Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966)

100 mins | Adventure | 28 May 1966

Director:

Robert Day

Writer:

Clair Huffaker

Producer:

Sy Weintraub

Cinematographer:

Irving Lippman

Editor:

Frank P. Keller

Production Designer:

José Rodriguez Granada

Production Companies:

Banner Productions , Allfin, A. G.
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HISTORY

The 20 Jan 1965 LAT announced that Mike Henry, linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams football team, would be “the next screen Tarzan.” Henry was the fourteenth actor to portray Edgar Rice Burroughs’s character since 1918. His first picture was provisionally titled Tarzan ’65, to be filmed in Mexico. The 24 Jan 1965 NYT noted that Henry was one of several athletes known for playing Tarzan, along with Elmo Lincoln, Johnny Weismuller, Buster Crabbe, and Bruce Bennett. Principal photography began 25 Jan 1965, according to 12 Feb 1965 DV production charts. Producer Sy Weintraub told the 18 Jul 1965 LAT that Henry was chosen from among 400 candidates, whom he auditioned over the course of a year. Although the producer considered Henry the ideal Tarzan, the actor was required to lose twenty pounds, particularly in his waist.
       Weintraub went on to say that he purchased all motion picture and television rights to the Tarzan franchise for $3 million. His goal for his fifth film in the series, re-titled Tarzan ’66, was to model the title character after Ian Fleming’s “James Bond,” reconceiving the ape-man as “the embodiment of culture, suavity, and style.” The producer claimed that every scene in the $1.25 million production would be filmed “out of doors.”
       The 24 Feb 1965 Var reported that the Mexican Department of Tourism assigned Alfredo Berriatua as “special representative and liaison man” to the production. In addition to having Berriatua on set throughout filming, Weintraub was also required to hire a censor. ... More Less

