Tarzan Finds a Son!
|Tarzan Finds a Son!|
|Directed by||Richard Thorpe|
|Produced by||Sam Zimbalist|
|Written by||Cyril Hume|
|Based on||Characters created by
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
|Editing by||Gene Ruggiero
|Running time||82 minutes|
A plane flying to Cape Town carrying a young couple and their baby, crashes in the jungle. Everyone on the plane dies, except for the baby who is rescued by Cheeta, Tarzan's chimpanzee. Tarzan and Jane adopt the child and name him "Boy". Five years later, a search party comes looking for Boy, because he is the heir to a fortune worth millions. Tarzan and Jane claim the child is dead and that Boy is theirs but Sir Thomas recognizes Boy's eyes. The younger Lancings suggest first leaving Boy and taking the inheritance and then, when Sir Thomas objects, taking him back and, as legal guardians, having control of the inheritance. Sir Thomas says he'll tell Tarzan but the rest of the party imprison Sir Thomas in a tent and plan to abduct Boy. Tarzan overhears them plotting and steals all of their guns and throws them into a deep lake down a deep hole. Jane arrives next day unaware, admits Boy is Greystoke and eventually persuades Tarzan to retrieve the guns, without which the search party can't survive. Tarzan retrieves them but Jane drops the rope so that Tarzan is trapped. Jane, convinced it's the right thing to do, goes with Boy and the rest of the Lancings towards civilization but Sir Thomas convinces her that the younger Lancings only want Boy for his money. Sir Thomas tries to sneak away but they shoot him. Thinking Jane is trying to fool them, they ignore her directions and fall into the hands of the Zambeli, a tribe earlier described as doing horrible things to male captives, including shrinking not just heads but whole bodies. The white people are held in a separate hut while the tribe begins its vileness on the native bearers. Jane gets a spear in her back helping Boy to escape through the fence. Boy finds Tarzan and gets elephants driven by chimp jockeys to push over a tree and allow Tarzan to climb out of the hole. Tarzan reaches the village compound, clears the fence (by means of a ridiculous pole vault) and summons the elephants who chase away the natives, saving two of the search party. Jane recovers and admits she was wrong and that Boy should stay in the jungle.
- Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan
- Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane Parker
- Johnny Sheffield as Boy
- Ian Hunter as Mr. Austin Lancing
- Henry Stephenson as Sir Thomas Lancing
- Frieda Inescort as Mrs. Lancing
- Henry Wilcoxon as Mr. 'Sandee' Sande
- Laraine Day as Mrs. Richard Lancing
- Morton Lowry as Mr. Richard Lancing
- Gavin Muir as Pilot
The three-year gap between this and the previous Tarzan film was because MGM had originally let the film rights elapse after Tarzan Escapes feeling there was little more mileage in the series. Independent producer Sol Lesser obtained the rights to make five Tarzan movies, but the first of these, Tarzan's Revenge, proved to be a flop. The blame was placed on audiences unwilling to accept Glenn Morris in the role made famous by Johnny Weissmuller. (Lesser had been unable to obtain Weissmuller's services as he remained under contract at MGM.) Ironically, this opened MGM's eyes to the continuing power of Weissmuller as Tarzan and they bought out Lesser's interest in the next three films, and restarted their series.
The film was originally to be called Tarzan in Exile. As it featured the jungle couple acquiring an infant, it was changed to Tarzan Finds a Son to appease morality groups, as Tarzan and Jane were not actually married in the films. This was intended to be Maureen O'Sullivan's last appearance as Jane in the series, with her character being killed off by a spear wound. Maureen O'Sullivan was sick and fed up with the whole Jane role, and Boy was brought in originally to be a Jane substitute. The preview reaction to her death scene proved too negative and it was changed at the last minute. Johnny Sheffield who played Boy, claims that Weissmuller handpicked him himself and taught him to swim as well.
Since Tarzan and Jane had no son in 1936 (the date of their previous film) and since the bulk of this plot occurs five years after Boy is found, the date for this film is either 1941 or 1944. Both of these dates conflict with incidents in subsequent films that occurred during World War II. Boy in this film was the heir to the Greystoke fortune. In the original Burroughs books Tarzan himself was Lord Greystoke.
According to MGM records the film earned $1,039,000 in the US and Canada and $1,049,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $528,000.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Tarzan Finds a Son! at the Internet Movie Database
- Tarzan Finds a Son! at allmovie
- Tarzan Finds a Son! at the TCM Movie Database