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


Dorothy Dandrige
TARZAN'S PERIL (1951). Director: Byron Haskin.

Radjeck (George Macready), a bad guy who escaped from jail, is up to no good with his less bloodthirsty companions, Trask (Douglas Fowley) and Andrews (Glenn Anders). One of Radjeck's victims is Commissioner Peters (Alan Napier). Before realizing what a crumb he was, Jane (Virginia Huston) had befriended Radject, but now Tarzan (Lex Barker) is out to snare him. Radjeck wants to sell weapons to a nasty native tribe; Queen Melmendi (Dorothy Dandridge) represents a tribe of friendlier natives. Tarzan's Peril is a poor Tarzan entry, badly directed by Haskin, who fails to give the film any kind of pacing or suspense. (This is strange, as Haskin also directed The War of the Worlds and Too Late for Tears, among others, both excellent movies.) Dandridge [Change of Heart] is as criminally wasted as she usually was, even after her Oscar nomination some years later for Carmen Jones. Macready is strangely subdued (for him) as the villain throughout most of the running time. There's a mechanical snake that nearly eats Cheetah (who has little to do in the pic), and man-eating plants that ensnare both Tarzan and a baby elephant with their vines. Jane looks like she'd be more at home on Park Avenue than in the jungle!

Verdict: Not Tarzan's finest hour. **.


angelman66 said...

Ma ready is awesome in Gilda, he often played an interesting villain. Poor Dorothy Dandridge...just born a bit too early to achieve the screen goddess stature she deserved.
- C

William said...

Dandridge had a tragic life when she deserved so much better.