Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943)

Passed   |    |  Adventure

Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943) Poster

With Jane still away for the war effort, Tarzan and Boy set off to retrieve rare medicinal herbs, only to run into an American messenger, Nazi spies, and the mysterious desert's treacherous fauna and flora. Will they make it in one piece?


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18 January 2015 | utgard14
| "Jungle much safer than desert."
Tarzan's adventures at RKO continue in his second film there (eighth overall for Johnny Weissmuller). Having not been recast yet, Jane is once again absent. She's in England helping with the war effort. Yes, this is another WW2 Tarzan film, although much less controversial than the last one. This time, instead of slaughtering invading murderous Nazis who deserved every bit of what they got, Tarzan is sent by Jane on a mission to find plants needed to make a malaria serum. He takes Boy and Cheeta along and they journey across the Sahara desert, where they are joined by a spunky American magician (Nancy Kelly). They also encounter Nazi spies, man-eating plants, stock footage prehistoric lizards, and a deadly giant spider.

This one's a little different from previous entries in the series. It seems full-on aimed at kids with more fantastic elements and comic relief. But it's all good and the change in setting is nice. A solid cast for this one backing up Weissmuller and Johnny Sheffield -- Otto Kruger, Robert Lowery, Lloyd Corrigan, and Joe Sawyer. Pretty Nancy Kelly seems to be channeling Barbara Stanwyck at times. She's a lot of fun and even gets to sing "Boola Boola." Another enjoyable entry in the series, which lost something in production values when it left MGM but kept the adventure and charm of the earlier films. As was often the case, Cheeta steals the show.

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