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Monday, November 14, 2011

Tarzan's Peril (1951)

A gun runner (George Macready) escapes from captivity and with native bearers and two companions (Glenn Anders, Douglas Fowley) goes deep into the jungle to sell guns to the natives. This Tarzan adventure is notable in that some of it (second unit stuff) was actually shot in Africa rather than the RKO sound stages. But the authenticity of the actual African locations is undercut by some of the cheesy stage bound effects like a laughable rubber python that threatens Cheetah or a paper mache man eating plant that attacks Tarzan (Lex Barker). At an amiably brief 79 minutes, it passes quickly. Glenn Anders gives a weird performance, almost as weird as his freak in Welles' LADY FROM SHANGHAI. The film features two black actresses who would go on to receive Oscar nominations. Dorothy Dandridge (CARMEN JONES) as the Queen of the Ashubas and Juanita Moore (IMITATION OF LIFE) as a native woman with a haircut that rivals Maria Ouspenskaya's in THE SHANGHAI GESTURE. Directed by Byron Haskin. With Virginia Huston (OUT OF THE PAST) as Jane, Frederick O'Neal and Alan Napier.

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