Tarzan's Desert Mystery

Tarzan's Desert Mystery is a 1943 American Tarzan film directed by Wilhelm Thiele and starring Johnny Weissmuller and Nancy Kelly.

Tarzan's Desert Mystery
Tarzan's Desert Mystery (movie poster).jpg
Directed byWilhelm Thiele
Written byCarroll Young (story)
Edward T. Lowe Jr.
Based onCharacters created
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Produced bySol Lesser
StarringJohnny Weissmuller
Nancy Kelly
CinematographyHarry J. Wild
Russell Harlan
Edited byRay H. Lockert
Music byPaul Sawtell
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • December 26, 1943 (1943-12-26)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

Like its immediate predecessor, Tarzan Triumphs, the film mentions Tarzan's mate, Jane, but does not show her on screen. The explanation for her absence, as in the earlier film, is that she is still in the United Kingdom helping the war effort. (Maureen O'Sullivan had played Jane in the first six of Weissmuller's Tarzan films, but when the character of Jane returned after a two-picture absence, she was played by Brenda Joyce, not O'Sullivan.)


At the urging of Jane, who is helping British war effort, Tarzan is tasked to locate a rare plant-derived serum to help Allied troops during World War II. Tarzan's son, Boy, manages to tag along as the ape man journeys into the Sahara, and the two are soon joined by a rambunctious horse and a travelling magician (Nancy Kelly). As they seek the area of North Africa where the plant grows, they run into trouble with Nazi spies who are trying to take over a small Arab kingdom.


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