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Convinced that the elephants' cemetary of Tarzan
the Ape Man is still worth exploiting, Harry Holt (Neil Hamilton)
invites his friend Martin (Paul Cavanaugh) to join him on a safari to the place
... but even before they can start, their map is stolen by baddies Vanness
(Desmond Roberts) & Pierce (William Stack) ... so Harry & Martin have
to pick up their trail & pursue them at breakneck speed, which costs many
of their porters their lives ... finally they do catch up with the villains,
but they are dead, victims of a cannibal tribe, who soon attack them too, &
after a fierce battle they only narrowly escape.
Nearing the cemetary, Harry
& Martin meet up with Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) & Jane (Maureen
O'Sullivan) whom Harry desperately tries to persuade to return to civilisation
- unsuccessfully though. But they can persuade Tarzan to take them to the
cemetary ... that is until Tarzan finds out they want to steal the ivory, a
no-no in the noble savage's eyes, & he bluntly refuses to continue to be
thier guide ... which is why Martin - the ruthless one of the expedition -
shoots an elephant to act as their guide (which elephants apparently do quite
naturally when they notice their end is near).
Shocked by this act of
barbarism, Tarzan gathers an army of elephants to keep Harry & Martin from
desecrating the elephants' cemetary ... & they do submit to his wishes, a
bit too soon maybe ...
& really, the next morning, Martin shoots Tarzan,
& presuming him dead, tells everybody he was eaten by a crocodile ... Jane
is shattered & won't accept her lover's death, but allows AMrtin &
Harry to take the ivory with them ... & of course, Tarzan is not really
dead but is saved by a hippo & nursed back to health by his ape-friends ...
Jane, Harry & Martin are attacked by another tribe of savages, a tribe that
makes use of wild lions to fight their enemies, & soon dozens of lions eat
up all the porters & corner Jane, Harry & Martin in a cave ...
Cheetah, seeing that, runs through the jungle facing pretty much every wild
animal there is (lion, crocodile, rhino, ...) & gets Tarzan, who finally
arrives with an army of apes & elephants ... & it's about time too,
since Harry & Martin have fallen victim to the lions too in the meantime,
& Jane could only just hold them off by lighting a fire, but the flames are
by now slowly dieing down, too ...
In the end though, the apes take care of the
natives, the elephants fight off the lions & our lovers are reunited.
many later Tarzan films, be it with Weissmuller or someone else,
just cannot escape being ridiculous, but this one is quite simply a timeless
first grade adventure yarn, outdoing even its predecessor Tarzan
the Ape Man, showing a genuine feel for the genre, & shying away
neither from the stories more gruesome (the cannibal attack, the lions' attack)
nor the more erotic (Jane has a lengthy nude swim here, that has been cut out
by the Legion of Decency in its day, but has since been restored) aspects of
the story. & of course, Jane in her very brief jungle outfit is a dish to
look at ... only her warcry sounds a tad ridiculous.