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Post by cinemalover »

Happy Fourth, everyone!

I hope you're all able to spend some quality time with the ones you care about today. Our family Friday night will consist of going to a fireworks display in a few hours tonight, assuming the threatening clouds don't wreck too much havoc.

The only bad movie is no movie at all.
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Tarzan the Tiger #540

Post by cinemalover »

Closing out our visit with Tarzan here are the final 5 chapters (and all the previous ones in green)…

Date watched: 6/30/2008
Title: Tarzan the Tiger Made: 1929
Genre: Serial Studio: Adventure Pictures/Universal
Format: DVD Extras—15 Chapters/None
Number of times viewed: First

Director: Henry MacRae

Frank Merrill—Tarzan/Lord Greystoke
Natalie Kingston—Jane
Al Ferguson—Albert Werper
Sheldon Lewis—Achmet Zek
Mademoiselle Kithnou—Queen La of Opar
Paul Panzer—Mohammed By
Clive Morgan—Philip Annersley

From the story “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Premise: The story starts right out in Tarzan’s career without stopping to set up his back-story. Presumably he was such a popular character from earlier films, books, pulps and comic strips that they didn’t need to educate their audience as to who he was or how he got to that point. Tarzan and Jane are married and living on the elegant Greystoke Estate in Africa, on the outskirts of the jungle. That’s where the action picks up….

Chapter 1: Call of the Jungle

We see a man in elegant evening attire, sitting in a finely furnished room. The title card introduces our hero, “The Lord of the Manor—known in London as the Earl of Greystoke---and to the jungle as Tarzan the Tiger!”
Lord Greystoke (Merrill) and his beautiful wife, the Lady Jane (Kingston) are entertaining a guest in their expansive home. The guest was previously unknown to them but came to visit introducing himself as Albert Werper (Ferguson), a scientist looking to do some jungle research. He is hoping to impose upon the Greystoke hospitality to help him make some connections on the Dark Continent, to which he is a stranger. Werper isn’t what he pretends to be though. He is really a soldier of fortune with bad intentions in his heart, as will soon be revealed.

The three sit around the hearth in plush leather chairs, discussing some of Tarzan’s legendary past. Tarzan tells the tale of how he crossed paths with Queen La of Opar (Kithnou). In a flashback we are introduced to her highness. The title card tells us, “The High Priestess of the Sun Worhippers---La, who has sworn she will have no other mate than Tarzan!”

Queen La apparently suffered from a bout of uncontrollable lust at first sight when she first spied the manly man, Tarzan. But , when she’s not fantasizing about all the delicious wicked things she’d like to do to Tarzan’s muscular physique, she must attend to the daily duties of a High Priestess, mainly watching her followers tirelessly dance around the campfire and sacrifice the occasional virgin to the Sun Gods. An act which we are about to witness.
La, “Prepare the sacrifice! The Flaming God hath spoken----and his wrath must be appeased!”

A girl is dragged to the alter, protesting all the way while trying to wriggle free. Just as La is about to plunge a knife through the poor girl’s heart Tarzan swings in to break up the party. La, while being upset that her sacrifice schedule has hit a snag, is always glad to see the man-meat called Tarzan.
La, “Tarzan! Thou art mine—and I will follow to the ends of the earth and claim thee!”
This sounds like a jungle stalker to me.

Back to the present Werper excuses him self to bed down for the night but really waits just around the corner to eavesdrop on Tarzan and Jane’s conversation. Tarzan is planning a return trip to Opar but Jane is scared for his safety. She asks him to forego his trip but he insists that he must go.
Jane, “You must give up your search for the Opar gold! It is not worth the dangers that threaten!”
Tarzan, “You forget, dear, that gold is our only means to prevent the sale of our estates in England!"
Jane, “I feel you won’t return! I’m afraid, afraid of La’s threats, afraid for you…alone….amongst your enemies!”
Tarzan, “My duty to my people outweighs all that! I shall leave at nightfall----tomorrow!”
But he also throws in a little reassurance for Jane’s peace of mind, “If I have my enemies, I also have my jungle friends who will welcome me as Tarzan….and fight for me if need be!”

The next morning our attention is directed towards a nearby open market where beautiful slave girls are being auctioned off to a band of less than honorable looking men. The camera zooms in on a hooded man whom a title card introduces.
“Achmet Zek, a nomad chief, against whose traffic in slaves Tarzan has waged relentless war.”
Albert Werper arrives at the market to meet with Achmet. The two are obviously in co-hoots, plotting evil against the Lord of the Jungle.
Achmet, “Tarzan will regret his interference in my raids….when his wife is in my power!”
Achmet is staring at one of the slave girls on the auction block, visualizing her as Jane being sold for his pleasure. The plan calls for Werper to trail Tarzan into the jungle to the gold of Opar while Achmet will lead his mnen against the Greystoke Estate while the master is gone, looting and capturing the Lady Jane.

Tarzan sets out on his journey that evening dressed in his baggy leopard skin and moccasins (which look like house slippers). His head is crowned with a delightful leopard skin headband that nattily compliments his outfit. Werper is lurking in the shadows behind him, staying far enough away so as not to be detected.

Achmet barely waits for Tarzan’s shadow to be gone as he and his men attack the estate, killing servants in the process. Achmet grabs a terrified Jane to do with as he pleases…

Simultaneously Jane’s husband is encountering problems of his own as Numa, the lion, has chosen this moment to attack Tarzan and see who is truly the King of the Jungle. Tarzan fights for his life as Werper spies from afar….

