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190 of 196 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the MGM movies plus extras in a worthy four disc set
Things that stay with you from childhood. Music, how great /terrible school dinners were, scars, how endless the summer holidays seemed to be, and certain things on TV . I have vivid memories of watching particular things on television. The 1970 World Cup Finals, "Banana Splits" on a Saturday Morning along with something I thought I had imagined -"Marine Boy" -until I...
Published on 30 Jun. 2007 by russell clarke

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Happy Memories
I bought this collection for my elderly mother who had been a huge Tarzan/Johnny Weissmuller fan in her youth. This collection delighted her with fond memories. Yes, compared with the special effects of todays cinema, these might seem laughable but considering they were made in the early 1930's I think they would have been pretty sensational then and I can totally see how...
Published on 22 Jan. 2010 by K. Turnbull


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190 of 196 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the MGM movies plus extras in a worthy four disc set, 30 Jun. 2007
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Things that stay with you from childhood. Music, how great /terrible school dinners were, scars, how endless the summer holidays seemed to be, and certain things on TV . I have vivid memories of watching particular things on television. The 1970 World Cup Finals, "Banana Splits" on a Saturday Morning along with something I thought I had imagined -"Marine Boy" -until I found the theme tune online. Then there were the Tarzan films starring Johnny Weissmuller .

Even though they were filmed in the 1930,s the films seemed bang up to date( Special effects between the 30,s and early 70,s had yet to take the hyper leap they were to later in the decade) and astonishingly exotic with their jungle locations , thrilling escapades and quixotic plots. Now all the six MGM movies from that golden period are available in a four disc box set -two movies per disc with the fourth disc given over to extras of variable quality.

Tarzan The Ape Man( 1932) is the first of the Weissmuller films and ignore the genesis of Tarzan instead opting for an expedition hunting for "The Elephants Graveyard" into deepest uncharted Africa. The expedition is lead by Harry Holt( Neil Hamilton ..no not that one but the one later to play Commissioner Gordon in the Batman TV series) who is guiding cantankerous James Parker ( C Aubrey Smith) and his beautiful daughter Jane ( Maureen O,Sullivan ) along with a band of highly dispensable ( the films are very politically incorrect when it comes to these poor fellows) native bearers. They ascend the Mutia escarpment where Tarzan, his interest piqued by the lovely Jane kidnaps here off to his tree top home. Jane learns the perils of Jungle life with alacrity and her companions are attacked by a tribe of ferocious pygmies . Overall the movie is superbly done , well edited and undeniably pulse quickening. The acting is variable with Weissmuller convincing physically but less so as an actor of any great depth.

The best of the bunch is undoubtedly Tarzan And His Mate ( 1934) which nowadays might be a lads all together picture but in those days meant Tarzan and Jane were shacked up together. This DVD version is the original full pre-release version -the theatrical version having been shorn by 23 minutes and that is the one shown on TV down the years so this is real treat. The plot has Harry Holt ( Neil Hamilton reprising his role) returning to Africa to procure all the ivory he found in The Elephants Graveyard . Aided by roguish Martin Arlington ( Paul Cavanaugh) the expedition has a second aim -to find Jane and return her to civilisation. Things go swiftly awry when their map is stolen by two villains s who are quickly murdered gruesomely , especially for this era, by hostile natives.

The films looks superb , even by contemporary standards ,but then it should .MGM lavished money on the production bolstered by the phenomenal success of King Kong the previous year. The relationship between Tarzan and Jane (Maureen O,Sullivan again wearing a very risqué costume for those times) is importantly believable but never resorts to schmaltz and the action sequences are tremendously tense and electrifying, the final climatic battle with a pride of marauding lions and murderous natives is a real tour de force.

Tarzan Escapes(1936)sadly couldn't maintain the standard. It had a turbulent production , with up to 80% of the scenes being scrapped and re-shot by numerous directors though there is confusion about how much is original footage . The ending involving giant vampire bats had to be toned down as it was considered too gruesome .Consequently the climax is very tame and actually makes little narrative sense. The plot has Jane's cousins Rita ( Benita Hume) and Eric (William Henry) seeking out her out in order to facilitate her help in their receiving a million dollar inheritance. It ,s a flimsy conceit anyway and the film is not helped by endless recycling of stock footage - a glaring fault of the Tarzan series. How many times does the ape man tackle that ridiculously huge crocodile? You think they'd give up and call it a draw.

