Watch AMC The New Adventures of Tarzan
- 1 hr 9 min
The New Adventures of Tarzan, released in 1935 and directed by Edward A. Kull and Wilbur McGaugh, tells the story of the legendary ape man named Tarzan, played by Bruce Bennett. The film is based on the novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and is considered one of the better adaptations of the novel to screen. The film deals with Tarzan's return to the Congo in search of his friend, and explorer, Professor Elliot, played by Frederick Burton. The movie begins with a failed expedition by Professor Elliot that ends in the death of one of his men. Upon hearing a radio transmission from Elliot's expedition, Tarzan decides to go out and rescue his friend. Tarzan is joined by an attractive American woman named Connie Beach, played by Ula Holt. Connie is on a similar mission as Tarzan: she is looking for her father, who was lost during an earlier expedition in the Congo. Together, Tarzan and Connie set out on an adventure full of danger and excitement. They face off with wild animals and members of a native tribe who are led by the evil "The Cobra," played by Ashton Dearholt. Along the way, the duo also discovers an ancient city hidden in the jungle. The film stands out for its location shooting, which was done on location in Guatemala, California and Arizona. The scenic locations added an extra dimension of realism to the movie, making it feel as if the audience was truly watching Tarzan in the wild. The film also features impressive animal footage, including shots of lions, elephants, and crocodiles. Bruce Bennett is well-cast as Tarzan. He exudes the physicality and agility of the legendary ape man, leaping through the trees and fighting off the film's many wild animals convincingly. Bennett's portrayal of Tarzan is more cerebral than previous iterations. He is portrayed as a thinking man with a deep affinity for nature and the animals around him. This version of Tarzan is far more introspective, a man who grew up in the wild but can navigate through his own thought process. The female lead, Connie, is a bit of a departure from the usual damsel in distress archetype. Connie is an independent, fearless woman who is more than capable of handling herself in dangerous situations. Ula Holt gives an outstanding performance as Connie, balancing strength and vulnerability admirably. Ashton Dearholt's performance as "The Cobra," the film's primary villain, is over the top, but in a good way. He plays the character with such gusto that it is difficult not to love his performance. The Cobra is mean and ruthless, and Dearholt conveys that character trait effortlessly. The film's set design and costuming bring the jungle to life on screen, creating believable worlds for the characters to inhabit. The temple scene is a highlight. The set is impeccably designed, decorated with ornate carvings and statues, that add an authentic air to an otherwise fantastical location. The pacing of the film seems rushed in the beginning, with Tarzan and Connie's journey to the Congo feeling truncated. However, once the action shifts to the jungle, the film becomes more measured, giving the characters time to breathe and the audience opportunities to take in the stunning visuals. Overall, The New Adventures of Tarzan is an excellent example of a classic adventure film. The movie has everything that audiences could want from a Tarzan adaptation, like spectacular stunts, thrilling animal encounters, and a rousing musical score. The film is well-crafted, with great characterizations, and the cinematography makes you feel like you are right in the middle of the jungle. Upon the film's release, it was considered a box-office success, and over 80 years later, it remains a beloved classic.