Chapter 2 The Road to Opar

Jane is a captive of the slimy Achmet and she warns him that he’ll be sorry, he’ll have to face the wrath of Tarzan!
Achmet, “I waited to strike until he was beyond recall, deep in the jungle, on the road to Opar!”
Jane, “When he returns he will destroy you, as he would destroy a jungle beast!”
Achmet, "For you there is no escape! You will be one of my wives…”
Or she’ll be sold into slavery. Not much of a choice for poor Jane.

Tarzan is approaching the caves outside of Opar with Werner still sneaking around behind him. Tarzan opens a secret passage that leads into a secret part of the temple where the gold is stashed. As Tarzan is loading stacks of gold bars onto his back to lug back to his estate a terrible simoon (storm) hits the area hard enough to shake the mountain itself. La is outside when the storm hits and calls for a sacrifice to appease the gods and sooth the storm. She spots Werner traipsing around the interior of the temple (while staying out of Tarzan’s view) and orders her warriors to grab him. He’ll make a fine sacrifice.

Back at the open market the storm threatens all the residents, including Jane. Those tents don’t offer much protection as they fly like sails through the sand.

Tarzan is trying to get back to the secret entrance with his gold intact when the ceiling starts to collapse on him. He stumbles on but is then buried as the cove completely fills with debris….

Chapter 3: The Altar of the Flaming God

Tarzan wakes up in the rubble of the cave with his memory completely erased by a blow to his head. He wanders around the caves until he happens upon a chest containing the valuable jewels of Opar. To the clouded mind of Tarzan these are merely “pretty baubles” that he takes a handful of for his own pleasure. His aimless wandering takes him to the corridor leading to La’s altar where Werner is preparing to meet his maker. Tarzan doesn’t remember who Werner is but his presence disrupts the ceremony, saving Werner’s life. Having Tarzan show up out of the blue with his memory impaired is like a dream come true for the love-struck La. She’ll try to manipulate him into believing she is his woman. Tarzan isn’t ready to listen to her right now, and embarks into the jungle with Werner and his “pretty baubles”. Werner catches a glance of the jewels and will be looking for an opportunity to possess them.

Back at the slave market the confusion caused by the storm has allowed Jane the chance to escape as she slips, unarmed, into the dangerous jungle. But taking a chance in the wild is preferable to Achmet’s company.

Werner and Tarzan are making camp while Tarzan scouts ahead. When he returns he finds Taglat (a man in a poor ape suit), Tarzan’s ancient enemy from his pre-Jane days, attacking Werner. Tarzan jumps Taglat and betas him down like a bad habit. Taglat scoots away into the jungle, unhappy about his lot in life.
Tarzan, “Begone Taglat! You are no match for Tarzan the Tiger!” Then Tarzan tells Werner, “I have robbed Taglat of his prey, and he will not rest till he has repaid me in full!”

It’s not long before Taglat has that chance when he sees Jane struggling through the dense jungle. He grabs Jane in his powerful arms, taking her off into the dark jungle.

At Tarzan’s camp he and Werner are preparing to “bed down” for the night. As soon as the Lord of the Jungle is resting in slumberland Werner goes to work. He wants those jewels and knows that he needs Tarzan out of the way to get them. He pulls out his hunting knife and is poised above Tarzan’s sleeping body ready to plunge the knife into it….

Chapter 4: The Vengeance of La!

Tarzan hears a woman’s scream for help and rushes to find Jane in the paws of the aroused Taglat. Tarzan is again victorious against his simian foe. Jane runs to him and throws her arms around him and calling his name. She attempts to kiss him.
Tarzan, “How do you know my name when I never saw you before?!”
Jane (startled), “Don’t look at me so, Tarzan! Surely you know me!”

La, the High Priestess of Opar, has been following Tarzan from her temple since he once again rejected her feelings. La doesn’t deal well with rejection. She sees that Tarzan does not recognize Jane and is elated. She orders her warriors to attack them. The men capture and bind Tarzan while La smiles with glee as she takes Jane herself as captive.

Werner did manage to dig up the jewels that Tarzan had buried to keep them safe, and Tarzan doesn’t know it. Werner has journeyed back to the Greystoke estate to meet with his partner in crime, Achmet. Werner doesn’t share with Achmet the fact that he has the jewels, but he does tell him about the stash of gold in the Opar caves. Werner agrees to lead Achmet to the gold after Achmet recaptures Jane, which is his priority. Werner says he’ll stay at the estate to recuperate and meet up with Achmet shortly. Achmet doesn’t trust him so he sends his men to find Jane while he stays behind to spy on Werner.

La uses the time she has Tarzan as a captive audience to try to sway his heart. She attempts to get him to commit to either her or Jane, preferably her.
Tarzan, “Tarzan the Tiger knows no wife…and wants no mate!

La has been spurned for the last time. She orders her followers to prepare for a double sacrifice! Tarzan is bound to a stake and the warriors prepare to ventilate him with sharp spears…

Chapter 5: Condemned to Death!

Achmet knows that Werner has been lying to him and is prepared to make him pay for that deed with his life. Werner manages to steal a horse and escape into the foliage of the surrounding jungle.

Tarzan goes to retrieve his buried treasure. When he finds it missing he knows that Werner must have stolen it. Werner’s got a lot of people on his tail now. He goes to the slave market to seek help from one of the other traders. He agrees to sell Jane for their mutual profit if Werner is able to lure her into a trap. She has no reason to suspect that Werner is not the man he pretended to be when she met him at her home.

Once he has Jane at one of the huts at the market another one of the local leaders finds her and assaults her. Werner walks in and kills him to defend Jane. If the other men in the market learn that Werner killed their leader they will flay him alive. When Tarzan shows up to kill Werner he crashes in through the roof of the hut to confront him. Just then a group of men from the market come looking for their leader and Werner tells them that Tarzan killed him. The men attack Tarzan….

Frank Merrill, a championship gymnast according to the serial’s notes, is physically suited to playing the Jungle Man. His large biceps and back muscles are often put to use as he climbs ropes and swings around. In terms of acting his motions are fairly stilted, but fortunately the part is more about the physical action so he gets by.
You wouldn’t think that you could feel claustrophobic in the jungle but many of the shots are cropped very tightly, with close-ups on Tarzan’s face or body. It seems to be framed so tightly that it could have been filmed inside a greenhouse and no one would have noticed.

The film is very interesting if not spectacular. I’ve enjoyed the first five chapters but they do drag at times.

The film is silent with a few sound effects added to the score, including the first recorded Tarzan yell, or perhaps “yelp” would be more accurate. The picture is mostly in sepia tones as opposed to standard black and white which adds a nice effect. The picture quality was decent and perfectly watchable.

Chapter 6: Tantor the Terror

After Tarzan saves Jane from the slaver’s market she takes him to the jungle hut that he grew up in. She tries to jar his (M.I.A.) memory by showing him the books she had taught him to read with. She tells him an abbreviated story of how he was raised by apes (the first peak at Tarzan’s origin for the viewing audience). Tarzan vaguely remembers, but it doesn’t snap him out of his memory slumber. He leaves the hut to scout the area, leaving Jane by herself. Shortly thereafter Werper shows up at the hut, pretending to be a friend, warning Jane that Achmet has captured Tarzan and that he has sent his men to capture her also. If she would be willing to pretend to be Werper’s prisoner he will find a way to save her (yeah, right). She sees few options open to her and agrees to accompany Werper, suspecting that if she didn’t agree that he would overpower her.

Tarzan returns to the hut to find Jane missing. Instead of being concerned that she may be in danger, his immediate thought is that she stole his “pretty baubles” that he had left with her. He becomes enraged and sets out to find her and reclaim his jewels.

Jane did have the jewels on her, a fact that Werper was delighted to discover. He confiscates the stones and turns her over to the slavers to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Jane, “You lied to me! Pretended friendship to betray me!”
Werper, “Why not? I have the jewels and who can tell Tarzan, even if he should regain his memory?”

Then the market is terrified by the oncoming war cries of Tarzan as he comes charging in on Tantor the elephant. Tarzan seeks Jane and his jewels. All the noise that Tarzan and his pachyderm friend create allows one of the slavers plenty of time to grab Jane and ride off towards the jungle on camel back….

Chapter 7: In Deadly Peril!

Tarzan on his trusty steed, Tantor, is chasing the slaver on camel back who has abducted Jane. Tarzan isn’t concerned about Jane’s health, his priority is getting his jewels back.

Meanwhile, back at the slave market, Werper is being confronted by the nomads that he had engaged to help him. They know about the jewels he acquired form Jane and they want their share of the loot. They grab the pouch that holds the jewels from Werper but open it to a surprise.
Nomad chief, “This pouch holds no jewels, only gravel from some river’s shore!”
Oh, that tricky Jane. She outfoxed the oily Werper.

Tarzan catches up to and recovers Jane from the slaver. His fury is calmed when she manages to convince him that she didn’t steal his jewels, she merely hid them for safekeeping back at the hut when Werper took her away. Somehow Werper has escaped the wrath of the nomads and has tracked Tarzan to his conversation with Jane. He levels a rifle at Tarzan’s head and is posed to pull the trigger….

Chapter 8: The Loop of Death

Werper has overheard that the jewels are still hiding in the hut and races to reach them before Tarzan and Jane can get to them. Tarzan has jungle allies to speed his journey though as he again bellows out a call fro Tantor. The elephant quickly arrives to give Tarzan and Jane a comfy ride. The hut is more than a day’s distance away so Tarzan halts their progress to make camp for the night. Jane is enjoying spending time close to her husband, even though he doesn’t remember that she is his wife.
Jane, “I am happy Tarzan! In my heart I know you are beginning to remember me…Jane. Your wife!”

Despite Jane’s obvious invitation to have Tarzan share her bed he takes to the trees to sleep. The next morning when Jane jumps naked into the nearby lake to get early bath, Tarzan gets an eyeful that sets his chest to heaving in rapid breath. While Tarzan is being…distracted…by Jane’s bathing body , Werper slips past them on his way to the hut to steal the jewels. He is able to arrive at the hut before the jungle pair and lays a trap for them while waiting to see where the jewels are hid.

Tarzan enters the hut with Jane and she shows him the precious pouch of stones so that he knows she didn’t steal them. Just then, Werper activates his trap, which drops a lasso down around tarzan’s brawny shoulder, pinning his arms to his side. As he is momentarily confined and confused Werper approaches from behind with a dagger ready to dissect the jungle lord….

(On this print the end of this chapter is so dark that you have to skip ahead to the recap at the beginning of the next chapter to figure out what was happening)

Chapter 9: The Flight of Werper!

This chapter uses Jane’s continued attempt to restore Tarzan’s memory as framework to recap the story to this point. This helps remind the faithful weekly viewers of the details over the course of the previous 8 weeks and allows anyone that missed any chapters to get caught up.

While Jane drones on Tarzan seems more concerned with playing with his pretty pebble than reigniting his synapses. With her current attempt not making any progress to clear the fog form Tarzan’s brain, Jane puts forth a really bad idea. She’ll take Tarzan back to Opar to shake his memory loose.

Werper, who narrowly escaped the wrath of Tarzan after their latest encounter, is also headed to Opar. He hopes to recruit La and some of her sun-worshippers to help him in his quest against Tarzan and for the jewels. Instead, he is met by the eternally angry la who remembers her last encounter with Werper, when he was to be the next sacrifice on her altar. She likes the odds of a do-over.
La (gleefully), “This time Tarzan is not here to save you from the sacrificial altar!”

Werper, feeling his life on the line, tries a new deceitful tact, “Stop! The flaming god has sent me here! Not as a sacrifice, but to help you! You want to claim Tarzan as your own…and I alone know where he is! Promise to give Lady Jane into my hands, and I will lead you to them!”
La (with a wicked gleam in her eye), “I could wish her no worse fate than into your hands.”

Werper leads La and her worshippers back out to the foliage in search of the jungle couple. Tarzan and Jane are progressing towards Opar, but Tarzan pauses to help a doe out of a bog. While he is distracted with the rescue attempt Numa the lion sees an opportunity to collect some tasty breakfast. The giant feline propels itself into the air with a roar, looking to dissect Tarzan with a mighty swipe of its paw….

Chapter 10: Prisoner of the Apes

Jane is upset and crying after their brush with death. Tarzan tries to pacify her by offering her his pouch of jewels. She pushes them aside, insisting that the only treasure she desires is the return of Tarzan’s memory and for him to be by her side again as her husband.

Werper is still scouring the jungle with la and her men, looking for the Greystokes. Tarzan and Jane have paused for a mid-day meal with Jane tending a fire while Tarzan goes to find some lunch meat. Tarzan is high up in the branches of a tree when he looks back to wistfully admire Jane.

Title card, “Dimly to Tarzan’s clouded mind comes the realization that Lady Jane is his---to protect against all harm!”

Also wandering through the backlot jungle is Chulk, king of the apes and brother of Taglat, whom Tarzan had killed earlier in the serial. He is searching the trees, seeking to take some simian sibling vengeance out on that man who swings through the trees.

Tarzan is hunting game, Chulk is hunting Tarzan and Werper and La come upon an unguarded Jane at the campfire. The leer that Werper lays on Jane’s scantily clad body would be enough to get a guy arrested in most states. Once again Jane becomes a captive (I’ve already lost track of how many times this has happened) and she will be used as bait to lure her mate into a trap.

When Tarzan returns to the camp with his catch of the day he realizes that Jane has been taken. He fills the air with his jungle yelps and proceeds to follow the tracks to reclaim Jane. The trail takes him to La, who is posing in cheesecake mode awaiting the jungle king, the target of her affections.
La, “It is I…La…come to claim you as my king!”
Tarzan (less than impressed), “Go back to Opar! Tarzan will choose his own mate!”
La, “When I return to Opar you will go with me….to rule over my people….and my heart!”

La just doesn’t understand the concept of “No”. She tries to convince Tarzan that Jane does not want him anymore and that she has deserted him. She fails to tell Tarzan that her warriors have tied Jane up and left her in the middle of the jungle at the mercy of the local inhabitants. Chulk the ape is the next one to find her and recognizes her as Tarzan’s mate. It fits his revenge plans perfectly as he picks her up like a sack of groceries and wanders into the dense foliage. La orders her warriors to trap the uncooperative Tarzan in a hunting net so that he will be unable to leave her, or to rescue Jane….

Lots of protagonists for Tarzan to play off of in this action-filled chapter play. There’s slave traders, evil Englishmen, La and her sun-worshippers and a multitude of jungle beasts, some real and some via furry costumes. Merrill continues to have the right physical tools to impress as the king of the jungle but hasn’t a clue as to how to use his facial features or body language to emote any feelings. He is cardboard with biceps when it comes to acting. Natalie Kingston is beautiful as Jane, it’s too bad the script doesn’t allow her to be much more than a damsel in distress. The character of Jane should be a strong role, one capable of standing up for herself otherwise she’d better get back to London. If she stays in the jungle she’ll be the first victim in the survival of the fittest equation.

The action is quick as one peril always leads directly into the next as there is no safety in the jungle. The pace makes it easy to stay focused on the chapters and appreciate the tale. The cliff-hangers are never very original and with all the potential of the environment and assorted villains they certainly would qualify as a disappointment. Not a bad serial, just not nearly as good as it could have been with a little more imagination.

Chapter 11: The Jaws of Death

Tarzan, whose memory remains elusive, rescues Jane from Chulk and expresses his feelings towards her.

Tarzan, “I am glad to be with you again. I saw the other woman, but I like you better!”
That Tarzan is one smooth talker, he should be writing cards for Hallmark.

Werper has thrown in his lot with La and the two of them are witness to Tarzan and Jane’s blissful reunion. La is none too happy with what she sees.

La, “Tarzan has again found his mate! We must get her from him at any cost! She must be leading him to Opar!”

Jane is in fact taking Tarzan back to Opar, with the hopes that his seeing the environment he was in when he lost his memory will help him remember. Tarzan senses that they are being followed so he takes to the trees to scout out any potential danger. Jane is once again left to fend for herself. We’ve seen this recipe for disaster before. Within moments La’s warriors are advancing upon Jane with spears erect. She backs away from them, finding her path blocked by a pond full of crocodiles. She back peddles over a log that bridges the pond. The log snaps, sending Jane swimming with the snapping crocs…

Chapter 12: The Jewels of Opar

Merrill (or a stunt double) wrestles with a croc which has obviously had its jaws wired shut. This is still much more exciting than most Tarzan movies where said star wrestles with a rubber reptile. Tarzan is successful in preventing Jane from becoming an entrée on the crocodile buffet.

Once recovered from the trauma, Jane continues to steer Tarzan towards Opar. As they approach the secret entrance to the tunnels that Tarzan used he begins to rub his temples as though getting a migraine. But the pain is just memories starting to reoccupy his consciousness. He begins the arduous process of clearing the entrance by lifting and removing the stone pillars that the storm collapsed. While Tarzan is working one of La’s men has been spying on him and runs to update La that her dreamboat has arrived as expected. La can set her plans into motion. Tarzan has cleared the tunnel entrance and escorts Jane to the secret room that houses the Jewels of Opar where Tarzan and first found his “pretty baubles”. Tarzan and Jane admire the stockpile of wealth while Werper is silently approaching with a group of Opar warriors. Werper prepares to implant a knife in Tarzan’s back when the jungle lord turns to confront him. The two struggle and are intertwined on a ledge before their momentum takes them over the edge. They both fall into a shaft of undetermined depth…

Chapter 13: A Human Sacrifice

We learn that Werper has not been working for himself, he had been sent to Africa by Philip Annersly (Morgan), cousin to Lord Greystoke. Annersly is next in line for the title of Lord Greystoke and he hired Werper to eliminate Tarzan so that he could assume the title. But both Tarzan and Werper are still missing after their fall. This leaves Jane alone again and at the mercy of La. Jane is apprehended by La’s warriors and subjected to more of La’s rants.

La, “You will never look on Tarzan’s face again! Soon he will be mine!”

Jane is taken to the Altar of the Flaming God and prepared to be the next sacrifice.

Cut to Werper and Tarzan who had fallen into a room below the treasure room. The blow of the fall has reset Tarzan’s memory to the beginning of his adventure, but he has no memory of the past few days. Tarzan sees Werper and addresses him as, “My old friend!” Werper plays along using this opportunity to his advantage. Werper tries to maneuver Tarzan away from the caves so that he doesn’t run into La or any of her warriors. As they edge towards the exit Tarzan’s superior hearing picks up the sounds of Jane’s cries for help as she is about to be sacrificed….

Chapter 14: Tarzan’s Rage!

Tarzan frees Jane from the sacrificial altar but tries to form a peace with la and her warriors. He offers to take them to the secret chamber where the treasure is hidden. We learn that the Jewels of Opar are really the lost treasure of Ancient Atlantis. By taking them to the treasure Tarzan has fulfilled an ancient prophecy. La is satisfied with this and decides to give up on her obsession with Tarzan. She allows them to go home in peace and friendship.

All would be well for Tarzan and Jane except that the traitorous Werper is still roaming free somewhere. As they begin the journey home Jane begins to fill in Tarzan with the details that he doesn’t remember from the last few days. When she tells him of all the danger that Werper’s actions have placed her in Tarzan is furious. He takes to the treetops and cuts loose with an angry war cry.

Back at the Greystoke Estate we see that Philip Annersly has arrived from England to check on the progress of Werper’s mission. Werper shows up soon with the good news that Tarzan and Jane are both dead, or so he tells Philip. He continues his string of lies by telling Philip that there are in fact no Jewels of Opar, they were just a myth. As soon as these lies leave his lips some of the jewels that he’s stashed in his clothing drop to the floor. Oooops! Philip sees his deceit and assaults him with vigor. The two are startled when they hear Tarzan’s war cry ringing out from the jungle. Werper flees in fear while Philip, who has no reason to fear Tarzan, stays to greet the jungle lord.
Philip seems happy to see Tarzan when he tells him, “You WERE Lord Greystoke. I am Lord Greystoke Now!”
(Not much of a cliff-hanger)

Chapter 15: Tarzan’s Triumph

While Tarzan is talking with Philip the slimy Werper comes up from behind with a rope. Before Tarzan realizes what is happening he is bound and incapacitated. Werper and Philip march Tarzan into the jungle and bind him to a tree, planning on letting the beasts have their way with him. They then grab Jane and force her to take them back to the Opar treasure. Jane agrees to cooperate because they promise to free Tarzan upon their return. While in the jungle Philip deserts Werper, carrying on with Jane. You just can’t trust any of these guys.

Tarzan calls out to his jungle friends to come help release him from his bonds. Philip and Jane hear his cries, which lights a fire of hope within Jane. Philip scoff and says, “Let him call! His friends cannot untie him!”

But Philip doesn’t know how talented Tarzan’s friends are as Tantor’s trunk is able to undo Tarzan’s ropes. An angry jungle man is loose to wreak havoc.

Philip forces Jane to move at a quicker pace but when they hear a tiger approaching Jane trips and hurts her leg. Philip runs to save himself, leaving Jane at the mercy of the big cat. But the tiger chases after Philip who empties his pistol in the direction of his pursuer to no effect. The tiger has no further barriers to experiencing the culinary joy of the other white meat. Burp!

It would seem to be a happy ending for Tarzan, Jane and Tantor…but whatever happened to the wicked Werper, who continually turns up like a bad penny?

The serial drags on a bit more than it needs and runs out of steam towards the end. It would have been better served limiting itself to 12 or 13 chapters and tightening up the storyline. But it is what it is and it’s a middle of the road chapter play. Merrill does well with the physical aspects of the role, which in this case is enough. As a side note this was Merrill’s last film appearance as he was apparently not equipped to survive the transition to sound. He retired from the movies to become Park Commissioner for Los Angeles.

5* (out of 10) Overall, a satisfactory serial. The multiple villains keep things interesting. There is enough footage of jungle animals with actors mixed in with some stock footage to give it a jungle feel.

The only bad movie is no movie at all.
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Atlantis Interceptors #541

Post by cinemalover »

Closing in on the last scraps from the Grindhouse Experience Volume 2….

Date watched: 6/25/2008
Title: Atlantis Interceptors (Atlantis Inferno/I Predatori Di Atlantide) Made: 1983
Genre: Mindless Action Studio: Regal Films
Format: DVD Extras—FS, Dubbed.
Number of times watched: First

Director: Ruggero Deodato

Christopher Connelly—Mike Ross
Gioia Scola—Dr. Cathy Rollins
Tony King—Washington/Mohammed
Stefano Mingardo—Klaus Nemnez
Ivan Rassimov—Bill Cook
Giancarlo Prati—Frank
Bruce Baron—Crystal Skull
George Hilton—Professor Peter Saunders
Mike Monty—George
Michele Soavi--James

Adventure beyond the edge of time!

Action unlike any this side of “Mad Max” and “Rambo”!

In the then future year of 1994, Mike Ross (a tired looking Christopher Connelly) and Washington (King) are both Vietnam vets who now make their living running dubious and dangerous errands for shady characters. After the completion of their most recent assignment they hop in their yacht and head to a tropical isle for some R&R. Their plans of fun and relaxation are about to experience a major disruption.

On a platform off the coast of Miami a group of scientists led by Professor Peter Saunders (Hilton) are trying to raise a sunken Russian sub. During the course of their rescue attempts they find an interesting artifact that appears to be an Atlantean tablet. This is potentially a treasure of richer value than the salvage job on the submarine. The scientists cannot translate the writing on the tablet so they send for Dr. Cathy Rollins (Scola), a very attractive expert in pre-Columbian dialects. Before she has a chance to translate, and unknown to those on the platform, the ancient city of Atlantis has risen from the bottom of the sea as a result of the tablet’s discovery. This causes a huge tidal wave that washes over the platform and proceeds to destroy much of Miami.

That wave sends Mike and Washington back to shore in time to survive. There they hook up with a few other survivors, including Cathy who made it off the platform in one piece. This group sticks together to explore the wasteland that was Miami. Amazingly most of the houses and buildings seem perfectly fine, only the people have been washed away. Then just when you think the plot couldn’t possibly be any more disjointed, the film proves you wrong. Riding down the deserted streets appears a group that looks like the lost extras that played the post-apocalyptic punks from Road Warrior. They ride a variety of souped-up, hot rod vehicles and call themselves the Interceptors. What they neglected to Intercept was any hint of thespian skills. This rag-tag bunch is led by Crystal Skull, so called because of the skull mask he wears. He also likes to be chauffeured around while standing up in the car and slapping a riding crop in his open palm. The Crystal Skull calls out as they comb the streets to any who may still live, “We have come back. Come back to the world that was once ours!” And just in case the survivors had any doubts about the intentions of this group, Crystal Skull clears those right up, “You will all be executed!”

Chris Connelly’s character Ross, even though he was earlier shown to be a mercenary willing to do most any task if the price was right, transforms into an inspirational leader right before our disbelieving eyes. Poor Chris also looks like he was enjoying the Italian night-life much more than the day’s shooting schedule. The sparks are supposed to be flying between he and Cathy, but the best they can generate is something slightly better than disinterest. When Ross worries about Cathy when the Interceptors are headed their way we are treated to some stellar dialogue.
Cathy, “You really don’t have to worry because I’m a woman. I’m not so weak!” Unfortunately we can’t make the same claim for the film.

The battle between these road warriors and our scrappy guerrilla pedestrians rages (well, fizzles anyway) on as Ross leads his group through the deserted buildings, popping up occasionally to confront the villains with quick strikes. Do to some very sloppy editing day turns to night in the middle of a skirmish (perhaps it was a solar eclipse!).

One decent action scene has our heroes trying to escape their pursuers in a bus when they are attacked from above by a helicopter full of Atlanteans (now how this ancient race that has been resting peacefully under the sea would know how to pilot a copter is beyond me, but then so is this entire movie). The battle moves on to a small tropical island that is supposed to be the raised Atlantis. All I’ll say is they do a fabulous job of growing lush tropical jungles on the bottom of the sea. The battle between the survivors and the Interceptors continues as the heroes are picked off one at a time, leaving only Cathy, Washington and Ross to fight on. The leaders of Atlantis are shown to be some cheap-looking 50’s sci-fi film knock-offs and only serve to further complicate this non-sense plot.

Italian schlock-master, Ruggero Deodato, strikes again. Ruggero has never seen a genre that he couldn’t dissolve into the lowest common denominator. This is an exploitative action-fest filled with gunfire, exploding vehicles, embarrassing special effects and a pinch of panache. The leads wouldn’t recognize charisma if they stepped in it, so the only marginal entertainment value is the outrageous premise and the “I can’t believe I just saw that” factor. If you’re in the mood for some indiscriminate violence and marginal action you may tolerate this, if not don’t even bother to try.

