» » Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

Short summary

Tarzan must escort his prisoner Coy Banton out of the jungle to the authorities. The boat is blown up by Coy's father and brothers. In addition to Coy Tarzan must now lead five more of the boat's passengers through the jungle, pursued by hostile natives.

Jock Mahoney plays evil Coy Banton to Gordon Scott's Tarzan. Mahoney took over the Tarzan role in Tarzan Goes to India (1962).

Sean Connery, who was in Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959) was offered the role of Coy Banton. He declined, as he'd been offered the role of James Bond. He assured that he'd be in the next Tarzan film, though he never did.

Producer Sy Weintraub was so happy with the actors playing the baddies in the previous film, "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" (1959), especially Anthony Quayle, Al Mulock and a young Scottish actor named Sean Connery, that he wanted to cast them in this film. However, both Quayle and Connery had more promising opportunities. Quayle was wanted for David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) and Connery was set for the role of James Bond in "Dr. No" (1962). Al Mulock returned to play another role in this film.

Two actors made a second appearance in a Gordon Scott Tarzan movie. _Betta St. John_ (Fay Ames) was in Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957) and Al Mulock (Martin Banton) was in Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959).

Jane is absent in this production.

This was Gordon Scott's final film as Tarzan. Producer Sy Weintraub reportedly wanted a Tarzan who didn't look like a modern bodybuilder. At this time, producers in Italy were looking for bodybuilders with acting experience for their suddenly popular sword and sandal/mythological muscleman epics. With an established marquee name, Scott was quickly cast as Maciste and had the first of his string of sword and sandal epics completed within a year.

First Tarzan movie with sound that didn't feature the ape-call. Despite protests from fans, the producers decided it had been ridiculed too often to remain effective.

When the Banton gang invades the Mantu store looking for their brother, in the far corner there is a large box containing Quaker Puffed Wheat and showing a giant rocket offer.

Dance scenes under the credits (looped twice) and repeated to celebrate the birth of the chief's baby are lifted from Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957). The nightime mountain-top scenery does not match the daytime Savannah location. Also the empty crucifixes to restrain the lost safari survivors are plainly visible on a ridge behind the onlookers.

In Spanish dubbed version censors changed mr. and mrs. Dexter's characters from man and wife to father and daughter -similar to what they did in Mogambo, where Donald and Linda Nordley became brother and sister creating an incestuous relationship- creating a much more embarrassing situation.

In Spanish dubbed version when journalist/doctor helps the black chief's wife he diagnoses appendicitis that requires surgery and...shocking result: a newborn appears.

Although Tarzan famous yell does not appear in this movie for the first time since sound movies, in Spanish dubbed version it does.

Lionel Jeffries lost a role in another big US film because this went over schedule.

This movie, released in 1960, contains a good example of the Stockholm Syndrome; however, the term was not coined until 1973.

Anthony Quayle was offered the role of Abel Banton.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Fog
    Along with 'Tarzan's Greatest Adventure', I rate this one as the best Tarzan movie of all times. Both of them are quite an improvement over the black&whites from the 30's and 40's (yes, Johnny Weissmuller was a hell of a Tarzan himself, no doubt, and did great movies, but times have changed quite a bit). Tarzan is an adult character now, aiming adult audiences, in these last two Gordon Scott's appearances. He is articulate, and as straight as he can be. No Janes, no Boys, no funny chimps around. This is a bloody, violent, dark, adult movie. This is a violent, dark new Tarzan. I only regret this wonderful new bias - and the mighty, definitive, impressive Tarzan Gordon Scott was - had no continuity. Later on, we were back to the tired lightweight Tarzans, oh-hum adventures, and here are our good friends, the chimps, goofing around again. Pity.
  • comment
    • Author: Bolv
    For a Tarzan movie, this is about as good as you're going to get. Gordon Scott does an excellent job in this film, as he did in the previous "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure". Unlike previous Tarzan actors, Scott's version of the Ape Man speaks good English and is quite intelligent. The story in "Tarzan the Magnificent" is well-written and mature. Again, for this type of genre, "Tarzan the Magnficicent" and "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" are as good as you're going to get.
  • comment
    • Author: Ferne
    In 1959, producer Sy Weintraub took the series... He decided he had to get adults (particularly women), interested in Tarzan... So 'out' went Jane and with her the safaris and the fighting of crocodiles... Weintraub was convinced of the need of new ideas to improve Tarzan's image... Tarzan becomes a good shooter and also articulate, speaking, clearly and distinctly, in complete sentences, displaying few of the primitive characteristics of the Weismuller version...

    "Tarzan the Magnificent" chronicles Tarzan's treacherous journey through the jungle to the authorities with his prisoner, Coy Banton (Jock Mahoney). They took off on foot when the river boat they were going to take is blown up by Coy's father, Abel (John Carradine) and brothers, Martin (Al Mulock), Johnny (Gary Cockrell), and Ethan (Ron MacDonnell)... Five of the boat's passengers—Tate, a Black engineer (Earl Cameron), Ames (Lionel Jeffries), his wife Fay (Betta St. John), Conway (Charles Tingwell), and Laurie (Alexandra Stewart)—all had such good reasons to go with Tarzan that he couldn't refuse... Thus impeded, Tarzan set off the Bantons at his heels...

    As in "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure," Jane is left out and Tarzan had no romantic involvement... Happily, Cheetah's role is all but eliminated again...

    The most rare thing about "Tarzan the Magnificent," is the absence of the Tarzan famous yell for the first time since sound movies... Considering the widespread use of the ape-call for laughs—entertainment as giving in variety shows, the producer acted wisely...

    Gordon Scott, probably one of the best screen Tarzan, reappeared in Rome in a couple of Italian spectaculars, "Duel of the Titans," with Steve Reeves, and "Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World." Many others, like "Goliath and the Vampires," with Jack Sernas, followed...

    Becoming quite a sensation in Europe, he made a start on a second acting career there and was last seen in an Italian Western, "The Tramplers," with Joseph Cotten as the domineering father...

    Ironically, villain Jock Mahoney, would take over the lead role from Scott as the 13th Tarzan in MGM's "Tarzan Goes to India," in 1962...
  • comment
    • Author: The Sinners from Mitar
    This is 'real action, adventure' (the way it was meant to be) !!! Gordon Scott WAS Tarzan (no one has approached his characterization of this 'mythic figure'). Once again, we see an actor with 'a background' (i.e. 'life experience'); bringing it to the big screen (see Steve Mcqueen,Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, etc...). No 'method acting' here - just solid performance. A must see for action/adventure fan's !!! Mr. Scott was a military policeman, judo expert, laborer; among other things ! This sort of acting is fast disappearing (as more 'emotional' actors/directors appear). Gordon Scott did not 'leave' this role - the producers of this 'genre' felt a more 'kinder/gentler' (see 'civilized'), Tarzan was needed (oh, brother !!!). Mr. Scott went to Europe to make 'sword and sandal' epics (Hercules, Machiste, Goliath, etc..). What a pity he wasn't given more A-list roles. He was quite the man !!!
  • comment
    • Author: Gavirim
    After seeing "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" in 1959 I thought Gordon Scott had made the best Tarzan film year later "Tarzan the Magnificent" comes along and it is nearly as good, just a tad not as good as TGA.....Scott, a bulging musclemen and very handsome makes a great Tarzan, and the old cornshuck scripts and groans were taken out of his vocabulary again and he is a thinking, intelligent ape man hell bent on righting the wrongs of the notorious Banton in "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" Scott is after a gang of cuthroats and killers again and wont settle the score until they are all captured or killed. Producer Sy Weintraub assembled another top notch cast of veterans like Jock Mahoney and John Carradine as superb villains and some other newcomers too......a couple of nice looking women are again in the mix ala TGA.......This time instead of doing the chasing of villains as he did in TGA, Tarzan is chased and followed by the murderous Banton gang, hell bent on getting back their brother (played by Jock Mahoney) who has been captured by Tarzan and has Tarzan wanting to give him to the authorities in a settlement a few miles away. Problem is Tarzan must escort a group of mixed up civilians who do not know the ways and treacheries of the jungle terrain. Tarzan is constantly trying to stay ahead of the Banton gang and yet is slowed to a crawl by his civilian misfits. Then Mahoney creates ultimate friction by wooing and stealing one of the group's wife.....Tarzan has his hands full at this point!! In the end Scott must fight the remainder of the Banton gang and wipe them all out ala the end he delivers Mahoney to the proper authorities and Scott returns to his jungle realm. All in all this is another great Weintraub production of an intelligent Tarzan and Scott rises to the role in superb fashion. He is definitely the best Tarzan ever in my opinion. Very sadly this was Scott's last Tarzan film and the thing that has perplexed me is why Weintraub after the amazing success of TGA and T the Magnificent did not want Scott to make more of these great Tarzan movies. Very sadly a skinny, underweight Jock Mahoney became the next Tarzan and he is no Scott......nowhere near as handsome either. Scott at this point joined his good friend Steve Reeves and made a slew of the very popular sword and sandal Hercules type films in Italy during most of the 60s......Scott finished up his film career with a good Italian western "The Tramplers" made in 1966.....
  • comment
    • Author: Hudora
    I'm writing this a few days after Gordon Scott's life has come to an end, so this review is a tribute to his life and career , especially his characterization as Tarzan, which many consider the best ever brought to the screen. Gordon Scott had a great screen presence as well as underrated acting abilities, and we really need more of his films released on DVD.

    "Tarzan the Magnificent" is his last Tarzan film, I think, and it was released in 1960, right after "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" which I consider the best Tarzan film ever made. This film is not as good as that one, though it comes close, therefore coming in as the second best Tarzan film ever made. In any case, Gordon Scott again does a fantastic job portraying the ape man. I think he was the only one who convinced me that physically he could take on lions and crocodiles as well as Sean Connery.

    The plot of this movie is basically the same as "Greatest Adventure." Tarzan pursues and battles a gang of jungle crooks. (What the hell are backwoods moonshiners doing in Africa anyway?) Here there is a psychological angle as well as slam bang action. The location photography is great too. The ending is a little too similar to the last outing, but hard hitting just the same.

    Gordon, wherever you are, thanks for the great entertainment!
  • comment
    • Author: Whitestone
    ..............and His Very Best Performance as TARZAN !

    IN HIS 1968 film book, TARZAN OF THE MOVIES, author Gabe Essoe calls this entry into the series, "Tarzan the Best !" Without a doubt, this claim is not any sort of puffing on his part. Every aspect of the story, with the possible exception of there being no Jane, fits together like the parts of a jigsaw puzzle in the construction of a very intelligent and even "adult" Tarzan adventure.

    TO BEGIN WITH, the production team has Tarz portrayed in a very civilized and intelligent manner. This is in keeping with the original concept as formulated by author/creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is further enhanced by the heretofore unrevealed of the high level of acting that was achieved by Gordon Scott. In turn the supporting players did a yeoman's job in delivering just what was needed.

    THE STORY THAT we have was both simple and straight forward. Some truly evil thugs rob the local native village bank and in the process manage to kill a few people. Fleeing across the savanna in their War Surplus Jeep, they are encountered by Tarzan; who demonstrates a high of proficiency as an archer.

    UNSEEN AND IN a rapid fire succession of on-target shots, he quickly manages to get the upper hand on the gang. The rest of the story is basically concerned with the Jungle Lord's returning to the victimized villagers with the wanted killer.

    THE FILM IS interesting for its being shot mostly in Kenya, east Africa.This location provided the film makers with may an authentic, true to life footage; which greatly enhanced the movies believably.

    AS IS SO often the case, the old adage of "less is more" applies here. The entire scenario revolves around the brutal killings and robbery; followed with the Ape Man's tracking down and bringing the killer to justice.

    ODDLY ENOUGH, AND not accidentally, this story could well have been an "Oater",set in the Old West of the USA. It has all the right elements' other than its venue in the jungles and savannas of Equatorial Africa. Even its antagonists, the"Banton Family" (father John Carradine & 3 sons) bear a strong resemblance to the Clantons of the John Ford Western MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (20th Century-Fox, 1946).

    ONE BIT OF irony in this film's history is that eldest Blanton son, Jock Mahoney, would be stepping into the Tarzan part in 1962's TARZAN GOES TO INDIA. Although we found Mr. Mahoney's portrayal to be more than just credible, it's a shame that TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT marked the end of the Jungle trail for Gordon Scott. Both the tone of this story and his acting leads us to believe that there would have been some great vine swinging yet to come ! Pity !
  • comment
    • Author: Fenius
    TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT (Paramount, 1960), a Sy Weintraub and Harvey Hayutin presentation, directed by Robert Day, stars Gordon Scott as the muscular and modern-day Tarzan for the sixth and final time. Hailed as possibly Scott's best "Tarzan" adventure next to Scott's previous outing of TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE (1959), also filmed in Eastman color as well as on location in Kenya, Africa,( with actual Kikuyu and Masai tribes, animal footage and authentic scenery), the plot in itself is both fast-moving and well scripted, thanks to screenplay by Berne Gilar and Robert Day.

    Following the opening credits to drum pounding beats and dancing natives, the story gets underway with a poster photo of Coy Banton wanted for murder, dead or alive. Abel Banton (John Carradine), leader and father to his gang of sons, Martin (Al Mulock), Johnny (Gary Cockrell), Ethan (Ron MacDonnall), and foremost, Coy (Jock Mahoney), are seen entering and raiding a mining company office for supplies, killing one of its officers, driving away by jeep. Inspector Winters (John Sullivan) follows the Bantons to their camp, where he captures and arrests Coy. By doing so, he loses his own life as father and brothers come to his rescue. At the same time, the Banton's find themselves dodging flying arrows, killing Ethan. Tarzan (Gordon Scott), lord of the jungle, enters the scene, handcuffing and taking Coy to justice. Awaiting at a native village for the arrival of a riverboat to have Tarzan take Coy to Kairobi, the Banton's have other plans in saving Coy by shooting Captain Hayes (George Taylor), releasing its passengers, Ames (Lionel Jeffries) and his wife, Fay (Bella St. John); Conway (Charles Tingwell), his wife, Lori (Alexandra Stewart), and Tate (Carl Cameron), the police deputy, before setting the boat on fire, to show they mean business. Tarzan the fearless finds himself forced to take the arrested Coy 65 miles to Kairobi by foot, along with the stranded passengers to their proposed destination, regardless of the dangers ahead, ranging from dangerous wild animals, swamps, quicksand, with the evil Bantons not far behind.

    Also In the cast are Peter Howell (Doctor Blake); Harry Baird (The Warrior Leader); Christopher Carlos (The Native Chief); Ewen Solon and Jacqueline Evans (Mr. and Mrs. Dexter). With the supporting cast consisting mostly British actors, only Gary Cockrell gets the introduction opening casting credit. Lionel Jeffries plays the middle-aged husband to a young wife whose both extremely jealous and an shrewd businessman.. Though Jock Mahoney stands out as the deadly and most feared villain, John Carradine as his father and Tarzan's enemy, taking the most acting honors with in his scene stealing tactics.