The 20 Jan 1965 LAT announced that Mike Henry, linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams football team, would be “the next screen Tarzan.” Henry was the fourteenth actor to portray Edgar Rice Burroughs’s character since 1918. His first picture was provisionally titled Tarzan ’65, to be filmed in Mexico. The 24 Jan 1965 NYT noted that Henry was one of several athletes known for playing Tarzan, along with Elmo Lincoln, Johnny Weismuller, Buster Crabbe, and Bruce Bennett. Principal photography began 25 Jan 1965, according to 12 Feb 1965 DV production charts. Producer Sy Weintraub told the 18 Jul 1965 LAT that Henry was chosen from among 400 candidates, whom he auditioned over the course of a year. Although the producer considered Henry the ideal Tarzan, the actor was required to lose twenty pounds, particularly in his waist.
       Weintraub went on to say that he purchased all motion picture and television rights to the Tarzan franchise for $3 million. His goal for his fifth film in the series, re-titled Tarzan ’66, was to model the title character after Ian Fleming’s “James Bond,” reconceiving the ape-man as “the embodiment of culture, suavity, and style.” The producer claimed that every scene in the $1.25 million production would be filmed “out of doors.”
       The 24 Feb 1965 Var reported that the Mexican Department of Tourism assigned Alfredo Berriatua as “special representative and liaison man” to the production. In addition to having Berriatua on set throughout filming, Weintraub was also required to hire a censor. The position was filled by a woman known as Madame LaFarge, who also served as “standby Mexican director.” Although the Department of Tourism enabled the production company’s access to such iconic sites as Acapulco Harbor and the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, it was forbidden to identify them on screen, lest the film be perceived as “a commercial travelogue.” Weintraub was currently in the process of hiring approximately seventy-five Mexican actors and crewmembers.
       Nine weeks later, the 31 Mar 1965 Var noted that filming was recently completed at Churubusco Studios in Mexico City. The article quoted Mexican playwright and poet Salvador Novo, who denounced the use of the pyramids in the film as “degrading to a national monument.” The Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History responded by requesting that the film be “submitted for censorship or confiscated.” The director of the Institute later blamed the Department of Education for the request. Mexico’s “Technicons” union argued that the site had already appeared in several domestic productions without controversy, and accused critics of prejudice toward U.S. filmmakers. Weintraub and director Robert Day stated that they were in full compliance with government regulations, adding that use of the pyramids cost the production $400 per day. They also revealed plans to shoot another Tarzan picture in Mexico, as well as a weekly television series. As a result, the Department of Tourism reversed its previous order by asking that Mexico be identified in onscreen credits. The Mexican Department of Motion Pictures tried to quell the controversy by claiming the entire affair was a “misunderstanding,” while promising to remove any offensive sequences. Robert Day agreed to changes in the pyramid sequence, but was openly displeased with recent events. On 28 Apr 1965, Var reported that Weintraub chose Spain as the location for his next Tarzan picture. By early summer, Weintraub was negotiating with prospective distributors, according to the 23 Jun 1965 Var. Several months later, the 2 Mar 1966 DV and 5 Mar 1966 LAT reported that the film, officially titled Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, was scheduled for a 28 May 1966 release, the first through Weintraub’s distribution deal with American International Pictures (AIP).
       Tarzan and the Valley of Gold opened during Jul 1966 in New York City, double-billed with the Japanese feature, Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965). A Los Angeles, CA, debut followed in Sep 1966. Reviews were tepid. The 17 Jun 1966 DV reported that the main title sequence, produced by Cinefx, earned the company a “certificate of merit” from the Art Directors of Los Angeles Association.
       Although the 16 Sep 1965 LAT announced Mike Henry as star of the upcoming television series, Tarzan (NBC, 16 Sep 1966 – 29 Mar 1968), the role ultimately went to actor Ron Ely. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Feb 1965
p. 10.
Daily Variety
2 Mar 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Jun 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
23 Jun 1965
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jan 1965
Section B, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 1965
Section K, p. 13, 27.
Los Angeles Times
24 Apr 1965
Section B, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
16 Sep 1965
Section C, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
5 Mar 1966
p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
16 Sep 1966
Section C, p. 14.
New York Times
24 Jan 1965
Section X, p. 9.
New York Times
29 Mar 1967
p. 38.
New York Times
30 Mar 1967
p. 55.
Variety
24 Feb 1965
p. 7.
Variety
31 Mar 1965
p. 23.
Variety
28 Apr 1965
p. 24.
Variety
2 Jun 1963
p. 14.
Variety
23 Jun 1965
p. 22.
Variety
13 Jul 1966
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Sy Weintraub Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward master
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to the prod
Prop master
Animals
Animals
Main title des
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Tarzan '65
Tarzan '66
Release Date:
28 May 1966
Premiere Information:
New York opening: July 1966
Los Angeles opening: September 1966
Production Date:
25 January--late March 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Banner Productions
Copyright Date:
25 May 1966
Copyright Number:
LP34060
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastmancolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Central America, a little native boy, Ramel, is abducted by Vinaro, a madman who believes the child to be the sole link to a lost Aztec city of gold. Vinaro uses one of his diabolical explosive mechanisms to eliminate police and army officials; and the legendary Tarzan is flown in to help locate the jungle city. After trading his civilian clothes for a leather loincloth and a knife, Tarzan sets out on his mission, aided by a chimpanzee, a jaguar, and a lion. He rescues the boy, saves the life of Sophia Renault, Vinaro's former mistress, and finds the secret caves that lead to the lost city. Once there, however, Tarzan is unable to persuade the aged chieftain, Manco, that he must resort to violence if he is to protect his city from Vinar. Consequently, when the madman arrives with troops and armored tanks, Manco offers him a fortune in gold. The insatiable Vinaro demands more, and Manco leads him into a chamber where Vinaro pulls a lever and releases a shower of gold dust that entraps and suffocates him. Simultaneously, Tarzan engages the mercenaries in battle and successfully defeats them. As Manco observes sadly that violence is sometimes necessary to preserve one's way of life, Tarzan and Sophia leave the valley of gold and return to modern ... +


In Central America, a little native boy, Ramel, is abducted by Vinaro, a madman who believes the child to be the sole link to a lost Aztec city of gold. Vinaro uses one of his diabolical explosive mechanisms to eliminate police and army officials; and the legendary Tarzan is flown in to help locate the jungle city. After trading his civilian clothes for a leather loincloth and a knife, Tarzan sets out on his mission, aided by a chimpanzee, a jaguar, and a lion. He rescues the boy, saves the life of Sophia Renault, Vinaro's former mistress, and finds the secret caves that lead to the lost city. Once there, however, Tarzan is unable to persuade the aged chieftain, Manco, that he must resort to violence if he is to protect his city from Vinar. Consequently, when the madman arrives with troops and armored tanks, Manco offers him a fortune in gold. The insatiable Vinaro demands more, and Manco leads him into a chamber where Vinaro pulls a lever and releases a shower of gold dust that entraps and suffocates him. Simultaneously, Tarzan engages the mercenaries in battle and successfully defeats them. As Manco observes sadly that violence is sometimes necessary to preserve one's way of life, Tarzan and Sophia leave the valley of gold and return to modern civilization. +

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.