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One of the best and liveliest of the latter-day Sol Lesser produced RKO Tarzan flicks, Tarzan and the Huntress (1947) finds Johnny Weissmuller out for his eleventh and next to last outing as the chest-pounding jungle man originally created by writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. In this adventure, Tarzan (Weissmuller) goes up against an expedition of trappers led by the titular huntress Tanya (Patricia Morison) who wants to re-stock depleted American zoos with wild animals caught from the jungle. With greed as the prime motivator, a murder plot is hatched to help bypass some legal restrictions, and it's up to Tarzan, his mate Jane (Brenda Joyce) and their animal friends to save the day.
By the time Tarzan and the Huntress was released, the Tarzan film series starring Johnny Weissmuller was 15 years old, and Weissmuller himself was now in his 40s. With the series starting to feel a little long in the tooth, Weissmuller would make only one more Tarzan film later the same year before hanging up his loincloth for good.
Tarzan and the Huntress also marked the eighth and final time that actor Johnny Sheffield appeared as Boy. Having first played the role in Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939) at the age of 8, Sheffield had grown up on camera in the Tarzan films of the 1940s and was obviously no longer a boy, but a strapping young adult. Tarzan and the Huntress addresses Sheffield's maturity in its storyline, acknowledging that Boy has now become a man. Of course, the real star of the show is the ever-popular Cheta, Tarzan's mischievous chimpanzee, who provides plenty of riotous comic moments.
Producer: Sol Lesser
Director: Kurt Neumann
Screenplay: Jerry Gruskin, Rowland Leigh (story and screenplay); Edgar Rice Burroughs (characters)
Cinematography: Archie Stout
Art Direction: McClure Capps
Music: Paul Sawtell
Film Editing: Merrill White
Cast: Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), Brenda Joyce (Jane), Johnny Sheffield (Boy), Patricia Morison (Tanya Rawlins), Barton MacLane (Paul Weir), John Warburton (Carl Marley), Charles Trowbridge (King Farrod), Ted Hecht (Prince Ozira), Wallace Scott ('Smitty' Smithers).
by Andrea Passafiume