitious natives dive for pearls as an offering to their god.  A beautiful young woman named Mara (above and left) flees the island when Palanth demands that she marry Baloo.  She is determined to find her lover, Tiko, who has been banished by Palanth because of his love for Mara.  She becomes entangled in Tarzan's fishing net and he and Jane offer to help her people.  Palanth's followers abduct Mara and Tarzan tracks them back to Aquatania, while Jane and Tiko summon the commissioner from Nyaga.  Tarzan poses as Baloo and orders Palanth to change his ways and Palanth threatens Tarzan with the wrath of Baloo.  Varga organises for the capture of Jane and the commissioner before his pearl stealing racket is uncovered.  Tarzan battles his way to save Jane and his friends, unmasks Varga in front of the Aquaticans, and hurls him to his death on the rocks below.  Mara and Tiko are now free to marry.

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

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
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) web site, by Geoff St Andrews
• 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