Tarzan and His Mate Film Details
Overview: The idyllic life of Tarzan and Jane is challenged by men on safari who come seeking ivory, and come seeking Jane as well.
Tagline: She traded civilization for the love of Tarzan… her mate!
Review: In 1932 M.G.M’s Tarzan, The Ape Man cost $652,675 to make, and took $2.54 million at the box office. Ideas for scenes in a follow up toyed with the idea of a fight with a huge mechanical crocodile, and a spectacular jungle fire. For the day it was to be complex, involving such devices as matte paintings, miniatures, split screens, and rear projection. The Hollywood Reporter announced that W. S. Van Dyke (director of the first Tarzan) was to co-direct with Art Director Cedric Gibbons. By July 1, 1933, Van Dyke was dropped from the project, and Gibbons was announced as the film’s sole director. In September 1933 however, the Hollywood Reporter announced that Jack Conway was to take over the direction of one of Gibbons’ units. Cedric Gibbons was the house Art Director at M.G.M, so, how did he come to be assigned the job of directing Tarzan & His Mate (and as you shall soon find out), end up not directing it, and yet still get credit? I’ve wondered if because his surname is Gibbons, they thought it would be a good gag. The ‘Gibbon’ is a lesser ape, and a great master of brachiation. This is the act of swinging from branch to branch for distances up to 15 metres at speeds of up to 56 km/h. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals. Makes me think of Tarzan. Filming on Tarzan & His Mate began August 2nd, 1933. Joining Weissmuller for the sequel were Rod La Rocque (who had just appeared in S.O.S. Iceberg, co-starring Leni Riefenstahl), Murray Kinnell and Frank Reicher (one of 17 films he appeared in 1934!). Problems soon developed. After 3 ½ weeks of shooting, the first unit was shut down; Gibbons had shot a lot of excess footage, and costs were spiraling. When it resumed, Gibbons was no longer the director. In his place was Jack Conway as dialogue director with James C. McKay directing a number of animal sequences. In August the Hollywood Reporter announced that Rod La Rocque had been pulled from the cast, and replaced by Paul Cavanagh in the role of Martin Arlington, ‘because of miscasting’. The roles of Tom Pierce and Van Ness were changed, and Frank Reicher and Murray Kinnell were replaced by Desmond Roberts and William Stack, respectively. M.G.M had spent $1,279,142 on the production. In early April 1934, after previews the film had fourteen-and-a-half minutes cut. Although a hit, it did not earn as much as the first Tarzan film in the United States. Internationally it was a huge success, despite the fact that it was banned in Germany by the NAZI’s on the grounds that it showed a “Nordic man in brutal surroundings.” Tarzan & His Mate is a direct sequel to Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932), with the film picking up a year after the events of the previous film. Jane is happily living in the jungle side by side with her “husband.” The first film began with a safari arriving in Tarzan’s jungle, and during the rest of that picture Jane learns about Tarzan. In the sequel a safari arrives in Tarzan’s jungle, and during the rest of the picture we learn about Jane. Harry Holt from the first movie returns to Africa looking for ivory. His friend the cad Martin Arlington joins him. Holt’s intention is to return Jane to “civilization,” not that she’s particularly interested. Arlington attempts to murder Tarzan when he refuses to help them find a fortune in ivory at the elephant’s graveyard. They confront wild animals and the ‘Men-Who-Eat- Lions’ tribe. With the help of his jungle companions Tarzan protects his land from the evils of these greedy ‘civilised’ men. The film is remembered today largely because of O’Sullivan’s revealing costumes; mainly a halter-top and loincloth that leave her thighs and hips exposed. As Jane is a ‘lady’ from England (not Baltimore as in the novel), her wearing such an outfit is particularly provocative, symbolising her casual sexuality. In this pre-Hayes Office film Jane sleeps in the nude, swims nude, at one point is stranded nude in the jungle, and she is seen nude in silhouette by other men when dressing in a well lit tent. The scene that caused all the commotion is the so-called ‘underwater ballet’ sequence. Tarzan and Jane swim after Tarzan pushes Jane in the water, her clothing being ripped from her by a tree branch as she falls leaving her completely nude. When she rises out of the water, Jane flashes a bare breast. Hypocritically though it was okay for dark skinned extras; witness the topless ‘native’ girls at the start of the film. The new Production Code Office blew its top. O’Sullivan’s scant costume was too provocative. And the swimming scene had to go; interestingly Dolores del Rio, the wife of Cedric Gibbons, had a risqué nude swim in Bird Of Paradise (1932), a sequence that is said to have inspired this one. By April 24, 1934, all prints of Tarzan & His Mate were changed. The New York Censors also insisted that the scene involving Arlington lowering his body into a portable bathtub be eliminated as well! The trade papers of the day were full of stories of the long and complicate shoot; ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ declared the production schedule on Tarzan & His Mate (six months), was the longest in cinematic history! I think it was worth it; it may not be as important a document of the time as Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will the following year, however I have rarely had as much fun re-watching a film as I had with Tarzan & His Mate.
Country: United States
Duration: 104 min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Also known as: Тарзан и его подруга,Tarzan og den hvide Pige,Tarzan og den hvite kvinnen,Tarzan E Sua Companheira,Tarzan e la compagna,Tarzan ve Eşi,Tarzans Vergeltung,Tarzan and His Mate,Tarzán y su compañera,O Tarzan kai i syntrofos tou,Tarzan és asszonya,Tarzan och den vita kvinnan,Tarzan és pajtása,Тарзан и неговата приятелка,Tarzan i njegova žena,Miłość Tarzana,A Companheira de Tarzan,Noile aventuri ale lui Tarzan,Tarzan’s avonturen,Tarzan’s verdere avonturen,続類猿人ターザン,Tarzan und sein Kamerad,Tarzan et sa compagne,Tarzan e a Companheira,Ο Ταρζάν και η Σύντροφός Του,Tarzan ja valkoinen nainen