|Tarzan's Desert Mystery|
|Directed by||Wilhelm Thiele|
|Written by|| Carroll Young (story)|
Edward T. Lowe Jr.
|Based on||Characters created|
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
|Produced by||Sol Lesser|
|Starring|| Johnny Weissmuller |
|Cinematography|| Harry J. Wild |
|Edited by||Ray H. Lockert|
|Music by||Paul Sawtell|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
Tarzan's Desert Mystery is a 1943 American Tarzan film directed by Wilhelm Thiele and starring Johnny Weissmuller and Nancy Kelly.
Like its immediate predecessor, Tarzan Triumphs , the film mentions Tarzan's mate, Jane, but does not show her on screen. The explanation for her absence, as in the earlier film, is that she is still in the United Kingdom helping the war effort. (Maureen O'Sullivan had played Jane in the first six of Weissmuller's Tarzan films, but when the character of Jane returned after a two-picture absence, she was played by Brenda Joyce, not O'Sullivan.)
The picture's supporting players include Johnny Sheffield as "Boy", Otto Kruger, Joe Sawyer, Robert Lowery and John Dehner in an unbilled role as Prince Ameer.
Tarzan receives a request from Jane, who is helping out on the British home front in World War II, to locate a rare plant-derived serum that can save the lives of many service members. He sets off into the Sahara, which is the shortest route to the place where the plants can be found. Boy and Cheetah tag along, and soon they are joined by a rambunctious horse and traveling magician Connie Bryce (Nancy Kelly), who has been entertaining Allied soldiers in the region.
The group travels to Connie's next destination, a small Arab kingdom in the desert. Tarzan intends to drop her off and continue his journey, not knowing that she is on a secret mission from Washington to thwart Nazi spies who have infiltrated the kingdom. Tarzan and Connie quickly run afoul of these devious agents, who manage to frame the two for crimes against the royal family. The apeman leads a daring escape with the help of Cheetah. Then, with the Nazis hot on their heels, the travelers head for the strange prehistoric jungle where the serum plants grow.
Johnny Weissmuller was an American Olympic swimmer, water polo player and actor. He was known for having one of the best competitive swimming records of the 20th century. He set numerous world records alongside winning five gold medals in the Olympics. He won the 100m freestyle and the 4 × 200 m relay team event in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris and the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. Weissmuller also won gold in the 400m freestyle, as well as a bronze medal in the water polo competition in Paris.
Nancy Kelly was an American actress in film, theater and television. A child actress and model, she was a repertory cast member of CBS Radio's The March of Time and appeared in several films in the late 1920s. She became a leading lady upon returning to the screen in the late 1930s, while still in her teens, and made two dozen movies between 1938 and 1946, including portraying Tyrone Power's love interest in the classic Jesse James (1939), which also featured Henry Fonda, and playing opposite Spencer Tracy in Stanley and Livingstone later that same year. After turning to the stage in the late 1940s, she had her greatest success in a character role, the distraught mother in The Bad Seed, receiving a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the 1955 stage production and an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for the 1956 film adaptation, her last film role. Kelly then worked regularly in television until 1963, then took over the role of Martha in the original Broadway production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for several months. She returned to television for a handful of appearances in the mid-1970s.
Cheeta is a chimpanzee character that appeared in numerous Hollywood Tarzan films of the 1930s–1960s, as well as the 1966–1968 television series, as the ape sidekick of the title character, Tarzan. Cheeta has usually been characterized as male, but sometimes as female, and has been portrayed by chimpanzees of both sexes.
Johnny Sheffield was an American child actor who, between 1939 and 1947, portrayed Boy in the Tarzan film series and, between 1949 and 1955, played Bomba the Jungle Boy.
Tarzan and the Leopard Woman is a 1946 action film based on the Tarzan character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and portrayed by Johnny Weissmuller. Directed by Kurt Neumann, film sees Tarzan encounter a tribe of leopard-worshippers. It was shot in the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Its plot has nothing in common with Burroughs' 1935 novel Tarzan and the Leopard Men.
Tarzan the Ape Man is a 1932 pre-Code American action adventure film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous jungle hero Tarzan and starring Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton, C. Aubrey Smith and Maureen O'Sullivan. It was Weissmuller's first of 12 Tarzan films. O'Sullivan played Jane in six features between 1932 and 1942. The film is loosely based on Burroughs' 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, with the dialogue written by Ivor Novello. The film was directed by W. S. Van Dyke. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released two remakes of Tarzan, the Ape Man in 1959 and in 1981, but each was a different adaptation of Rice Burroughs' novel. It is also the first appearance of Tarzan's famous yell.
