Tarzan Escapes (1936)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure


Tarzan Escapes (1936) Poster

An expedition seeking to bring Jane back to civilization, and Tarzan into captivity, gets more than it's bargained for.

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6.9/10
2,940

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  • Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan Escapes (1936)
  • Maureen O'Sullivan and William Henry in Tarzan Escapes (1936)
  • Tarzan Escapes (1936)
  • Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan Escapes (1936)
  • Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan Escapes (1936)
  • Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan Escapes (1936)

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28 April 2009 | BA_Harrison
7
| Not great, but still fun.
Nasty hunter Captain Fry (John Buckler) leads an expedition to Tarzan's stomping ground with the aim of capturing the ape-man and exhibiting him in England. Unaware of Fry's nefarious intentions, Jane's cousins, Eric and Rita (William Henry and Benita Hume), tag along for the journey hoping to convince their relative to return to England in order to help them claim the fortune that has been left to them in a will.

It's back to the Mutia escarpment for more jungle action in the third of the Weissmuller Tarzan films; unfortunately, this time around, much of what made the first two films so much fun—the gloriously un-PC violence and steamy sexuality—is missing thanks to the introduction of the Hays code, Hollywood's moral guidelines.

So instead of Maureen O'Sullivan giving us an eyeful in her animal skin bikini, we have her wearing a much more demure dress, and when the film gets down to the dispatching of native bearers, much of the nastiness happens off-screen; the film also suffers due to a troubled production which saw much of the original film being re-shot and re-edited. It all amounts to a rather tame offering that lacks the thrills and spills of Weissmuller's earlier outings as the affable ape-man (even the nasty execution via tree that horrified me as a child was less gruesome than I remembered).

Still, the film remains fairly watchable thanks to the chemistry between Weissmuller and O'Sullivan, some funny antics from Cheetah the Chimp (she teases lion cubs, attempts to ride a zebra, and laughs as comedy relief Rawlins tries to master swinging on a vine), the impressive sight of Tarzan's 'town-house' (complete with elephant powered elevator!), and one particularly bizarre scene featuring a weird dodo-like bird (which I presume must have been performed by a man with no legs, walking on his hands in a feathered suit!!!).

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.

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