21 January 2015 | utgard14
"If animal can act like man, maybe man can act like animal."
The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan series continues at RKO with the fourth film (tenth overall, counting the MGM films). This one's pretty different from those that came before it. There's a different vibe to it, particularly in the early scenes where Tarzan acts as a sort of jungle detective. He's asked by a commissioner (of what I don't know) to look into a series of leopard attacks on travelers. Tarzan doesn't believe leopards are the cause of the attacks and, as you might have guessed by the title of this picture, he's right. So it's Tarzan versus leopard skin-wearing cultists, led by Queen Lea (Acquanetta).
I'm used to seeing Acquanetta in Universal films from around this time. They tried to make her a star in their horror stable but it didn't really work out. She's very attractive but not the strongest actress. This is arguably the best acting job of her short career, for what that's worth. Dennis Hoey is amusing as the commissioner. He's best known for playing Inspector Lastrade in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series. Tommy Cook is very creepy as Kimba, the Leopard Boy. What a little psycho. Brenda Joyce appears as Jane for the second time and does a fine job, although she's nowhere near the presence Maureen O'Sullivan was in the role. Johnny Weissmuller and Johnny Sheffield are both good, as usual. Weissmuller's first scene has him wrestling hirsute Tongolo the Terrible, whose voice I strongly suspect was dubbed. Speaking of voices, Johnny Sheffield's voice continues to change. Puberty's rough on us all, Boy. Cheeta is still lots of fun, which I'm sure surprises no one.
It's one of the better Tarzan RKO films. Personally I like them all but you have some fans who think of the RKO films as nothing but kiddie stuff. Then you have the people who don't like any Tarzan movies, RKO or otherwise. I try my best to avoid people like that. If you can't enjoy the adventures of Tarzan and his family, you're probably not much fun to be around.