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


Vanessa Brown and Lex Barker
TARZAN AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1950). Director: Lee Sholem.

When people start dropping from an unknown sickness, Tarzan (Lex Barker) leads an expedition headed by Dr. Campbell (Arthur Shields of Daughter of Dr. Jekyll) to find its origins. Meanwhile Jane (Vanessa Brown) and Campbell's nurse, a saucy lady named Lola (Denise Darcel) who is lustful for the ape man, wind up kidnapped with other women by the cult of the Lionians. The women are placed in a harem for their prince (Hurd Hatfield of The Picture of Dorian Gray), whose young son is also dying of the illness. Will Tarzan and party be able to rescue Jane and Lola, save the little boy, and keep everyone from being thrown to the lions? What do you think?  The Lionians camouflage themselves with foliage to sneak up on their enemies, and use blow guns with poisoned darts. As Jane, Vanessa Brown is cute and almost child-like; she has an amusing, if brief, cat fight with Lola over Tarzan. Denise Darcel is a little too plump in this and in some shots resembles a man in drag, although her performance is spirited. Tarzan and Jane rub noses like Eskimos, and the adorable Cheetah gets several good scenes, such as when he (or she?) gets drunk on hooch. Tarzan can put up with a lot of things, but he doesn't like it when Lola picks up a needle and tries to give him an injection. In a thankless role, Robert Alda [The Beast with Five Fingers] plays a colleague of Dr. Campbell's. This was Brown's only appearance as Jane.

Verdict: Kind of ho hum Tarzan adventure, even if Tarzan meets Dorian Gray -- sort of. **.


angelman66 said...

Lex was among the handsomest of all screen Tarzans! Maybe even better looking than Weissmuller!

William said...

Yes, Lex had it all together and I hear sowed quite a path through the ladies on several continents, LOL! Not to mention Lana!