Since actual discussion of films seems moribund around here, I'm offering some top five lists in the coming days. Feel free to agree, disagree, provide your own list, but always with a view to defending your position. Or, as will probably happen, not.
- TARZAN’S GREATEST ADVENTURE – excellent British cast (including Anthony Quayle and Sean Connery) heads tight, gritty storyline; very adult, very brutal, very suspenseful. Although nowhere near the lithe Tarzan of the novels, star Gordon Scott handles the grim mood and savage action well, and for once is not saddled with Sol Lesser’s comic relief animals.
- TARZAN AND HIS MATE – THE Tarzan epic with loads of action and even bigger loads of sexiness from Tarzan and Jane. Weissmuller and O’Sullivan’s greatest film. Period. See the look on Paul Cavanaugh’s face when Jane sucks him.
- TARZAN’S THREE CHALLENGES – the other epic film with a thoughtful and mature Zen Tarzan (Jock Mahoney) that does Burroughs proud, and a villain (Woody Strode) who looks like he could actually win. Would be best film of the series save for star’s illness in the second half.
- TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT – follow-up to GREATEST ADVENTURE and about as good; and a riff on MY DARLING CLEMENTINE to boot (Clanton boys, meet Banton boys). Brutal, knock-down, drag-out brawl between Gordon Scott and future Tarzan Jock Mahoney is best in series.
- THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN – technically crude, but an excellent version of the character (Lord Greystoke) as Burroughs intended him to be. Read the novels afterward and you won’t picture anyone but Herman Brix in the role.