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Tarzan the Fearless (August 11, 1933)

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Buster Crabbe in Tarzan the Fearless

Released on August 11, 1933: Tarzan saves Mary's father from the High Priest of Zar, god of the emerald fingers.

Directed by Robert F. Hill

The Actors: Buster Crabbe (Tarzan), Julie Bishop - listed as Jaqueline Wells in the credits (Mary Brooks), E. Alyn Warren (Dr. Brooks), Bob Hall (Fritzie Darvel), Philo McCullough (Jeff Herbert, the villain safari guide), Matthew Betz (Nick Moran, villain safari guide), Frank Lackteen (Abdul, aide to the High Priest), Mischa Auer (Eltar, High Priest of Zar), Carlotta Monti (Madi, Priestess of Zar), Symona Boniface (Sara, arab woman conspiring with Abdul), Darby Jones (Anga, the head bearer), Al Kikume (warrior), George DeNormand (guard), Everett Brown (bearer), Philip Sleeman (slave trader), Ivory Williams (Unga).

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When I was a young boy the Tarzan that I watched on Saturday afternoon television was Johnny Weissmuller, and his girl was Jane. Weissmuller acted in his first Tarzan movie in 1932. This movie was produced a year later, in 1933, and Buster Crabbe, a male heart-throb of the day was cast as Tarzan. Over the years more than a dozen men played the part of Tarzan, with Johnny Weismuller being the most famous. This is the only Tarzan adventure that featured Buster Crabbe, and his romantic counterpart is Mary, not Jane. I think that Buster Crabbe as Tarzan might be closer to the authors vision of the ape man, as he can only grunt, and has no english vocabulary at all. Never mind that the native High Priest of the jungle can speak pretty good English with a decidedly British accent, this is still a pretty good hour of entertainment for kids of all ages. Pop a bowl of white kernel popcorn and enjoy a trip to the wild jungles with lions, chimps, alligators and the lusty ape man and his girl Mary.

Our movie opens with a group of people on safari that includes pretty young blonde Mary, who is searching for her explorer father. Next we find Tarzan and Mary's father, who seem to be friends. Mary's father shows Tarzan a photo of his daughter, and asks Tarzan to find her and give her a note from him. Tarzan sets off into the wild jungle in search of Mary, and finds her skinny dipping in a lake filed with man-eating alligators. Tarzan jumps into the lake and killse the alligator that is after Mary, and the jungle couple meet and are instantly attracted to each other. But one of the leaders of the safari have a telegram from Tarzan's British relative offering ten thousand pounds for the death of Tarzan, who is the last living heir to a fortune that the British relative wants. Along with that complication, Mary's dad is captured by the High Priest of Zar, and Tarzan must free him. There is a huge god-statue that the people of Zar worship that has huge rare emeralds in each finger, and the villain safari leaders want to stel the emeralds from the native statue.

Compared to movies of today there is very little dialogue, but lots of eye-catching action to keep you engrossed in this jungle adventure as Tarzan once again proves the better of all jungle creatures, including the most dangerous of all . . . man.