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

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Betta St. John and Gordon Scott
TARZAN AND THE LOST SAFARI (1957). Director: H. Bruce Humberstone.

Pilot Dick Penrod (Peter Arne of Battle Beneath the Earth), his dissatisfied wife, Diana (Betta St. John of The Robe), and friends are flying over Africa when their plane hits a flock of flamingos and down they go. They find themselves in the territory of the deadly Opar tribe, who love to make human sacrifices. Pretending to help this party -- along with Tarzan (Gordon Scott) -- is an untrustworthy fellow named Hawkins (Robert Beatty), who has an uneasy alliance with the bloodthirsty Oparians. Tarzan tries to take the downed party out of the jungle without them being attacked and killed by the hostile natives. Tarzan and the Lost Safari is in wide-screen and Eastman color -- this is the first Tarzan film in color, in fact -- but matte paintings of the jungle, some second unit location shooting, and a decent swamp set on a sound stage can't quite disguise the cheapness of the production. Tarzan is no Lord Greystoke in this, but a man of few syllables, and there's no mention of Jane. George Coulouris, Wilfred Hyde-White, and Yolande Donlan are the other members of the party. The acting is efficient enough, "Cheta" is adorable, and there's some good action at the climax, but otherwise this is not especially memorable. Humberstone also directed a number of Charlie Chan films such as Charlie Chan at the Opera.

Verdict: Mediocre Tarzan. **.

No comments: