Tarzan's Magic Fountain
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CAST: Lex Barker (Tarzan), Brenda Joyce (Jane), Albert Dekker (Mr. Trask), Evelyn Ankers (Gloria James - Jessup), Charles Drake (Mr. Dodd), Alan Napier (Douglas Jessup), Ted Hecht (Pasco), Henry Brandon (Siko), David Bond (The High One), Henry Kulky (Vredak), Elmo Lincoln (A Fisherman)

Directed by Lee Sholem; Screenplay by Harry Chandlee and Curt Siodmak; Produced by Sol Lesser; Music by Alexander Laszlo; Cinematography by Karl Struss; Edited by John Sheets and Merrill White; Production Design by Phil Paradise; Art Direction by McClure Capps; Set Decoration by Otto Siegel; Makeup by Norbert Miles; Production Manager: Barney Briskin; Assistant Director: Bert Briskin; Sound technician: Franklin Hansen; Trainer of Cheetah: Albert Antonucci; Script supervisor: Shirley Baron; Wardrobe: Frank Beetson; Unit publicity: Bob Fender; Publicity director: Harry Niemeyer; Still photographer: Madison S. Lacy; Gaffer: John M. Lee; Camera operator: William Margulies; Grip: Morris Rosen; Production Company: Sol Lesser Productions; Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs; Production began June 21 - late July 1948; Release date: February 1949; Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures Inc.; Also Known As Tarzan and the Arrow of Death (1949); Running time: 73 minutes; Black and White.

      PLOT: Cheta finds a lost cigarette case in the jungle and takes it to Tarzan. When Tarzan shows it to Jane, she tells him it had belonged to Gloria James, an aviatrix who crashed in the jungle and was believed to be dead. When Tarzan learns that Gloria can clear an innocent man from a murder charge, he arranges for Gloria James to "return from the dead." Jane is shocked to find that Gloria James has not aged in over twenty years. Tarzan has kept the mysterious Blue Valley and the people who live there and never age a secret because they have found the fountain of youth.
      But Trask and Dodd, the men in charge of the local aviation service, see a financial reward in discovering where the lost valley is. They send Vredak, a bully that Tarzan had made look foolish, to find the valley, but he is killed by a flaming arrow. The men guarding the Blue Valley think Tarzan has betrayed them and vow to destroy him.
      GLoria returns with Douglas Jessup, and in fact has married him. She asks Tarzan to take her and Douglas to the Blue Valley, but Tarzan refuses. But Jane decides to take matter into her own hands and leads the lovers, plus Trask and Dodd, who offer to "protect" them but are really after the secret of youth. Tarzan manages to take Gloria and Douglas Jessup to the valley, leaving Jane alone with Trask and Dodd. When the two men find out, they force Jane to lead them to the Blue Valley.
      The people of the Blue Valley welcome Tarzan and his friends, but the more militant members kidnap Tarzan and try to burn his eyes so he can't see anymore. Tarzan breaks free and sends a huge boulder onto the evil men. The Ape Man arrives in time to save Jane after Trask and Dodd have been killed by flaming arrows. Tarzan and Jane return home with the secret of the Blue Valley safe from the outside world.

      Johnny Weissmuller had grown too old to continue playing Tarzan, so Sol Lesser looked for a new, younger Tarzan and found him in 29 year old Lex Barker. Brenda Joyce continued as Jane one last time while Evelyn Ankers played Gloria James. The "fountain of youth" twist had been used in a Burroughs story as the reason why Tarzan never aged in the books. Weissmuller's fans didn't embrace Barker as the new Ape Man; Johnny in fact stayed in the jungle as Jungle Jim in a series of movies for Sam Katzman. However, I think Lex did an excellent job replacing a "legend", a hard task for anyone. If there was one thing Lex didn't project on the screen as Tarzan it was the "savage" side of the character that Weissmuller and later Gordon Scott were able to show.

Lobby cards and photobustas for Tarzan's Magic Fountain