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

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Cheetah's pals
TARZAN AND THE HUNTRESS (1947). Director: Kurt Neumann.

"We really have to do something about Cheetah -- she's getting as vain as a peacock." -- Jane

Animal trainer Tanya Rawlins (Patricia Morison of The Fallen Sparrow) comes to Africa with boyfriend Carl Marley (Jack Warburton), and hooks up with gruff Paul Weir (Barton MacLane of Cry of the Werewolf) for help. Tanya importunes King Farrod (Charles Trowbridge of The Fatal Hour) to allow them to take many animals out of the jungle, but the king says they can only take a pair of each species. A bigger problem for the king is that his evil nephew, Ozira (Ted Hecht), is plotting against him. A bigger problem for Tanya is that Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) is mightily opposed to anyone caging his animals and takes decided action with the help of Boy (Johnny Sheffield) and Jane (Brenda Joyce). Desirous of a compact owned by Tanya, Cheetah, unfortunately, winds up playing into the hunters' hands, for shame. Boy also does the wrong thing by taking two bear cubs from their mother in exchange for a flashlight he covets. Tarzan and the Huntress is the penultimate Tarzan/Weissmuller film, and it's one of the better of the latter "B" movie entries, with plenty of, at times, bloodthirsty action and a very fast pace. Cheetah gets a large share of the screen time, and has a funny encounter with bees -- the finale with the chimp parachuting out of an airplane is priceless. As usual, we've got a lot of elephants going on the rampage. Maurice Tauzin plays Prince Suli, the son of the king. Paul Sawtell's musical score is a decided asset. This was Sheffield's last appearance as Boy.

Verdict: Exciting and amusing Tarzan adventure. ***.

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