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Tarzan the Magnificent

UK 1960
produced by
Sy Weintraub, Harvey Hayutin for Solar Film/Paramount
directed by Robert Day
starring Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Betta St.John, John Carradine, Lionel Jeffries, Alexandra Stewart, Earl Cameron, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Al Mulock, Gary Cockrell, Ron MacDonnell, Harry Baird, Christopher Carlos, John Sullivan, Ewen Solon, Jacqueline Evans, Tommy Duggan, Peter Howell, John Harrison, George Taylor
screenplay by Robert Day, Berne Giler, based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, music by Ken Jones

Tarzan, Tarzan (Gordon Scott), Sy Weintraub's Tarzan, Solar Film's Tarzan

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Benton gang (John Carradine playing the father and Jock Mahoney, Al Mulock, Gary Cockrell, Ron MacDonnell as his sons) rob a bank somewhere in Africa, but during the getaway, Coy (Jock Mahoney), the eldest of the boys, is caught by the authorities. When Coy's to be transported to prison though, he makes an escape attempt and kills an officer, but is re-captured by Tarzan, who now takes it into his own hands to bring Coy to justice ... however, Coy's family is never far behind, and they blow up the boat Coy was to travel on - which leaves Tarzan with no alternative other than to take Coy through the jungle by foot. And before he knows it, Tarzan is joined on his expedition by a handful of fellow travellers (Betta St.John, Lionel Jeffries, Alexandra Stewart, Earl Cameron, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell) he would rather not want to be burdened with.

On the perilous journey, Coy tries every trick in the book to alert his family to his current position (and usually succeeds) and tries to play the members of the expedition against one another as well (and usually succeeds here too). Especially pompous Ames (Lionel Jeffries) is easy to tease and driven to mistakes, and at the same time Coy has no problems charming Ames' wife Fay (Betta St.John).

Ultimately, Tarzan and company get into an ambush, which results in a big shoot-out during which the only black member of the expedition and the ablest man, gives his life to save Ames, who has all along the way treated him like dirt.The shoot-out though has taken its toll on the Benton's as well, as all of pa Benton's sons have either died or left ... but he is still determined to free his son Coy. Eventually, though, it's Ames' wife Fay who frees him and runs away with him. However, when she can't go on, she has to learn that all of Coy's sweettalking was worth precious little as he leaves her behind and she is eaten up by a lion.

Trying to track down Coy, Tarzan gets into another ambush by Coy and dad Benton, but in the shoot-out that ensues, Coy accidently shoots his own father. It all ends in a rough fistfight between Coy and Tarzan, and of course Tarzan defeats Coy in the end and ultimately hands him over to the authorities - and the jungle has become a safer place.

 

Like Tarzan's Greatest Adventure before it, Tarzan the Magnificent is less of a larger-than-life adventure one has come to expect from the Tarzan series but more of a thriller in jungle settings. And as a jungle thriller, Tarzan the Magnificent is ok, and extensive location shooting in Kenya does indeed pay off, but at the same time the film is pretty much routine and nothing special, and it's definitely inferior to Tarzan's Greatest Adventure. However, Tarzan the Magnificent isn't too bad either ..

 

By the way, Jock Mahoney, who plays the baddie here, would soon be promoted to playing Tarzan himself in Tarzan Goes to India and Tarzan's Three Challenges before playing a recurring supporting role on the Ron Ely-Tarzan television series.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD