Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Tarzan's Savage Fury (1952)
TARZAN'S SAVAGE FURY was a step in the wrong direction as far as the series was concerned. After the experiment of shooting in Kenya and a harder edge to the action we are once more back in the studio and dealing with a Joey, a Boy stand in ,as well.
The thrust of the film has imposters posing as one of Tarzan’s cousins and trying to get him to take them to a diamond rich area of the jungle.Tarzan doesn't want to do it but Jane talks him into it- even though it means heading into a region even he is afraid to go to.
Ultimately this is nothing we haven’t seen before in the other films and isn’t particularly well handled. I kind of lost interest when the pair did some magic tricks for Jane and Tarzan since all I could think was after traveling all through the jungle that still managed to carry their tricks with them. Worse much of the film has very little action with talk about going to the diamonds or an extended trek to the village.
I wasn’t particularly happy with the inclusion of the young boy as a Boy stand in. The kid was obviously added as a means of playing to the kiddie audience but other than a means of rescuing Tarzan late in the film he really serves no purpose.
What bothers me is that up to now the films had been moving in a more mature, more adult direction but this pulled it back to a kind of silliness. Part of it is the result of Joey being there and part of it is the ham-fisted magic tricks. Worse there is no real tension. While there are some nice violent set pieces I loved that Tarzan meets Joey when he was being used as live bait to capture alligators, or the hippo attack where some one is eaten or even the attack by the natives at the lost city, they are moments and not the whole film.
In fairness I think that had I not seen this in sequence, this would have played better. Had I not seen it 16 films in or even four films in to Lex Barker's run I would have liked it more because I would have been less aware of the greatness of TARZAN'S PERIL. I know taking this on it's own terms it's a good adventure, however in sequence its just as okay.