Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD

Mike Henry as Tarzan
TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD (1966). Director: Robert Day.

"A couple of animals and a half-naked wild man against Vinero?"

This widescreen, technicolor Tarzan adventure starts out like a Eurospy movie with Tarzan (Mike Henry) in suit and tie attacked by a sniper in an empty stadium -- it's actually an excellent sequence. Tarzan then strips down to his loincloth -- giving even Gordon Scott a run for his money in the body department -- to take on the evil Augustus Vinero (David Opatoshu), who hopes to loot a hidden city of its treasure of gold. Vinero is a thoroughly nasty character who affixes a medallion with a bomb on it to his ex-girlfriend (Nancy Kovack of Diary of a Madman) and tells her if she moves just an inch she'll explode! Tarzan goes to the city with his pals, a chimp named Dinky, a trained lion named Major, and a little boy from this "lost" city named Ramel (Manuel Padilla Jr.). The villain gets a very ironic and satisfying comeuppance. Arguably the sexiest of all the Tarzans, Henry plays the strong, silent type and is perfectly okay in that mode. This appears to take place in South America and not in Africa, as the later Tarzan films often placed the ape man in other countries. Val Alexander's jazzy musical theme is completely inappropriate, as this really isn't a Eurospy film. Aside from the lead players, the film is dubbed, primarily by the busy Paul Frees [The War of the Worlds]. Robert Day also directed She with Ursula Andress.

Verdict: Entertaining sixties Tarzan adventure. ***.

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