Real lions and plenty of action and adventure!
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 09/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Long before Johnny Weissmuller made the character of Tarzan immortal for all time back in the 1940s, audiences were already thrilled to see exotic jungle action in the silent era, and this 1927 silent Tarzan could well rival the Weissmuller Tarzan adventures. Unlike many B-grade Tarzan movies over the years, this 1-hour action-packed adventure has several important highlights such as real animals (no fake, stuffed lions or apes) fairly authentic-looking natives, real action without tricks or stunts, and Tarzan himself comes off as quite realistic and believable. I was particularly pleased to see many scenes with Jab, Tarzan's pet lion, who behaves more like a dog, but is without a doubt a beautiful, real lion. This fast-paced story is much along the lines of the 1940s classics most of us are familiar with: somewhere deep in the jungle, an exotic (and un-African-looking) temple of sun-worshippers hides a team of greedy white men who have discovered a rich diamond mine under the temple. Another white man held prisoner by them escapes and tells Tarzan and his friends about his experience, but the leader of another team of thieves overhears the story of the diamond mine and determines to get them for himself. Along with Tarzan in this film is Jane, who is always dressed as an English lady, (since she is Lady Grestoke, after all) Tarzan's sister from England and a male companion, who find themselves in trouble when the diamond-hunters force them to show them the way to the temple and diamonds. At the climax, Tarzan's sister is about to be sacrificed to the natives' sun god, the warrior tribes fight each other, and Tarzan gets the baddies and saves the girl... with a little help from his lion companion. An unlikely story and even more unlikely costumes at times, but then again, that just seems to be the appeal of Tarzan. And this film is no exception so Tarzan fans shouldn't be disappointed. Boris Karloff fans, however, might be a little disappointed because although his name appears right after the lead role, James Pierce, Karloff plays only a small part, namely a rebel native warrior who sides with the diamond hunters. The picture quality is reasonably good for this low-price DVD; though more like VHS quality than sharp, clear DVD, and although I could imagine a more suitable exotic musical score to fit the scenes and action, the piano accompaniment on this DVD is not bad in itself, and pleasing to hear. Certainly good value for money, and like all Tarzan films, good and fun entertainment.