This is the kind of movie you used to find in the non-chain video stores filling the action sections. The artwork on the boxes was usually spectacular, and completely misleading. Needless to say, the poster art is the most interesting aspect of the film.

2* (out of 10) A film like this makes a season of the A-Team rival Shakespeare.

This was the 18th out of 20 films in the Grindhouse Experience Volume 2. This was a big doggy downer which leaves our score at 10 ups and 8 downs for the set.

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Post by cinemalover »

This is just for my daughter, Tina, who turned 16 this last weekend:

Happy Birthday Baby!

Your Dad is very proud of you.

P.S. Thanks for your help and opinions with the movie reviews!

And I can't forget the lovely (no-longer) newlywed Karie.

Happy Anniversary Darling!

You should get a medal for putting up with my movie mania for a whole year!

Jeremy, I don't want you to feel left out, I kinda like you too!
Last edited by cinemalover on July 7th, 2008, 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by movieman1957 »

Let me add my congratulations and best wishes to the ladies in your life.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

Post by jdb1 »

Yes, Chris. my best wishes to all you family -- I certainly appreciate their input as to the movies you all view. Keep 'em coming.
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Post by cinemalover »

Thank you, Chris and Judith.

That's very kind of you to say.

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Post by mrsl »


From your comments about and from Tina, I'm sure I would like her for a friend for my little one, except for the age difference. And as I said before, I believe Karie and I could be friends if we ever met.

Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all of you.


* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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Post by cinemalover »

Hi Anne,
Thank you. I'm sure you and Karie would get along wonderfully. Karie has one of those magnetic personalities that people are drawn to and instantly feel at ease around. How she got stuck with me I'll never understand. I guess I won the wife lotto.

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Post by Bogie »

Hey Chris congrats and a happy birthday to your daughter as well. You seem like the perfect family man except the whole movie sickness :) Which we all have here to one degree or another.
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Post by cinemalover »

Thanks Bogie,

As Karie tells me, it's an addiction. I know I test her patience at times!

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Tall in the Saddle #542

Post by cinemalover »

The Duke is in the house...

Date watched: 7/2/2008
Title: Tall in the Saddle Made: 1944
Genre: Western Studio: RKO Pictures
Format: DVD Extras—Trailer Gallery.
Number of times viewed: 3

Director: Edwin L. Marin

John Wayne—Rocklin
Ella Raines—Arly Harolday
Ward Bond—Judge Garvey
Gabby Hayes—Dave
Paul Fix—Bob Clews
Audry Long—Clara cardell
Elisabeth Risdon—Elizabeth Martin
Donald Douglas—Harolday
Russell Wade—Clint Harolday
Emory Parnell—Sheriff Jackson
Raymond Hatton—Zeke
Harry Woods—George Clews

Breath taking adventure!

The Saturday Evening Post story comes to life!

Wayne packs a wallop…in action…in love!

Story: A large cowpoke named Rocklin (Wayne) disembarks from the train on which he’s just entered a western town and walks to the stage depot. Rocklin passes by a scraggly looking old cuss who appears to be carrying on a conversation with his horse, Blossom. The man, Dave (Gabby Hayes, who is quickly establishing his personality in this one) had a whiskey bottle in his hand that the horse managed to knock out.
Dave (exasperated), “Look what you went and done! I’m telling you, Blossom, that makes you the most aggravating female I ever had a despise for! I oughta’ poison ya!”

Rocklin just keeps on walking and buys a ticket for the next stage to his destination. He asks the ticket seller if he could ride up top with the driver on the ride. The man warns Rocklin that the driver is a cranky old man.
Rocklin, “I like grumpy old cusses. I hope to live long enough to be one!”

When the driver approaches his stage it comes as no great surprise to learn that Dave is the driver, he certainly fits the description. The stage will also be transporting two woman on the trip, the lovely Elizabeth Martin (Risdon) and her less friendly aunt, Clara Cardell (Long). When Dave suggests that the ladies may be in for a rough ride, especially after Clara insists that they hurry, Rocklin shows no sympathy.
Rocklin, “I never feel sorry for anything that happens to a woman!”

The trip proceeds with Aunt Clara clucking the entire way. When the stage finally stops to rest and water the horses they all go in to the building to grab a bite or a beverage. When Stan, the proprietor, offers Dave a plate of food he only has one thing on his mind, “No thanks, I’m drinking mine! Set ‘em up!”

While the stage riders are enjoying a meal Sheriff Jackson (Parnell) and Bob Clews (Paul Fix) barge into the establishment to confront Stan of rustling beef from the K.C. herd. Red Cardell was the owner of the K.C. ranch, until he was shot in the back three weeks ago. Since then his cattle have come as easy pickings to those of a thievin’ persuasion. The disreputable Bob Clews is the one making the accusations against Stan. Dave steps his whiskered chin into the fray to stick up for Stan and because he can’t stand Bob. Since Dave seems to be feeling the effects of his liquid dinner the sheriff and Bob offer to help him get some fresh air. Instead of giving him some air they give him the business end of a pistol butt, sending his already foggy head to sleepin’. They apparently didn’t appreciate when Dave called them both “four-flushers!” Rocklin finds Dave’s unconscious body outside and takes him in for Stan to tend to. He’ll drive the stage the rest of the way into town with its female passengers.