    For its latest edition in the new decade of the 1960s, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT starts off very well and never lets go through its 88 minutes. Aside from eliminating Jane from the plot. Tarzan's pet chimpanzee is again reduced to just a cameo. Tarzan swings on vines and dives into rivers, but doesn't give out his Tarzan yell as in the past. The plot itself plays like a western story that first borrows from HIGH NOON (1952) starring Gary Cooper, where Tarzan, like the sheriff (Cooper), becomes the only one brave enough to capture and take in his prisoner to authorities, while others who could help and assist refuse through fear; BROKEN LANCE (20th-Fox, 1954) starring Spencer Tracy, dealing with father raising bad sons; and THE SPOILERS (Universal, 1942) with John Wayne and Randolph Scott, with fight to the end battle between Tarzan and Coy. Though Tarzan carries bow and arrow for protection, as he did in TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE, the fearless jungle hero must dodge bullets shot his way from villains using rifles, adding more conflict to this very exciting Tarzan adventure that would make his creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, proud.

    As much as the Tarzan series might have concluded its very long series with this edition, and Gordon Scott turning in his loincloth, the series resumed with both TARZAN GOES TO INDIA (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1962) and TARZAN'S THREE CHALLENGES (1963) surprisingly starring the villain Jock Mahoney in the title role, adding a new image to his character. Never distributed on video cassette, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT did become part of the Gordon Scott/Tarzan DVD collection, as well as cable television broadcasts on both American Movie Classics (1997) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: October 8, 2011). Recommended viewing. (***)
  • comment
    • Author: Welen
    The last couple of movie such as "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" and "Tarzan the magnificent" were the best Tarzan's pictures of all time,Gordon Scott surpassed all previous Tarzan and after to coming,he has a smart talking,more strong and has suitable skills from previous ones here including Weissmuller who had a dumb conversation,the great Sy Weintraub wisely put together a perfect ape man,and delivery all this on a clever screenplay through the jungle,swamps,quicksands with a diversfied kind of persons,to deliver a cold killer with father's gang at his neck,finest casting as Jock Mahoney Betta St John and John Carradine,fantastic adventure which l'd watched in the theatre with nine years old,unforgetable!!


    First watch: 1973 / How many ; 6 / Source: Theatre-TV-DVD / Rating: 9
  • comment
    • Author: Xor
    This is probably the best of all Tarzan films to date, and the closest to the original character created by Burroughs. Grim, violent, and threatening, it has Tarzan as the silent and determined hero, just reeking with machsimo with no silly Jane and Cheetah antics. This exciting adventure also boasts one of the greatest on-screen fist-fights ever filmed (between Scott and Mahoney, himself a future Tarzan) rivaled only by the one between John Wayne and Randolph Scott in "The Spoilers".
  • comment
    • Author: Cointrius
    Entertaining and colorful Tarzan/Scott movie , though dubiously faithful to Edgar Rice Borroughs story . Bad guys brothers and a nasty father wish they hadn't messed with Tarzan . Tarzan (Scott) must escort a prisoner wanted for reward : 5000 dollars , Coy Banton (Jock Mahoney) , out of the jungle to the authorities . As Tarzan gets into trouble with his prisoner who attempts to flee . Furthermore , Tarzan offers himself to protect five more of the boat's unfortunate passengers through the jungle , pursued by a delinquent family led by a baddie father (John Carradine) and hostile natives . Tarzan takes some dangerous ways throughout quicksands and swamps in order to escape the pursuers .

