Tarzan and His Mate (1934)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


Tarzan and His Mate (1934) Poster

The idyllic life of Tarzan and Jane is challenged by men on safari who come seeking ivory, and come seeking Jane as well.


7.3/10
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14 July 2004 | dr_foreman
Action! Romance! Heroic Monkeys!
I often half-jokingly refer to "Tarzan and His Mate" as the "T2" of the 1930s, simply because it's packed with special effects, action, and spectacle of the big budget variety that I usually associate with modern films. Sure, some of the visuals look duff now - there's heavy use of rear screen projection and rubber animals - but there's also amazing sights like elephant stampedes, monkeys fighting tigers, hapless people tumbling off cliffs, and a huge elephant graveyard that must rank among the most memorable movie sets of all time.

Never mind the spectacle, though; the best part is the script. Maureen O'Sullivan has a surprisingly wonderful role as Jane. In fact, she carries the movie, since all Tarzan can really do is yodel and swing. She has to fend off the advances of two unsavory ivory hunters who want to lure her back to civilization. Tarzan is doubly threatened by these seedy guys - they want to kill his elephants AND they want his woman. This dual conflict keeps the movie cooking.

There's an amazing amount of violence in the film, including some spectacular battles with nasty tribesmen and knife fights with huge beasties. You'll even get to see a corpse with an arrow through its forehead and bugs crawling all over it. There's a bit of nudity as well, but don't get too excited as it's not really Maureen O'Sullivan swimming in the buff (but it is still swimming in the buff, so feel free to get excited anyway!). Amazing, isn't it, that "Tarzan and His Mate" is such a visceral viewing experience...especially when compared to the much tamer films that followed after Hollywood instituted a strict moral code.

Romantic, sexy, exciting, exotic - in short, all you could expect from a Tarzan movie. And the heroic monkeys are just the cutest thing ever. Once you make it past a rather dry first scene, this movie rocks all the way through.

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