Tarzan's Fight for Life
Tarzan's Fight for Life is a 1958 Metrocolor action adventure film featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous jungle hero Tarzan and starring Gordon Scott, Eve Brent, Rickie Sorensen, Jil Jarmyn, and Cheeta the chimpanzee. The film was directed by H. Bruce Humberstone. The picture was the second Tarzan film released in color, and the last to portray the ape man speaking broken English until Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981). The filming locations were in Africa and Hollywood, California.
|Tarzan's Fight for Life|
|Directed by||H. Bruce Humberstone|
|Written by||Thomas Hal Phillips|
|Based on||Characters created|
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
|Produced by||Sol Lesser|
|Cinematography||William E. Snyder|
|Edited by||Aaron Stell|
|Music by||Ernest Gold|
Jungle medics Dr. Sturdy (Carl Benton Reid) and his daughter Anne (Jil Jarmyn) are opposed by witch doctor Futa (James Edwards) of the Nagasu tribe, who regards their work as a threat to his own livelihood. Futa incites the tribe to waylay Anne's fiance Dr. Ken Warwick (Harry Lauter), who is saved by Tarzan (Gordon Scott).
Later Tarzan and his adopted son Tartu (Rickie Sorensen) enlist the doctors' services on behalf of Jane (Eve Brent), suffering from appendicitis. Futa hypnotizes Moto (Nick Stewart), a native assistant of Sturdy, to murder Jane, but Tarzan thwarts the plot. Learning that the young Nagasu chief (Roy Glenn) is sick, Tarzan attempts to persuade them to let Sturdy treat them. Seizing his chance, Futa has the ape man taken captive and condemned to death.
To restore his own credentials, the witch doctor then undertakes to cure the chief himself, hedging his bets by having his henchman Ramo (Woody Strode) steal medicine from Sturdy. Unfortunately, Ramo purloins a poison by mistake. Freeing himself, Tarzan intervenes and prevents the administration of the poison to the chief; Futa then swallows it himself to demonstrate that there is no harm in it — and dies. Dr. Sturdy is consequently called in, successfully curing the chief.
According to MGM records the film made $720,000 in the US and Canada and $1,325,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $348,000.
Shortly after completing this film, Scott, Brent, and Sorensen would play the same roles in an attempt to launch a "Tarzan" television series. However, the extremely low-budget project failed to sell, and the three half-hour episodes were spliced into an ersatz feature, Tarzan and the Trappers, released to television in 1966.
- "Metro Sued on 'Tarzan'; Lesser Co. Sees Prior Features Handicapped". Variety. August 5, 1959. p. 5. Retrieved January 9, 2021 – via Archive.org.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- "Film reviews: Tarzan's Fight for Life". Variety. July 2, 1958. p. 6.
- Harrison's Reports film review; July 5, 1958; page 107.
- As It Was: The Big Screen Features Burney Falls
- Tarzan's Fight for Life at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Tarzan's Fight for Life at AllMovie
- Tarzan's Fight for Life at IMDb
- Tarzan's Fight for Life at the TCM Movie Database
- Tarzan's Fight for Life entry on "Down Memory Lane with Tarzan (Gordon Scott)"
- Tarzan's Fight for Life entry on At-A-Glance Film Reviews
- ERBzine Silver Screen: Tarzan's Fight for Life