Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

82 or 88 mins | Adventure | July 1960

Director:

Robert Day

Producer:

Sy Weintraub

Cinematographer:

Ted Scaife

Editor:

Bert Rule

Production Designer:

Ray Simm

Production Company:

Solar Film Productions, Ltd.
Full page view
HISTORY

The opening title card reads "Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Magnificent ." The opening credits end with the written statement: "This film was made in Africa with the cooperation of the Kenya government, the Kikuyu and Masai tribes." A final statement after the closing credits thanks the East African Film Services. The opening and closing cast credits vary in order.
       As confirmed in the studio's offical website, interiors were shot in the Shepperton Studios in London. Jock Mahoney, who played the villain “Coy Banton” in Tarzan the Magnificent , went on to play “Tarzan” in the next two films of the series, and returned in 1970 for Tarzan’s Deadly Silence (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). This film marked the last of five performances by Gordon Scott as Tarzan. Both Scott and Mahoney performed their own stunts during the production. Gary Cockrell made his feature film debut in Tarzan the Magnificent .
       As with the previous Sy Weintraub-produced Tarzan film, Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure (see below), Tarzan the Magnificent portrayed an articulate, sophisticated Tarzan, showed “Cheetah” only briefly and did not include the “Jane” character. It also marked the first picture of the series in which Tarzan does not emit his trademark yell. Several reviews noted the resemblance of this film to a Western, including the similarity of the antagonists, the Banton family, to the familiar Western villains, the Clanton brothers. In addition, the HR review pointed out that in this film, unlike in the previous Tarzan pictures, the natives and Tarzan speak Swahili rather than a nonsensical language. ... More Less

The opening title card reads "Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Magnificent ." The opening credits end with the written statement: "This film was made in Africa with the cooperation of the Kenya government, the Kikuyu and Masai tribes." A final statement after the closing credits thanks the East African Film Services. The opening and closing cast credits vary in order.
       As confirmed in the studio's offical website, interiors were shot in the Shepperton Studios in London. Jock Mahoney, who played the villain “Coy Banton” in Tarzan the Magnificent , went on to play “Tarzan” in the next two films of the series, and returned in 1970 for Tarzan’s Deadly Silence (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). This film marked the last of five performances by Gordon Scott as Tarzan. Both Scott and Mahoney performed their own stunts during the production. Gary Cockrell made his feature film debut in Tarzan the Magnificent .
       As with the previous Sy Weintraub-produced Tarzan film, Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure (see below), Tarzan the Magnificent portrayed an articulate, sophisticated Tarzan, showed “Cheetah” only briefly and did not include the “Jane” character. It also marked the first picture of the series in which Tarzan does not emit his trademark yell. Several reviews noted the resemblance of this film to a Western, including the similarity of the antagonists, the Banton family, to the familiar Western villains, the Clanton brothers. In addition, the HR review pointed out that in this film, unlike in the previous Tarzan pictures, the natives and Tarzan speak Swahili rather than a nonsensical language.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Jun 1960.
---
Daily Variety
30 Dec 1959.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jun 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Jun 60
p. 6.
Filmfacts
1960
p. 155.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 1959
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 1960
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 1960
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 60
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jul 60
p. 765.
New York Times
21 Jul 60
p. 17.
Variety
15 Jun 60
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Addl photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Magnificent
Release Date:
July 1960
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 6 July 1960
New York opening: 20 July 1960
Production Date:
26 January--late March 1960 in Kenya, Africa and at Shepperton Studios, London
Copyright Claimant:
Solar Film Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
6 July 1960
Copyright Number:
LP16705
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color by Pathé
Duration(in mins):
82 or 88
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19600
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a small African village, Abel Banton and his sons, Coy, Martin, Johnny and Ethan, raid a mining company office, killing several policemen in the process. Insp. Wynters pursues them and manages to capture Coy, who is wanted for an earlier murder. Wynters puts Coy in a rowboat and is transporting him to jail when Abel and his boys track them down and murder Wynters to free Coy. Nearby is jungle man Tarzan, who has heard about the Bantons. Tarzan shoots at the Bantons with his bow and arrow, killing Ethan and capturing Coy. Planning to give the reward that is offered for Coy to Wynters’ family, Tarzan brings Coy to the nearest town, Mantu, knowing that police captain Hayes will soon sail his riverboat through on his way to the larger town of Kairobi. Once in Mantu, however, no one except local tribesman N’Gomo will allow Tarzan to hold Coy there, as they all fear that Abel will seek revenge on them. Meanwhile, Abel deduces Tarzan’s plan and attacks Hayes’s riverboat before it reaches Mantu. He kills Hayes but does not harm the other passengers: Hayes’s deputy, Tate; British businessman Ames and his discontented wife Fay; and American Conway and his wife Lori. The Bantons go on to Mantu, where Tarzan restrains Coy in N’Gomo’s hut to keep him from alerting his family, and finally the Bantons leave in defeat. Soon after, the Ameses, Conways and Tate arrive in town and, upon hearing that Tarzan plans to bring Coy to Kairobi himself, insist on joining him. Because Ames is building a dam in the town that will bring supplies and work to hundreds, Tarzan feels obligated to escort ... +


