Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

Article 4385 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-5-2013
Directed by Robert Day
Featuring Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Betta St. John
Country: USA
What it is: Tarzan movie

Tarzan captures a wanted criminal who killed a friend of his, and vows to have him taken through the jungle to a city where he can collect the reward for his capture and distribute the money to the dead friend’s family. But the criminal’s own family are out to rescue him, and they won’t let anyone stand in their way…

This Tarzan movie has no more fantastic content than the one I saw yesterday, but beyond that, there’s a world of distance between the two movies. Yesterday’s was a lazy, uninspired affair, unconvincingly shot in the studio and loaded with filler. This one focuses in on the story, the action and the characters. Jane and Boy are not in the picture, and after a token antic-free scene early in the movie, Cheta is left in the care of someone else and plays no subsequent role in the movie. This one is shot on location in Africa and it shows it. Gordon Scott is back as Tarzan, and Jock Mahoney (who would eventually take on the role of Tarzan himself) plays the main villain of the piece. Other names in the cast include Lionel Jeffries as a big-talking man who proves a coward when put to the test, and John Carradine as the criminal’s father. It’s well directed by Robert Day, and it manages to keep the suspense fairly high during the proceedings. For the most part, the movie is a chase film of sorts, with Tarzan and company trying to evade pursuit from the criminal’s family; it gets a little tiresome before it’s all over, but the final fight scene is memorable, and it’s such an improvement over the last Tarzan movie I saw that it’s like a breath of fresh air.


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