Tarzan Goes to India

Last updated
Tarzan Goes to India
Tarzan Goes to India (movie poster).jpg
Directed by John Guillermin
Written by Robert Hardy Andrews
John Guillermin
Based onCharacters created
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Produced by Sy Weintraub
Starring Jock Mahoney
Jai
Gajendra
Cinematography Paul Beeson
Edited by Max Benedict
Music by Ken Jones
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
11 July 1962 (United States)
16 December 1962 (United Kingdom)
Running time
88 minutes
Countries
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland
LanguageEnglish

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 .

Contents

Plot

Tarzan is called to India to save three hundred elephants, that will be drowned if a dam is opened to create a man-made lake to power an electric plant. Tarzan is pitted against two engineers who ignore the catastrophic results their work will create.

Cast

Production

Gordon Scott had played Tarzan for the previous six movies in the series. Don Bragg was reportedly cast as his replacement but injured his foot and was unable to go to India. [1]

Jock Mahoney's casting was announced in December 1961 just as the unit left for India. He was the twelfth actor to play Tarzan, and had just appeared in the previous Tarzan movie, Tarzan the Magnificent, as a villain (he had also auditioned for the role a decade previously as a replacement for Johnny Weissmuller but lost out to Lex Barker). The director was John Guillermin, who had made Tarzan's Greatest Adventure , the first movie in the series produced by Sy Weintraub. [2]

Filming took place in early 1962 in Bombay, Mysore and Madras. [3]

Guillermin later said it was difficult dealing with a dam and elephants. "It's especially difficult when you're making a film for two cents in six weeks," he said. "It really was an absurd bit of business. Technically, we did construct a bamboo wall that was used to charge 50 elephants through. You couldn't stop them for two or three miles. But, we did manage to stop them in a river bed. It was all very exciting." [4]

Guillermin said "I'm not sure why Gordon [Scott] didn't do Tarzan Goes to India, but Jock did a good job. He was an ex-stuntman. Jock was an extremely tough guy." [4]

Mahoney said that Guillermin would regularly abuse him during the shoot.

The poor man got sick, just very ill. He called me some names, things like yellow-bellied son-of-a-bitch. I explained to him that the last guy who talked to me that way got beaten to a pulp. But Guillermin was ill! I had to let many things slide. I was riding an elephant named Mahaveeta. And an elephant, after they're captured, decides whether to live or commit suicide. This one had a tough time getting accustomed to captivity. Whenever we' would do a scene where the guns, beaters and firecrackers were surrounding her, she would be frightened to death and lie down. She would start crying, literally cry. This happened one time when I was beyond a rise and out of camera range. The idea was to lead the elephant over the rise and into camera. Well, Guillermin never saw any of this happening. I came back over the rise and he gave me an improper tongue-lashing. I didn't bother to explain to him what had happened. He was so sick out of his head. The producer, Sy Weintraub, came to me later to apologize. I was ready to leave the picture. I just didn't have to eat that kind of slop. [5]

Reception

Box Office

In August 1962 Hedda Hopper reported the film was "cleaning up" at the box office. [6] Mahoney said ""Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had just released Mutiny on the Bounty , that three-hour remake. And then came Tarzan Goes to India. Well, oP Tarzan saved Metro's bacon. Mutiny wasn't doing very good at all. They really needed to make the bucks. The picture had all the elements going for it. They even billed me as 'The World's Greatest Stuntman' but in my opinion, Dave Sharpe was the world's greatest." [5]

According to MGM records, however, the film recorded a loss of $178,000 for the studio. [7]

Critical

Filmink said the movie "has two interesting concepts, neither really developed – Tarzan as a stranger in a strange land, and Tarzan is played by someone over 40. However, the action is excellent, the visuals spectacular and Mahoney ideal in the lead." [8]

Home video

Warner Bros. released the film on Blu-ray on January 29, 2019 as part of their Archive Collection line. [9]

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References

  1. Johnson, William O. (1972). All that glitters is not gold; the Olympic game. Putnam. p. 242.
  2. Jock Mahoney Cast as No. 12 Tarzan: Aperman Goes Next to India; Weintraub Gets Three Scripts Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 7 Dec 1961: B17.
  3. He's Tarzan, but Jane's Gone: HOPPER Los Angeles Times 15 July 1962: A7.
  4. 1 2 Goldman, Lowell (November 1990). "Lord of Disaster". Starlog. pp. 59–60.
  5. 1 2 Ferrante, Tim (December 1988). "Jock Mahoney Twice Upon a Tarzan". Starlog. No. 136. p. 52.
  6. Dorothy Malone Set for 'Soul Merchants: Zimbalist, Krasne to Film 'African Adventure' at MGM Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 24 Aug 1962: D11.
  7. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  8. Vagg, Stephen (17 November 2020). "John Guillermin: Action Man". Filmink.
  9. "Tarzan Goes to India Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved August 29, 2020.