    It contains noisy action , sensational adventures , many angry natives , nasty white hunters , hungry lions and marvelous outdoors , though mostly shot in Kenya and Shepperton studios . Exotic location in Kenya are a decided plus in this routine hero/adventure/Tarzan story . This time an extremely nasty father and his sons are the villains of the multiple action scenes . Well starred by Gordon Scott , here Tarzan/Scott rescues five occupants , and Gordon brings wit and style to the classic character and he looks good in his loincloth . Gordon starred 5 Tarzan movies : ¨Tarzan's fights for life¨ by H. Bruce Humberstone , ¨Tarzan and the lost Safari¨ by Humberstone , ¨Tarzan and the trappers¨ by Sandy Howard and Charles Haas , ¨Tarzan's greatest adventure¨ produced by Sy Weintraub , directed by John Guillermin and this ¨Tarzan the magnificent¨ by Robert Day . Although Gordon Scott also played all kinds of genres as Spaghetti : ¨Tramplers¨, Euro-spy : ¨Death ray¨ , Pirate movie : ¨Marauder¨ , and especially Peplum : ¨Hercules and the princess of Troy¨, ¨Coriolanus¨, ¨Conquest of Mycene¨, ¨Gladiator of Rome¨, ¨Hero of Rome¨, ¨Samson and the 7 miracles of the world¨. It is finely co-starred by Jock Mahoney who was a noted stunt man , doubling for Errol Flynn, John Wayne , and Gregory Peck. He tested to replace Johnny Weissmuller , as Tarzan but lost out to Lex Barker. In 1960, he played the heavy in this film and his part there led Sy Weintraub to hire him as Scott's replacement. In his two Tarzan movies , he did all his own stunts . He played ¨Tarzan's 3 challenges¨ and ¨Tarzan goes to India¨ and he continued working in spite of dysentery , dengue fever and pneumonia . By this time, Weintraub was looking for a younger Tarzan , envisioning a future TV series. By mutual agreement, his contract with Mahoney was dissolved. After a couple of years regaining his strength and weight , Jock returned to making action films . Support cast is acceptable , such as : Betta St John who previously played in ¨Tarzan and the lost Safari¨ , Lionel Jeffries , Alexandra Stewart , Charles Tingwell , Al Mulock , Gary Cockrell , Harry Baird , all of them give nice interpretations and here stands out the nasty Hollywood veteran John Carradine . As usual , sets and production design are visually appealing , though there are the obvious uses of stock footage and shot on location . The motion picture was well produced by Sy Weintraub and decently directed by Robert Day . Hard-core Tarzan fans should see it .

    First Tarzan/Johhny Weissmuller was ¨Tarzan , the ape man¨ (1932) by W.S. Van Dyke , this one being the definitive Tarzan movie , the original of the long series . Followed by ¨Tarzan and his mate¨ (1934) by Jack Conway . Richard Thorpe continued the following sequels : ¨Tarzan escapes¨(1936) , ¨Tarzan finds a son¨ (1939) with the addition of the five-year-old Johnny Sheffield as Boy , ¨Tarzan's secret Treasure¨ (1941) , and ¨Tarzan's New York adventure¨ (1942) where Boy is abducted by an evil circus owner , then Tarzan goes to rescue him and he meets N.Y. big city , being Maureen O'Sullivan's final appearance and in which Elmo Lincoln's , the screen's first Tarzan, had a cameo . These stories were lavishly produced by M.G.M. and R.K.O. Subsequently , to be appeared other Tarzans produced by independent producers as Sol Lesser ; the latter being replaced by Sy Weintraub , these movies were interpreted by Lex Barker and Gordon Scott : ¨Tarzan the Magnificent¨ and ¨The greatest adventure¨ directed by John Guillermin . Furthermore , Mike Henry starred as Tarzan in ¨Tarzan and the jungle boy ¨ , ¨ Tarzan and the great river¨ , and ¨Tarzan 66¨ directed by Robert Day . Besides , two performed by Jock Mahoney : ¨Three challenges¨ and ¨Tarzan goes to India¨ directed by John Guillermin , among others . Plus , other TV Tarzan as Ron Ely , Wolf Larsen , Joe Lara .
  • comment
    • Author: Yannara
    Other reviewers have ably discussed where this movie fits in within the corpus of Tarzan movies and have pinpointed the epic fistfight battle of Jock Mahoney and Gordon Scott.

    Before Scott's Tarzan character tangled with Mahoney as Coy Banton, however, there is a scene where the youngest of the Banton family attempts to take on Tarzan and defeat him.

    The Banton family is a bunch of robbers and killers and, as they follow Tarzan who is conducting Coy Banton to the authorities, accompanied by the survivors of a steamboat accident, there are opportunities to attack this group and rescue Coy.

