Tarzan's Revenge

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Tarzan's Revenge
Tarzan's Revenge (movie poster).jpg
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Screenplay byRobert Lee Johnson
Jay Vann
Based onCharacters created
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Produced by Sol Lesser
Starring Glenn Morris
Eleanor Holm
Hedda Hopper
CinematographyGeorge Meehan
Edited by Gene Milford
Bert Jordan
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • January 7, 1938 (1938-01-07)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

Tarzan's Revenge is a 1938 American adventure film starring Glenn Morris in his only outing as Tarzan. Eleanor Holm, a popular swimming star, co-starred as Eleanor Reed. The film was produced by Sol Lesser, written by Robert Lee Johnson and Jay Vann (based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs) and directed by D. Ross Lederman. [1] Sol Lesser cast two Olympic athletes in Tarzan's Revenge: 1936 decathlon champion Glenn Morris as Tarzan and aquatic medal-winner Eleanor Holm as "Eleanor".



Eleanor Reed accompanies her parents, Roger and Penny, and Nevin Potter, her fiance, on an expedition to Africa to capture wild animals to sell to a zoo. Ben Alleu Bey spots Eleanor and wishes her to become the one hundredth wife in his harem. When she refuses, he follows their safari.

Both groups are followed closely by Tarzan, who releases the animals and woos Eleanor away from both Nevin and Bey. When Nevin discovers that Eleanor plans to remain behind with Tarzan, he attempts to kill him, but only grazes his shoulder with a round fired at close range. Tarzan attacks Nevin, but releases him at Eleanor's behest. As the Reeds' ship sails down the river, Tarzan and Eleanor go for a swim.


Critical response

Tarzan's Revenge has received negative critical responses, with the film described as "[p]reposterous from beginning to end" and "absurd." [2] Lead actor Morris was described as "an irredeemably awful actor" whose jungle yell is "so ludicrous as to be laughable." [3]

Production notes

Producer Sol Lesser originally considered casting baseball great Lou Gehrig as Tarzan, but was unimpressed with Gehrig's legs, calling them "more functional than decorative." [4]

Lesser refused to call the lead female character Jane—according to him, Eleanor Holm was so famous for her swimming exploits that audiences would not accept her portraying anyone other than someone named Eleanor.

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Eleanor Grace Theresa Holm was an American competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. An Olympian in 1928 and 1932, Holm was expelled from the 1936 Summer Olympics team by Avery Brundage under controversial circumstances. Holm went on to have a high-profile career as a socialite and interior designer and co-starred in a Hollywood Tarzan movie, Tarzan's Revenge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenn Morris</span> American track and field athlete (1912–1974)

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  1. Erbzine entry
  2. Stoddard, Samuel. "Tarzan's Revenge (1938)". At-A-Glance Film Reviews. RinkWorks. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  3. Erickson, Hal. "Tarzan's Revenge". AllMovie. AllMovie, Netaktion LLC. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  4. "ERBzine 0619: Tarzan's Revenge".