Tarzan Finds A Son(1939) suggests a descent into gross sentimentality but is actually handled with restraint and dexterity. A plane bound for Capetown carrying Lord Greystokes nephew crashes with remarkable coincidental luck atop the Mutia escarpment and is found by Tarzan who calls him "Boy" which seems fair enough . The film originally meant to have Jane die saving the child but chickens out by having her miraculously recover but there are some terrific scenes involving her and the child and Weissmuller is very good as the distraught Tarzan coming to terms with her apparent demise. Johnny Sheffield plays Boy as a precocious five year old using the Jungle as his playground and getting into all kinds of trouble doing so including a run in with some loathsome giant spiders.

Tarzans Secret Treasure (1941) sees Boy and Jane kidnapped by nefarious scientists originally searching for a lost tribe but who learn of the existence of a mountain rich in gold. Their proposition is simple -Tarzan can lead us to the gold and the captives will be released. Needless to say things aren't that straightforward with several perilous situations presenting them selves including that same crocodile and a recurring run in with a rhino. Obviously the producers were hoping that audiences would forget about the repetition of scenes film to film and they mostly would have done but watching them closely together on DVD it becomes rather irritating and robs the films of a little excitement .Other minor irritations includes Jane's new glam Hollywood look -she's, worth it alright ...but in the jungle! And Tarzans tree top home having modern appliances. Overall though this is an enjoyable movie with some quality emotional interplay between the characters and some entertaining comic interludes via Cheetah .

Tarzans New York Adventure(1942) is the last of the MGM Tarzan and does that staple dramatic thing of taking someone and placing them in an alien environment . Here the roles are reversed as its Tarzan who finds himself thrust into a place where it's customs and surrounding s are completely unfamiliar, ending up ,as the title implies in New York , similarly to Crocodile Dundee many years later. Why you may ask? Well Boy is again kidnapped ,this time by lion trappers who decide he would be a good circus act. They head off to New York and Tarzan and Jane follow to bring him back. This is Maureen O,Sullivans last outing as Jane and is mercifully short at 72 minutes as it's, even by the standard of these films, complete and utter bunkum . Some amusement is had by Tarzan ,s interaction with his new surroundings -on hearing an opera singer on the radio he exclaims "Women sick , cry for Witch doctor" -and Cheetah runs amok but overall it's not the best movie to end the series on though it undoubtedly provided good escapist fun for its wartime audience.

All the films are in their original full frame ratio but the picture quality isn't that great but is probably as good as it's going to get .The sound is the real problem. It's rusty to say the least and is best watched with no other noise distractions. Some may even want to use the sub-titles. The extras are a mixed bunch with a documentary "Tarzan :Silver Screen King Of The Jungle" being the highlight as it gives a potted history of the character and features interviews with Weissmuller and O,Sullivan. The short on location footage from Tarzan Finds A Son is interesting as well.

Fans of Tarzan will love this but it should also appeal to fans of simple straightforward adventure films and for those of us of a certain age they are magnificent nostalgia . Two of the films here are certainly amongst the best ever Tarzan movies and arguably are the best . This box set whets the appetite for the RKO movies that followed on .To me it's a series ripe for a ( serious)contemporary re-telling but they would have to go some way to better the best of these vintage classics.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Childhood memories, 1 Mar. 2011
By 
E. Abidi (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I remember getting home from school on a winters day and watching children's television was a real joy. Just before it was time to start my homework, Tarzan used to be shown bbc2 as BluePeter finished on BBC1 (I think) and I'd ask to watch Tarzan with the promise to my parents that I would be a good boy and do my homework after-wards, without fuss.I loved this series and am pleased it's now available on DVD for us grown-up children who still appreciate the good ol' fashioned old Black & Whites.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swinging through the (hollywood) jungle!, 30 Oct. 2009
This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Cliche ridden, loaded with stereotypes and sometimes non-PC, but faithfully reproduced and great watching, especially if you can remember (even if only just) these movies. Weismuller may be poles away from Edgar Rice Burrough's concept, but this is still great stuff!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic Films!, 13 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
It takes me straight back to the 1950's! Saturday morning pictures; " We come along on Saturday morning,Greeting everybody with a smile We come along on Saturday morning,Knowing it's well worthwhile,". The organ coming up from the depths to accompany us. Some lucky ones going up onto the stage because it was their birthday. The format was always the same. A cartoon, a short, featuring Laurel and Hardy or the Three Stooges; the serial; Pearl & Dean for the interval; buying ice cream wafers. And then, finally, the Big Picture.
This Tarzan DVD set of films is right from that era for me. I remebered the blood curdling call that summoned the elephants to rescue him. But then suddenly that word I had completely forgotton "Umgower"; repeated several times throughout the films; the answer to any problem dealing with the wild animals.
The safari always travelled in a crocodile and it was always the one at the back that got taken by the natives who were made up to feature in everyones' nightmares for weeks to come and certainly stopped me from ever wanting to visit Africa. Them along with the Mau Mau! Still haven't made it to Africa; still have no wish to go!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tarzan at his best., 30 Dec. 2010
By 
Sharon Woodward "DGTW1" (A land where the Laserdiscs roam free!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
What great value this set offers, for fans of classic Tarzan movies. And who better as Tarzan himself other than the mighty Johnny Weissmuller? These movies make it easy to see why Weissmuller remains to this day a fan favourite Tarzan. His take on the character is innocent but brave, affectionate but strong, childlike but not childish.

