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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > The Tarzan Collection – Volume Two (Warner Bros./RKO)

The Tarzan Collection – Volume Two (Warner Bros./RKO)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Films: B-



A long time ago, syndicated television had a Tarzan Theater going in the 1970s and in that package were Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan’s made not at MGM, but later at RKO.  Now written as anti-Axis WWII propaganda, these last 6 of 12 films with the iconic Weissmuller have not been seen for a while, but have their moments and are finally available on home video in the Warner’s new Tarzan Collection – Volume Two DVD collection.


Brenda Joyce took over from Maureen O’Hara as Jane and the Lord of the Jungle went into action with Tarzan Triumph (1943, with Jungle Girl Frances Gifford as a princess Tarzan teams up with against the Nazis), Tarzan’s Desert Mystery (1943, in which a giant spider and Arabs are thrown in to the Tarzan/Nazi dichotomy), Tarzan & The Amazons (1945, as bad archeologists try robbing defenseless civilizations just like the Nazis would), Tarzan & The Leopard Woman (1946, has a murderous cult on the kill, as if Nazis were not enough), Tarzan & The Huntress (1947, as a bad zoologist wants to pilfer what is not his) and Tarzan & The Mermaids (1948, as Tarzan gets involved in a silly religious mess).  The female opposition was never fully realized, even as other companies were doing female Tarzan knock-offs like Jungle Girl.


Though they get increasingly poorer as RKO puts in less money and the Mexican locations become more obvious, it is still Weissmuller and they still have their charm and entertainment value.  Also, for low-budget works, they look good, which is something I cannot say about many over-digitized big-budget messes.  RKO also got gritty at times in a way MGM never would have, so this set is fun overall and should bring back additional memories for those who have not seen them for so long.


The 1.33 X 1 image is not bad for its age, especially since it looks like new prints had to be struck since the films have not been seen much in a few decades.  Stock footage obviously looks the worse, but the footage is often in better shape than expected.  All the audio is in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, which is more compressed on some films than others, but only marginally.  Sadly, there are no extras, not even trailers!  Too bad there was not some kind of RKO action adventure materials to include.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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