Once in town Rocklin looks up Judge Garvey (Bond), who is the lawyer handling Red Cardell’s affairs. He shows the Judge a letter that Red had sent to him, hiring him on to run his ranch. The letter included an advance of $150 which Rocklin is returning to the Judge since he won’t be able to work for Red since he’s deceased. Just then Miss Martin and Aunt Clara from the stage enter the Judge’s office. Rocklin learns that Miss Martin has inherited Red’s ranch (the K.C. Ranch) and would still like Rocklin to come to work for them, despite Aunt Clara’s squawking to the contrary. Rocklin doesn’t commit to that idea, at least not yet.

Rocklin also meets the rowdy Arly Harloday (Raines), the beautiful cowgirl who runs the Topaz Ranch for her step-father, Mr. Harloday (Douglas). She takes an immediate dislike to Rocklin after getting into a confrontation with him that was spurred by a lie her brother Clint (Wade) told her.

Rocklin is having a lot of trouble making friends in this new town. When George Clews (Woods), Bob’s good for nothing brother, finds out that Rocklin disrespected Bob he wants to gun him down. Rocklin is happy to meet George on Main Street, but doesn’t draw on him. Instead he just keeps walking right up to Clews’ face. Under his breath Rocklin threatens him, “Touch that gun and I’ll kill ya’!”

Clews can’t let it go and makes a move for his gun. Rocklin responds by planting his pistol butt in the face of Clews, who goes down like a sack of potatoes. Rocklin strides belligerently away. There were plenty of witnesses around but only the cantankerous Aunt Clara seems offended by his actions. She comes running after him, screaming, “I saw you! I saw you strike that poor man!”
Rocklin (without breaking stride), “Yes, ma’am, just as hard as I could!” (A line that would be recycled by James Garner in "Support Your Local Gunfighter” to comic effect).

Rocklin decides not to go to work for Miss Martin. Arly sees an opportunity and demands that her step-dad offer Rocklin a job. It’s not so much that she wants Rocklin on the payroll (though she can’t kid herself, she has fallen for the lug) she really just wanted him hired so that she could have the pleasure (and face saving move) of firing him. Mr. Harloday approaches Rocklin with a job offer, but he only accepts when he’s guaranteed that he won’t have to report to Arly. His reasons, “I won’t work for a woman!”

But even though he takes the job Rocklin has plans of his own and he seems more concerned with catching the local rustlers than working the Topaz Ranch. Dave helps Rocklin with trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. More and more it appears that the Judge might be the brains behind the rustling operation, which would make him responsible for Red Cardell’s murder. When Rocklin gets too close to the truth Clint is murdered and the frame is put on Rocklin’s wide shoulders. Rocklin has to become a fugitive to avoid jail time and to solve the murder to clear his name. Will Dave stay off the bottle long enough to help Rocklin? Will Rocklin, the woman hater, survive both Arly and Elizabeth swooning over his dreamy hide? The pieces all come together in the final reel with a few twists to keep you guessing.

This is the Duke with a chip on his shoulder in his youthful prime. He’s tall, dynamic, and a few years ahead of when his mannerisms started to lampoon his screen persona. His acting is not on the same level he would achieve as he matured, but his physical presence is undeniable and surely defines what a movie star is supposed to be. Ella Raines provides the heat as the gun-happy, fire-tempered Arly. It’s a fun role for her and she really gets to cut loose. Ward Bond, the ultimate Wayne sidekick, is excellent as the suave villain whose façade of respectability as a judge and lawyer throws most off of his scent. Even when he’s not all that you think he’s going to be, he still has some bad habits, ranging from cheating at cards to murder. The latter occurring to those who cross him.

The film is filled with Gabbynese, which is a language unique to the man with the bushiest beard in show biz. Gabby Hayes always adds color to any film he’s in and adds a nice touch of levity to this one. He essentially plays the same character (himself) in every movie he’s in, but I always enjoy his performances.

This is a compact western that has a bigger cast and follows more sub-plots than the average oater. This helps keep the interest level high and has enough excitement and action that the pace never lags. The fabulous support cast makes every little part memorable and a nice little surprise at the end alters the way each participant relates to the plot.

The editing cuts the film more like a Warner’s gangster picture than a traditional western. This greatly benefits the flow of the film with its rat-a-tat-tat approach to story telling.

8* (out of 10) A superior western worth revisiting. To steal a line used in old Universal pictures at the close of a movie, “A Universal cast is worth repeating…” and then they would role the credits for a second time. This film’s cast deserves the same curtain call.
Last edited by cinemalover on July 8th, 2008, 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by movieman1957 »

"Tall In The Saddle" is a perfect example of fine Hollywood film making. It is not a great film but it is solid and entertaining. Wayne and Raines work well together and make a good couple even when she is busy hating Wayne.

Wayne and Hayes had teamed up often through some of those bad "B" westerns in the 30s. They make a cute couple too.

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Post by cinemalover »

I really enjoy Gabby Hayes. He's such a goof, but so earnest and well-meaning at the same time. Everyone should have an uncle like Gabby to listen to his tall tales when they're growing up. He was able to single-handedly make dozens of otherwise worthless B westerns entertaining throughout his career.

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Post by Bogie »

Speaking of Gabby Hayes I watched/listened to one of those archives of American Television interviews with Mr. Rogers and he was talking about how he worked as a floor manager for Gabby when he was doing those kiddy western movie shows. Gabby told Mr. Rogers about how he kept his earnestness and frankness when talking to a single TV camera by "just thinking of that one little buckaroo". In a lot of ways that was a major piece of advice that Mr. Rogers took with him in his work as he was known for being very honest, earnest and believable when talking to the kids on his show.

Yes I know useless info but I thought it was neat to share.
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