There are MANY actors who have played the part, and done so very well, but there are just a handful that will forever be classed a actors who have defined a role in quite the way that Weissmuller did. Very few others indeed...Barker, Scott, Henry, Ely (on TV), Lambert?

As for the films themselves, there are things in these films that just would not happen today, the cool indifference to racism (shooting dead a bearer that does not want to go any further through fear) the clearly white small actors, blacked up to play Pygmies, the footage from real hunting safaris, used as stock footage and as rear-projection back plates, showing lions and hippos actually being shot for fun. Thankfully, these things have passed, and good riddance to them.

However, the films in themselves are excellent. It is good to see them again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars film guide, 17 May 2011
excellent collection and deleted scenes are put back. so you get to see jane swimming nude with tarzan .its a realey nice scene, but its not maureen o sullivan you see swimming but a double, sullivan hated being under water. enjoyed all the films. only one thing theres no extras with this box set.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Hollywood, 31 July 2011
By 
P. LINDUP (Blackpool England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Can't possibly add anything to Russell Clarke's review, only to point out the current knock down price.A great wallow in Hollywood's more innocent age.(Note:-the price has considerably increased since my comments of two years ago)
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4.0 out of 5 stars The "call" of the jungle., 16 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Which actor is the best Tarzan? My generation, pre TV, was movie mad. The Tarzan of that era was Johnny Weissmuller, a swimmer, who won 5 Olympic Gold Medals and in 1922 broke the 100 metre freestyle record, swimming it in 58.6 secs. Johnny first acted as Tarzan in 1932 (Tarzan the Ape Man), and played the part in a dozen or so films: he also invented the Tarzan 'Yell'. His speech wasn't articulate, which was more in keeping with the character that he portrayed. The films are in black and white and depict 'our' Tarzan of 1932-48....When a Tarzan film was on at the local cinema, kids often climbed trees, and issued forth that famous 'yell'. He was our 'hero' and mimicked throughout the land. Watch the films, they are part of the history of my childhood. Dated maybe (like me), but well worth a viewing, with Jane, the lovely Maureen O'Sullivan, the beloved Cheetah, who survived into the 21st century, and latterly, boy, played by Johnny Sheffield. You will love them all.......Trumpeting elephants too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing to see how society has changed, 16 Aug. 2009
By 
JWP (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I don't remember ever seeing the Tarzan movies as a kid, but my mum used to say how much she loved them. I've just watched the first tree movies and they are great. What amazed me were the wilderness scenes, where there are clear many more animals than you would expect to see now. And most especially the "social attitudes", treating the native populations like slaves, the indiscriminate killing of animals and natives and the risque outfits - really surprised me for movies made in the 1930's. They are really good! Recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Happy Memories, 22 Jan. 2010
By 
K. Turnbull (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this collection for my elderly mother who had been a huge Tarzan/Johnny Weissmuller fan in her youth. This collection delighted her with fond memories. Yes, compared with the special effects of todays cinema, these might seem laughable but considering they were made in the early 1930's I think they would have been pretty sensational then and I can totally see how she had been thrilled by these adventures. Certainly fantasy, certainly not politically correct or enviromentaly aware by todays standards but they did make an old lady very happy.
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The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection  [DVD]
The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan Collection [DVD] by Johnny Weissmuller (DVD - 2005)
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