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Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950)



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The Tarzan of the books was a literate man; the Tarzan of most of the early films was not. For Tarzan and the Slave Girl Lex Barker decided it was time Tarzan take a step toward literacy and convinced the producers to let him talk more. On the surface, this seems like a good thing, but in reality it's not much of an improvement. Sure, Tarzan speaks more, has a little more mastery of the English language, but this makes his omission of words like "the" and "is" all the more conspicuous. How did Tarzan manage to learn to understand and speak every common word in the English language except the really short ones?

As for the film, it skates perilously close to camp, yet emerges as one of the more entertaining. Barker's first film's pace was plodding; not so here. The cliffhangers start early on, and the action doesn't relent until the end. The actions of the villain don't make a lot of sense, nor does his motivation, but the film is too fun to get hung up on such things.

Vanessa Brown, in her single appearance as Jane, has an unusually large role; unfortunately, her performance is less than stellar. The rivalry between her and Lola, the other female co-star, is silly and stupid, although it's amusing to see Jane beat her up in an early scene.

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