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


Lex Barker and Tommy Carlton
TARZAN'S SAVAGE FURY (1952). Director: Cy Endfield.

Tarzan (Lex Barker) gets a son when he and Jane (Dorothy Hart) find a little orphaned boy named Joey (Tommy Carlton), although the couple don't seem all that sympathetic to his plight in the beginning. Trouble develops when Jane's alleged cousin, actually an impostor named Edwards (Patric Knowles) shows up along with a Russian spy named Rokov (Charles Korvin). The two importune Tarzan and the others to lead them to some diamonds (in one ridiculous scene Tarzan says he doesn't know what a diamond is!), unaware that their purposes are not at all benign. The group encounter cannibals, and one exciting scene takes place on a river when a raft is overturned by a hippo and hungry gators move in for the attack [possibly stock footage]. In this film Tarzan seems to have known his father years ago, although in Burroughs' novel Tarzan's father died in the boy's infancy. Lex Barker [The Girl in Black Stockings] inherited the role from Johnny Weissmuller, who went on to the Jungle Jim series, and speaks in the same dumb monosyllables, but is otherwise okay and looks good. Dorothy Hart, playing Jane with teased hair and lipstick, isn't bad, and little Tommy Carlton is excellent as Joey; this was his only film. The best performance is from Korvin [The Killer That Stalked New York] as the agent and magician, whose tricks awe the natives and others; Knowles [The Wolf Man] is also good. Photographed by Karl Struss and with a nice score by Paul Sawtell. The main problem with the movie is that we never really see any of Tarzan's "savage fury" and in fact the film is relatively tame.

Verdict: Okay Tarzan entry. **1/2.


Anonymous said...

my FAVORITE Tarzan film from childhood...i thought Tommy (Acker) Carlton made the best...most appealing... "BOY" character...he was part of a family acrobatic troop...this was his only film role...then back to the Mid-West nightclub circuit...

William said...

Thanks for the info. He was a talented little actor and it's too bad he didn't appear in any more movies.

Thanks for your comments!