Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953)

Article 2874 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-21-2009
Posting Date: 6-26-2009
Directed by Kurt Neumann
Featuring Lex Barker, Joyce Mackenzie, Raymond Burr
Country: USA

Tarzan must match wits with Ivory hunters who kidnap members of a friendly native tribe and use them as slaves.

On IMDB, this movie has a 5.0 rating, and a quick check of all of the other titles I have watched for this series which begin with the word “Tarzan” reveals it’s tied for the lowest with two other movies, TARZAN’S REVENGE and TARZAN THE FEARLESS. However, neither of those two movies are part of the series that began with TARZAN THE APE MAN in 1932, and would eventually lead to this one. For the first half of the movie, I was wondering why the rating was so low; it seemed like a derivative but passable Tarzan movie up to that point. Unfortunately, the movie goes off track at the halfway point, when Tarzan’s tree-house is burned down and he believes Jane has died in the inferno. He then proceeds to spend almost the rest of the movie in a surly mope. Not only is this a downer of the worst variety, but it’s also counter to what I believe is an essential quality of Tarzan; he’s only a step away from a savage jungle animal, and I find it impossible to believe that he would choose depressed moping over enraged violence. Had the series fallen this far from the original conception of the character? At any rate, this would be Lex Barker’s last movie in the role; Gordon Scott would take over in the role after this one.


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