Tarzan and King Kong (1965)

Article 5334 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-2-2017
Directed by A. Shamsheer
Featuring Randhawa, Mumtaz, Bela Bose
Country: India
What it is: An exercise in expectations

Tarzan rescues survivors of an airplane wreck and becomes the target of an evil native king.

This is probably the most famous title of an Indian series of Tarzan movies, and let’s face it – the title is a bit irresistible, even if you know disappointment is inevitable. Most of the movie is about Tarzan (as you might expect), and he’s your standard stocky guy in an animal skin with one of the dullest Tarzan yells on record. Still, you have to respect the yell, as it summons forth a huge legion of elephants to his aid (though I should point out that most of that is stock footage), and it is Tarzan’s “ace in the hole”, as you realize when you reach the end of the movie. Still, if you’re like me, the real question on your mind is “how do they pull off King Kong?” All I’m going to say is – think “man in a (not very good) gorilla suit in both execution and size”. Heck, the fight between Tarzan and Kong isn’t even the climax of the movie. There’s lots of singing and dancing (of course), a lot of fight scenes (and some go on way too long), a bit of wrestling (including a wrestler that looks like a cross between Tor Johnson and Mad Dog Vachon). Yes, it’s a disappointment, but not out of line with what I was expecting. All in all, the title is the best thing about it, and I do think an interesting movie could be made mixing Kong and Tarzan. Just not this one.

I should also mention that my copy didn’t have English dubbing or subtitles, but I’m not sure it’s one of those movies where it makes a difference.


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