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

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Cute but tough: Gordon Scott
TARZAN'S HIDDEN JUNGLE (1955). Director: Harold Schuster.

Dr. Celliers (Peter van Eyck of The Wages of Fear) is bringing medicine to members of a certain lost tribe across the river who "fanatically worship animals" and who kill anyone who harms one. Burger (Jack Elam of Lure of the Swamp), DeGroot (Charles Fredericks) and Reeves (Richard Reeves) are hunters masquerading as movie photographers. The doctor's nurse, Jill (Vera Miles), importunes him to allow the "photographers" to travel with them so as to spread the message of his work, but she is unaware that Tarzan (Gordon Scott) already knows that these men have injured a baby elephant in an attempt to kill the pachyderm. Jill gets caught in quicksand, with a boa constrictor sliding down a tree towards her for added measure, and she and the doctor are nearly fed to a pride of lions when the natives blame the couple for the hunters' intrusion. There's the usual elephant stampede with the bad guys' heads falling conveniently under some mighty big feet at the climax. As Tarzan, Scott is strong, mostly silent, and cute; and a pre-Psycho Miles is fine as Jill, with adept supporting performances from the others, but the script is so weak that it reminds one of a lesser Bomba or Jungle Jim programmer instead of a true Tarzan movie. "Cheta" -- yet another spelling of the chimp's name -- is played by a talented fellow named Zippy, and seems to have an even more adorable girlfriend with whom he smooches at the end. Speaking of romance, Tarzan seems to give Jill some lingering looks throughout the movie which may be why Scott and Miles got married soon after. This was Scott's first appearance as Tarzan.

Verdict: Essentially unmemorable Tarzan movie but it led into a four year marriage for Gordon Scott and Vera Miles. **.


angelman66 said...

Never saw this Tarzan, he looks very cute and muscle-bound...Vera Miles had good taste!

William said...

She sure did. (or at least she thought she did, considering the marriage didn't last that long.) I think Scott is the most classically handsome of the movie Tarzan's.