Monday, March 31, 2008

Tarzan Goes to India

1962's Tarzan Goes to India is one of the two Tarzan films starring former cowboy actor Jock Mahoney as the ape-man and one of the strongest entries in the long running series. Mahoney, who was 43 at the time that the film was made, is a long, lean, Tarzan but he fills the role well, and like his successor, Mike Henry, Mahoney is closer to the Tarzan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels than any of his predecessors. This Tarzan speaks perfect English and is an intelligent, capable individual.
The plot is one of those 'nature vs civilization' stories that work so well for Tarzan films. In this one, some ruthless developers and engineers are preparing to flood a valley to make a reservoir for a new hydroelectric dam. Problem is, though they have evacuated the villages in the valley, there's still a herd of about 300 elephants who will be drowned when the floodgates are opened. Attempts to evacuate the elephants are hindered by the fact that the herd is lead by a dangerous rogue.
The local Maharaja calls in his old friend, Tarzan of the Apes, the one man who might be able to save the herd from destruction. Mahoney does all the requisite Tarzan things. Fights a leopard. Swings through the trees. Swims a lot. There's plenty of action. The Indian scenery almost steals the picture. Lots of beautiful shots of the countryside, the animals, and such. There's a nifty showdown with one of the bad guys at an abandoned temple that looks like its right out of the jungle book.
The movie has a 'big' look to it, with hundreds of extras working at the construction sight and an impressive elephant stampede toward the end of the movie. No CGI here. Just lots and lots of elephants.
Anyway, I hadn't seen this one since I was a kid, so I enjoyed rediscovering it. I bought a DVD with Tarzan Goes to India and the other Mahoney film, Tarzan's Three Challenges. Looking forward to watching the other one soon.

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