Tarzan's New York Adventure is a 1942 black-and-white adventure film from Metro Goldwyn Mayer, produced by Frederick Stephani, directed by Richard Thorpe, that stars Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. This was the sixth and final film in MGM's Tarzan series and was the studio's last Tarzan feature until 1957's Tarzan and the Lost Safari. Although Tarzan's New York Adventure includes scenes set in New York, as well as the customary jungle sequences, it is yet another Tarzan production primarily shot on MGM's back lots.
Tarzan Goes to India (1962) is the first film featuring Jock Mahoney as Tarzan. It was written by Robert Hardy Andrews and directed by John Guillermin, who also directed Tarzan's Greatest Adventure. The film also stars Indian Bollywood actors Feroz Khan, Simi Garewal and Murad in pivotal roles. It was followed by Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963) which was set in Thailand. It was one of two Mahoney films that took Tarzan out of Africa and sent him to the Far East. It was a co-production between Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Jock Mahoney had appeared as the villain in the previous Tarzan film, Tarzan the Magnificent.
Jane Porter is a fictional character in Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of Tarzan novels and in adaptations of the saga to other media, particularly film. Jane, from Baltimore, Maryland, is the daughter of professor Archimedes Q. Porter. She becomes the love interest and later the wife of Tarzan, and subsequently the mother of their son Korak. She develops over the course of the series from a conventional damsel in distress, who must be rescued from various perils, to an educated, competent and capable adventuress in her own right, fully capable of defending herself and surviving on her own in the jungles of Africa.
Tarzan and the Mermaids is a 1948 adventure film based on the Tarzan character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Directed by Robert Florey, it was the last of twelve Tarzan films to star Johnny Weissmuller in the title role. It was also the first Tarzan film since 1939 not to feature the character Boy, adopted son of Tarzan and Jane.
Tarzan Finds a Son! is a 1939 Tarzan film based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was the fourth in the MGM Tarzan series to feature Johnny Weissmuller as the "King of the Apes" and the fourth of six films in which he stars with Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane; following this pairing was Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) and Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942).
Bomba the Jungle Boy is a series of American boys' adventure books produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate under the pseudonym Roy Rockwood. and published by Cupples and Leon in the first half of the 20th century, in imitation of the successful Tarzan series.
Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-four sequels by Burroughs and numerous more by other authors. The character proved immensely popular and quickly made the jump to other media, first and most notably to comics and film. This article concerns Tarzan's appearance in film and other non-print media.
Tarzan's Magic Fountain is a 1949 Tarzan film directed by Lee Sholem and starring Lex Barker as Tarzan and Brenda Joyce as his companion Jane. The film also features Albert Dekker and Evelyn Ankers. It was co-written by Curt Siodmak.
Tarzan and the Slave Girl is a 1950 American adventure film directed by Lee Sholem and starring Lex Barker as Tarzan, Vanessa Brown as Jane, and Robert Alda as big game hunter Neil. The plot involves a lost civilization in Africa, a strange illness, and an evil counselor manipulating a prince into kidnapping large numbers of local women.
Tarzan's Secret Treasure is a 1941 Tarzan film directed by Richard Thorpe. Based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it is the fifth in the MGM Tarzan series to star Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. Original prints of the film were processed in sepiatone.
Tarzan Triumphs is a 1943 adventure film in which Tarzan fights the Nazis. Johnny Weissmuller had portrayed the Edgar Rice Burroughs character in six films with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but this was his first with the producer Sol Lesser at RKO Pictures. Lesser had previously produced Tarzan the Fearless and Tarzan's Revenge. Weissmuller was reunited with two of his three co-stars from several of the earlier films, Johnny Sheffield and Cheeta, but Maureen O'Sullivan was unable to reprise her role as Jane because the franchise switched from MGM to RKO, and O'Sullivan was an MGM contract player. Instead, Frances Gifford played the princess of the lost city of Palandrya, which is conquered by Germans.
Tarzan and the Amazons (1945) is an adventure film starring Johnny Weissmuller in his ninth outing as Tarzan. Brenda Joyce plays Jane, in the first of her five appearances in the role, and Johnny Sheffield makes his sixth appearance as Boy. Henry Stephenson and Maria Ouspenskaya co-star.
Tarzan and the Huntress is a 1947 American adventure film starring Johnny Weissmuller in his eleventh outing as Tarzan. Brenda Joyce makes the third of five appearances as Jane and Johnny Sheffield marks his eighth and final appearance as Boy. Patricia Morison and Barton MacLane co-star. The film was produced by Sol Lesser and Kurt Neumann, written by Jerry Gruskin and Rowland Leigh and directed by Kurt Neumann. It was released on April 5, 1947.
Swamp Fire is a 1946 American adventure film directed by William H. Pine and starring Johnny Weissmuller. The film pits two screen Tarzans against each other in their first film for Pine-Thomas Productions.