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A gang of natives attack a trading post, kill a few people in the
process, and steal several boxes of dynamite. Soon though it turns out
that the natives weren't natives at all, but a gang of white cutthroats
led by Tarzan's (Gordon Scott) one-time friend Slade (Anthony Quayle).
The only clue to Slade's gang (consisting of Sean Connery, Niall
MacGinnis), Scilla Gabel and Al Mulock) is that they have escaped in a
boat, but while everybody else thinks they went downriver to deliver the
dynamite to some rebels, Tarzan is convinced they went upriver and goes
there on his own by canoe for some personal vendetta - but soon he has to
put up with Angie (Sara Shane) as his companion who has just wrecked her
small plane and who sees the whole thing as an adventure.
Eventually, Tarzan catches up with Slade and gang and they have a
shoot-out (with Tarzan using bow and arrow), in which Slade's gang
experiences some losses, but Tarzan is also injured when the gang uses
Angie nurses Tarzan back to health, but soon afterwards, she herself is
captured by Slade and company, but one of Slade's companions, Kruger
(Niall MacGinnis), frees her when the others are sleeping, just to somehow
upset Slade and get him to make a fatal mistake.
Soon, Kruger and Slade - by now the only two survivors of the gang -
are at each others throats, and ultimately Slade kills his former ally ...
then though he has to face Tarzan. The battle between the men is long and
violent, but at the end, Tarzan kills Slade by throwing him off some
Angie has somehow fallen for Tarzan and wants him to come with her, but
Tarzan declines and the two part ways.
Tarzan's Greatest Adventure breaks away from the typical Tarzan-mold:
The story is no longer a larger-than-life adventure yarn but rather a
thriller that is set only incidently set in the jungle, and Tarzan himself
is no longer the mere knight in shining armour, but an embittered man who
goes on a personal vendetta - and Gordon Scott in this film gives probably
his best performance as Tarzan. All of this infuses new blood into the
series that has grown a bit stale especially when RKO
produced it, it even adds a realistic edge to the series, also helped by
extensive location shooting in Africa.
In all, Tarzan's Greatest Adventure might not be the best
Tarzan -ilm ever, it might not even be considered as your
typical Tarzan-movie - but as far as jungle thrillers go,
this is a pretty good one.