Monday, February 9, 2015

Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949)

Director: Le Sholem

Writers: Curt Siodmak, Harry Chandlee

Composer: Alexander Laszio

Starring: Lex Barker, Brenda Joyce, Albert Dekker, Evelyn Ankers, Charles Drake, Alan Napier, Ted Hecht, Henry Brandon

More info: IMDb

Tagline: New Daring! New Dangers!

Plot: An aviatrix emerges from the jungle looking as young as she was when her plane went down many years before. Unscrupulous hunters discover that this is due to a secret fountain of youth. Tarzan tries to keep the hunters from finding the hidden valley setting of the fountain. The flyer ages as the effects of the fountain wear off.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe. 

A while back I picked up the Warner Bros. Archive Collection box set of the Lex Barker Tarzan pictures (and another set with someone else as Tarzan whose name escapes me) and I finally got around to it (that's the trouble with having so many movies at your fingertips).  Now I realize these aren't made to be taken all that seriously and they're largely geared toward kids but for cryin' out loud, does there have to be so much Cheetah hijinks?  Other than that it's a pretty good and polished jungle adventure.  Baxter makes a good Tarzan but it's before the movie Tarzan became more sophisticated.  At this point he's still the "Me, Tarzan.  You, Jane." stage and he's not ready for afternoon tea parties, unless of course bonehead chimps are the guests of honor.  I don't mean to rail too hard on the little buggers.  They are cute as hell but there's about two too many gags with Cheetah and pals covering their eyes to avoid seeing Jane naked or fiddling around with electronics they don't understand.  TMF isn't a bad way to kill 73 minutes and even though it's not one of my favorite Tarzan pictures, it's not bad enough that I can't see watching this one again sometime.  A couple of neat asides, Alan "Batman '66's Alfred" Napier has a small role and the very first filmed Tarzan, Elmo Lincoln, can be spotted as a fisherman.  Now that's a neat cameo.  I'll have to watch for him next time...and get around to watching TARZAN OF THE APES (1918) someday. 

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