Director Robert Day
Producers Sy Weintraub & Harvey Hayutin
Screenplay Robert Day & Berne Giler

Tarzan Gordon Scott
Coy Banton Jock Mahoney
Fay Ames Betta St John
Abel Banton John Carradine
Ames Lionel Jeffries
Laurie Alexandra Stewart
Tate Earl Cameron
Conway Charles Tingwell
Martin Banton Al Mulock
Johnny Banton Gary Cockrell
Warrior Leader Harry Baird
Native Chief Christopher Carlos
Ethan Banton Ron MacDonnell

• Weintraub's rejuvenated Tarzan film, Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959), suffered a slight setback when MGM released their Tarzan the Ape Man rehash four months later.  Without delay he began production on his second image-reshaping film, Tarzan the Magnificent, which sadly, was to be Gordon Scott's last in the role.  Weintraub used the same formula as the previous film - British technicians, location shooting in Eastman colour in Kenya, and talented costars.  As the film was to feature four principal villains Weintraub approached the actors who had done such a fine job in Tarzan's Greatest Adventure.  Anthony Quayle was committed to work on David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Sean Connery declined because a couple of guys had offered him a role in a spy movie, but said that he would be pleased to be in Weintraub's next Tarzan picture.  The spy movie was Dr No (1962), and in a few years Connery would be earning half a million dollars a film as James Bond.  Betta St John, who had played Diana Penrod, the disaffected socialite, in Sol Lesser's Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957) returned to play the shallow Fay Ames.  The actor that really caught Weintraub's eye, however, was Jock Mahoney as the callous, homicidal Coy Banton and he decided to cast him as the next Tarzan.  Weintraub was keen to get away from the muscle-bound image of Tarzan and when he asked easygoing Gordon Scott to hang up his loincloth two years before his contract was due to expire Scott obliged.  He soon reappeared in Italian sword and sandal films and even an Italian western.  Scott's competent performance as the grim, savage Tarzan in Tarzan the Magnificent, one of the top four films in the series, is one of the best in the catalogue. (Essoe & Fury)

• The ape cry was not used in this film.

PLOT - Note: Spoiler warning
• Tarzan is forced to travel overland with the survivors of a burnt out boat when he undertakes to transport Coy Banton, a vicious murderer, to the police in Kairobi.  Tarzan takes the party across mountains and through foul swamps in an unsuccessful attempt to lose Coy's murderous family, who are trailing them.  Coy is furtively assisted by Fay, the wife of the pompous, cowardly Ames because she is sick of her husband and attracted to Coy.  Tate, the ship's black engineer, is killed in a struggle when Coy grab Ames' rifle.  Tarzan is forced to kill Johnny Banton when he threatens Laurie, the girlfriend of Conway, a disgraced doctor.  Fay and Coy escape together but she abruptly learns he was only using her when he abandons her to a hunting lioness.  Tarzan heads off alone to track the Bantons and Abe, the Banton patriarch, is killed by Coy's crossfire.  Tarzan and Coy slug it out in a savage fist fight until both men are completely exhausted.  Tarzan's stamina and resolve win out and he finally succeeds in delivering Banton to the police in Kairobi.  He farewells the lucky survivors and quietly slips away.

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

Tarzan of the Movies by Gabe Essoe, 1968, The Citadel Press
Kings of the Jungle by David Fury, 1994, McFarland Classics
• Belgian Tarzan the Magnificent poster was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Both photos are screenshots from my DVD of this film
• The video clip of the trailer for this film 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
• See many photos and read about Gordon Scott's career at Brian Walker's Brian's Drive-In Theatre site - Gordon Scott page
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, nonprofit, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2002-2008 Paul Wickham
This page was updated January 2008