TARZAN’S MAGIC FOUNTAIN (1949)
Article 2270 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-9-2007
Posting Date: 10-30-2007
Directed by Lee Sholem
Featuring Lex Barker, Brenda Joyce, Albert Dekker
Tarzan gets permission from a hidden civilization to take a downed aviatrix that lives there back to civilization, where her testimony will help clear a man of murder. However, since the fifty-year-old woman looks like she’s in her twenties, certain unscrupulous parties become convinced that a legend of a fountain of youth has truth to it, and they decide to seek it out.
Once you see Evelyn Ankers as the aviatrix, you’ll pretty much have the whole movie scoped out; you’ll know the secret of the fountain, you’ll know why Tarzan and the natives of the hidden civilization are so protective of it, and you’ll know that the story will have precious little in the way of real surprises. Still, it’s somewhat fitting that a story about the fountain of youth is the one to usher a new, younger Tarzan into the role; this was the first of Lex Barker’s movies in the character. Still, this one feels very much like the Weissmuller Tarzan movies that came before; they don’t really take advantage of the younger Tarzan until the next in the series, and the biggest difference is that the swimming scenes are greatly abbreviated. probably because Barker, unlike Weissmuller, wasn’t known for his swimming ability. Brenda Joyce is back as Jane, but this would be her last time at the role, and the cast also features Albert Dekker and Alan Napier.