In a small African village, Abel Banton and his sons, Coy, Martin, Johnny and Ethan, raid a mining company office, killing several policemen in the process. Insp. Wynters pursues them and manages to capture Coy, who is wanted for an earlier murder. Wynters puts Coy in a rowboat and is transporting him to jail when Abel and his boys track them down and murder Wynters to free Coy. Nearby is jungle man Tarzan, who has heard about the Bantons. Tarzan shoots at the Bantons with his bow and arrow, killing Ethan and capturing Coy. Planning to give the reward that is offered for Coy to Wynters’ family, Tarzan brings Coy to the nearest town, Mantu, knowing that police captain Hayes will soon sail his riverboat through on his way to the larger town of Kairobi. Once in Mantu, however, no one except local tribesman N’Gomo will allow Tarzan to hold Coy there, as they all fear that Abel will seek revenge on them. Meanwhile, Abel deduces Tarzan’s plan and attacks Hayes’s riverboat before it reaches Mantu. He kills Hayes but does not harm the other passengers: Hayes’s deputy, Tate; British businessman Ames and his discontented wife Fay; and American Conway and his wife Lori. The Bantons go on to Mantu, where Tarzan restrains Coy in N’Gomo’s hut to keep him from alerting his family, and finally the Bantons leave in defeat. Soon after, the Ameses, Conways and Tate arrive in town and, upon hearing that Tarzan plans to bring Coy to Kairobi himself, insist on joining him. Because Ames is building a dam in the town that will bring supplies and work to hundreds, Tarzan feels obligated to escort the Englishman, and reluctantly agrees to let the others come along. He leads the trek through the dangerous jungle, preventing the arrogant Ames from shooting at wild animals, knowing the shots will alert the Bantons to their location. Meanwhile, the Bantons return to Mantu and, by threatening to kill the sick children, force the village's physician, Dr. Blake to inform them of Tarzan’s plan. While his family tracks the large party, Coy manipulates Ames into confronting a leopard, but Tarzan overhears and rescues Ames. Later, they are captured by Masai warriors who bring them to their chief. The chief declares that, as Coy had earlier killed a tribesman, they have the right to sentence him. Upon learning that the chief’s wife is about to give birth, Conway, a doctor who no longer trusts his own ability, offers to assist her, and the chief agrees to release Coy if Conway successfully delivers the baby. Tate, however, who speaks Swahili, deduces that if the child dies, the chief will kill both Coy and Tarzan. With Lori’s help, Conway delivers a healthy boy, and the Masais invite them all to a celebration. Back on the trail the next day, as the Bantons track the party, awaiting a signal from Coy, Coy convinces Ames that a branch is a snake, and when Ames shoots, Abel moves in on them. Frustrated, Tarzan forces his group to walk all night, and when Fay announces she is too tired to go on, Coy carries her, to her delight. In the hills above the jungle, Tarzan spots the nearby flash of the Bantons’ field glasses. Coy tries to convince the others to save themselves by turning him loose, and when they refuse, he calls Ames a coward, prompting the Englishman to punch him. Knowing the Bantons will expect him to take the safe route through the hills, Tarzan leads the group through the treacherous swamp, despite the danger of stumbling into quicksand. In front of Ames, Coy flirts with Fay, who allows him to leave her handkerchief on the ground as a signal for Abel. While they slog through neck-high mud, the Bantons find the handkerchief and follow. Ames, despite his ineptitude, refuses Tate’s offer of help through the swamp, hoping to maintain his self-image as a leader. As Coy taunts Tarzan, who is unsure of the route and concerned that the sun is about to set, Lori collapses and must be carried by Conway. When the group insists that they cannot go on, Tarzan is forced to camp for the night, and as he has expected, the Bantons soon find them. A shootout ensues, during which Coy scalds Tate with hot coffee and grabs Ames’s gun. When Tate tries to intervene, Coy shoots him, then flees to his father. Tarzan intercepts him, however, and shoots Abel in the shoulder. While Tarzan holds Coy in quicksand to keep him from crying out, Conway leads the rest of the group on to the nearest town. As soon as the Bantons give up their search for Coy, Tarzan laboriously drags the outlaw out of the quicksand, saving his life. In town, Conway and Lori minister to Tate while Ames bemoans his previous unkindness to Tate. As Fay announces that she is leaving Ames, Lori wanders outside, where Johnny attacks her. Her screams alert Tarzan, who is just arriving with Coy in tow, and he rushes to battle Johnny, whom Tarzan is forced to shoot. Throwing the rifle down in disgust, Tarzan buries Johnny and Tate, who has died of his wounds. Later, as Abel mourns his son, Martin denounces him for turning his children into doomed criminals, and stalks away alone. That night, Tarzan’s group camps only hours away from Kairobi. When he wakes in the morning, however, Tarzan discovers that Fay has freed Coy and fled with him. As Tarzan tracks them, Fay tries to seduce Coy, but the outlaw abandons her and she is soon mauled by a tiger. Just as Coy meets Abel, Tarzan finds them both. Coy shoots at Tarzan but the bullet ricochets, killing Abel. The two enemies then fight hand-to-hand, first in the river and then on land. Finally, Tarzan knocks out Coy and carries him to Kairobi, where he presents him to the police. After ensuring that Conway will bring the reward to the Wynters and the stolen money back to the mining company, Tarzan disappears into the jungle. Conway, with newly restored dignity, comments that perhaps Tarzan’s jungle is preferable to the civilized world. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.