Tarzan and the Lost Safari
John Croydon, Sol Lesser, N. Peter Rathvon (executive) for Solar Film/MGM
directed by H.Bruce Humberstone
starring Gordon Scott, Robert Beatty, Yolande Donlan, Betta St. John, Wilfrid Hyde-White, George Coulouris, Peter Arne, Orlando Martins
screenplay by Montgomery Pittman, Lillie Hayward, based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, music by Clifton Parker
Tarzan, Tarzan (Gordon Scott), Sol Lesser's Tarzan, Solar Film's Tarzan, Tarzan at MGM
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Tarzan (Gordon Scott) saves a quintet of tourists (Betta St.John,
Yolanda Donlan, Peter Arne, Wilfrid Hyde-White, George Coulouris) from a
planewreck, and soon enough he has won the heart of especially one of
them, Diana (Betta St.John), despite the fact that she's still married to
Dick (Peter Arne), the pilot of the crashed plane. Then though Diana is
dragged off by Opar warriors, and only just saved by Hawkins (Robert
Beatty) - an adventurer in league with the Opars as he promises them white
folks for human sacrifices in exchange for safe passage for their country.
And Hawkins has apparently fallen in love on the spot with Diana.
Hawkins takes Diana back to the others and promises to take them to
safety right through Opar country, but Tarzan grows suspicious of Hawkins
- who actually wants to hand Diana's companions over to the Opars - right
away and decides to stay with the group as well.
After a perilous journey through the jungle, our motley crew runs into
an Opar ambush that only Tarzan manages to escape, and now Hawkins shows
his true colours, handing over the others to the Opars and only reserving
Diana for himself.
Tarzan however hasn't forgotten his friends, he gives his chimp Cheetah
a lighter to set fire to the Opar village (the lighter has been a running
gag earlier in the film) and sends a message via drums to the Opars that
Hawkins has betrayed them and has burned down their village - which turns
the tables on Hawkins. In the chaos that ensues, Tarzan manages to free
his friends who were literally about to be sacrificed while 'Hawkins gets
his just desserts.
The first Tarzan movie made away from RKO
in about 15 years (not counting of course unofficial Tarzan
films like the Turkish Tarzan in
Istanbul) - and actually the best Tarzan in a long
time: The script might not be terribly inventive but it tells a compelling
story, it's very much to the point and lacks the kitsch factor of earlier
films, extensive location shooting in Africa gives the film an air of
authencity rarely found in earlier films (and certainly not in RKO's
studio jungle), and Gordon Scott finds into his role as Tarzan much better
than in his previuos tilm, Tarzan's
Hidden Jungle. Plus, it's the first Tarzan film shot
Certainly not the greatest Tarzan film though, but a very
nice jungle adventure indeed.