Tarzan Goes to India (1962)

88 mins | Adventure | July 1962

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HISTORY

The 29 Nov 1961 LAT announced that actor and former stunt man Jock Mahoney would star in the next "Tarzan" film for producer Sy Weintraub. Mahoney was arguably the twelfth or thirteenth actor to portray the fictional ape-man in a U.S. production. He had previously auditioned for the role in the late 1940s, and appeared as a villain in the 1960 film, Tarzan the Magnificent (see entry). The 7 Dec 1961 LAT stated that Weintraub intended to reconceive the character as "more adult." Filming would take place entirely in India, using jungle locations and a palace in Mysuru (known at the time as Mysore). Principal photography began 12 Feb 1962, according to 28 Feb 1962 Var production charts.
       Weintraub complained to the 2 May 1962 Var that he encountered difficulties casting Indian actors, as many would accept concurrent roles in multiple films, which limited their availability. He discovered child actor Levi Aaron, giving him the stage name "Jai, the Elephant Boy," with the intention of casting him in future productions. Mahoney told the 15 Jul 1962 LAT that he spent nearly three months on location, working with a herd of elephants, which he found to be "tremendously sensitive and gentle." Among the herd was sixty-year-old Ranga, "the state elephant of the Mararajah of Mysore," and his understudy, Rangera. Although the maharajah was paid $1,260 for the use of his palace, his domineering mother would not allow the crew to enter. The monarch eventually led his mother to a remote area of the palace, allowing crew ... More Less

The 29 Nov 1961 LAT announced that actor and former stunt man Jock Mahoney would star in the next "Tarzan" film for producer Sy Weintraub. Mahoney was arguably the twelfth or thirteenth actor to portray the fictional ape-man in a U.S. production. He had previously auditioned for the role in the late 1940s, and appeared as a villain in the 1960 film, Tarzan the Magnificent (see entry). The 7 Dec 1961 LAT stated that Weintraub intended to reconceive the character as "more adult." Filming would take place entirely in India, using jungle locations and a palace in Mysuru (known at the time as Mysore). Principal photography began 12 Feb 1962, according to 28 Feb 1962 Var production charts.
       Weintraub complained to the 2 May 1962 Var that he encountered difficulties casting Indian actors, as many would accept concurrent roles in multiple films, which limited their availability. He discovered child actor Levi Aaron, giving him the stage name "Jai, the Elephant Boy," with the intention of casting him in future productions. Mahoney told the 15 Jul 1962 LAT that he spent nearly three months on location, working with a herd of elephants, which he found to be "tremendously sensitive and gentle." Among the herd was sixty-year-old Ranga, "the state elephant of the Mararajah of Mysore," and his understudy, Rangera. Although the maharajah was paid $1,260 for the use of his palace, his domineering mother would not allow the crew to enter. The monarch eventually led his mother to a remote area of the palace, allowing crew members to shoot footage without her knowledge. Mahoney included Bangalore, Mumbai (known at the time as Bombay), and Madras among the Indian locations. He added that the actress, Simi, who played "Princess Kamara," spoke no English and would need to have her dialogue overdubbed. The 19 Apr 1962 DV announced the completion of photography. Six days later, the 25 Apr 1962 issue reported that production costs were in excess of $1 million, with the additional expense attributed to the need for 300 elephants and 5,000 background actors.
       Tarzan Goes to India opened 27 Aug 1962 in Los Angeles, CA, double-billed with the Italian production, The Tartars (1962). Openings in New York City followed on 5 Sep 1962, sharing the bill with Damon and Pythias (1962, see entry). Reviews were lukewarm to positive, with the 18 Jul 1962 Var hailing Mahoney as "the best Tarzan in years," although his westernized characterization was a major departure from the less articulate ape-men of previous films.
       Mahoney embarked on a two-month promotional tour, during which he visited fifty-one U.S. cities, as stated in the 24 Sep 1962 LAT. Meanwhile, the 5 Sep 1962 Var reported that the picture had earned approximately $1.5 million to date. An article in the 10 Sep 1962 LAT credited distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) with ensuring the film's profitability by pairing it with compatible features. Nearly a year later, the 10 Aug 1963 LAT declared it to be "the most successful Tarzan film ever made."
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Apr 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
25 Apr 1962
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
29 Nov 1961
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
7 Dec 1961
Section B, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
15 Jul 1962
Section A, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
21 Aug 1962
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
22 Aug 1962
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
10 Sep 1962
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
24 Sep 1962
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
10 Aug 1963
Section B, p. 7.
New York Times
6 Sep 1962
p. 36.
Variety
28 Feb 1962
p. 5.
Variety
2 May 1962
p. 5.
Variety
18 Jul 1962
p. 6.
Variety
5 Sep 1962
p. 5.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Sy Weintraub Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
2d unit prod
Prod assoc--indian prod unit
Prod assoc--indian prod unit
Prod assoc--indian prod unit
Prod assoc--indian prod unit
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2nd unit photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir--indian prod unit
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus
Indian mus comp & arr
Indian mus comp & arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst dir--indian prod unit
Prod supv
Constr mgr
Prop master
Elec supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1962
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 27 August 1962
New York opening: 5 September 1962
Production Date:
12 February--mid April 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Banner Productions
Copyright Date:
6 July 1962
Copyright Number:
LP23599
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
88
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Summoned to India by a dying maharajah, Tarzan attempts to remove an elephant herd from a valley to be flooded upon completion of a modern dam. O'Hara, a contractor who will brook no delay to his project, and Bryce, a longtime adversary and former ivory poacher, oppose Tarzan's mission. He is assisted, however, by Princess Kamara, the maharajah's daughter; Ragu Kuma, an engineer; Jai, an orphan; and the boy's elephant, Gajendra. After Gajendra helps to kill a rogue elephant and kills Bryce to defend Jai, Tarzan and his company drive the elephants to safety through a narrow pass. During the escape the dam is damaged. Acknowledging their responsibility, Tarzan and the Indians reconstruct the project with the help of the ... +


Summoned to India by a dying maharajah, Tarzan attempts to remove an elephant herd from a valley to be flooded upon completion of a modern dam. O'Hara, a contractor who will brook no delay to his project, and Bryce, a longtime adversary and former ivory poacher, oppose Tarzan's mission. He is assisted, however, by Princess Kamara, the maharajah's daughter; Ragu Kuma, an engineer; Jai, an orphan; and the boy's elephant, Gajendra. After Gajendra helps to kill a rogue elephant and kills Bryce to defend Jai, Tarzan and his company drive the elephants to safety through a narrow pass. During the escape the dam is damaged. Acknowledging their responsibility, Tarzan and the Indians reconstruct the project with the help of the elephants. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.