    Johnny, supposedly in his early twenties, played by then newcomer Gary Cockrell, whose career seemingly fizzled out in the 1970s, is making a daring attempt to go after this group without the support of his father or older brother and perhaps molest one of the women.

    Johnny comes across one of the women and chases her to a pool or stream some distance from the village where they have stopped. Johnny proceeds to grope and attack her, when Tarzan shows up as a result of her screams.

    At first, Johnny goes for his rifle and the two tussle. The rifle is thrown away and Johnny, his shirt now in shreds, is pushed on to the ground. He stands and goes for his knife. His muscular, lean, sinewy chest is revealed and he seems a plausible opponent for Tarzan at the moment. But the knife fight does not last for long. Johnny wants his rifle, thinking only that will save him. When he at last spots and holds it, the fight is maneuvered into the nearby water and the rifle's barrel is now pointing under Johnny's chin. The rifle goes off in the scuffle and Johnny is killed. He falls back, the shreds of his shirt parted on each side so that his chest is fully revealed as he floats upon the water.

    Tarzan smashes the rifle, for he knows that Johnny's death will invite more trouble from the rest of the Banton gang. Johnny's youthful, daring gamble has failed. The youngest of the Bantons is now dead.
  • comment
    • Author: Lanin
    RELEASED IN 1960 and directed by Robert Day, "Tarzan the Magnificent" covers events in Africa when Tarzan has no recourse but to escort a formidable prisoner, Coy Banton (Jock Mahoney), through the jungle to the authorities in Kairobi. Along for the trek are five passengers of a river boat destroyed by Coy's ruthless father (John Carradine) & cutthroat brothers. The latter pursue Tarzan & the group to save Coy.

    Despite his short hair, Gordon Scott was one of the better Tarzans; and this was his last of six Tarzan flicks in six years. Most critics cite Scott's previous movie "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" (1959) as one of the best Tarzan movies (which I've never seen) with this one running not far behind. The tone is believable, akin to "Sands of the Kalahari" (1965), with Tarzan's exploits thankfully being kept within the realm of realism. Speaking of his feats, there's a lot of jungle action, including a knockdown-drag-out fight at the climax. The way Coy uses psychology to disrupt the group and gain the allegiance of one of them is reminiscent of "The Naked Spur" (1953).

    Unfortunately, I found the members of the group and their interactions rather dull, including Tarzan. The script needed another rewrite to flush out the human interest. Moreover, the two women, Betta St. John & Alexandra Stewart, are serviceable, but the movie called for at least one woman of the caliber of Julie Adams, which can be observed in "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954), if you need to get my drift. For these two reasons "Tarzan the Magnificent" doesn't arise to the greatness of "Sands of the Kalahari." Yet it's not bad and is certainly a worthwhile austere jungle thriller. You can't beat the authentic African locations in living color (each of which 1934's heralded "Tarzan and His Mate" lacked).

    Interestingly, the main villain here, Jock Mahoney, went on to play the next Tarzan in two movies.

    THE FILM RUNS 82 minutes and was shot in Kenya with interiors done at Shepperton Studios, England. WRITERS: Berne Giler & Robert Day.

    GRADE: B-
  • comment
    • Author: Kelerius
    As the last "Tarzan" movie starring Gordon Scott for producer Sy Weintraub, British director Robert Day's "Tarzan the Magnificent" with Jock Mahoney and John Carradine qualifies as one of the better series entries. Day helmed it after John Guillerman had made what is generally regarded as the best Tarzan outing, "Tarzan's Great Adventure," which co-starred a pre-James Bond Sean Connery. Later, Day called the shots on "Tarzan's Three Challenges" (1963) with Jock Mahoney, and "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold" (1966) as well as "Tarzan and the Great River" (1967) both with former football player Mike Henry. In this off-beat, unusual adventure, Tarzan tangles with bloodthirsty bank robbers who display few qualms about cold-blooded homicide. You know that you're watching a different kind of Tarzan tale when the action opens with a bank robbery and one of the hoods wields a submachine gun. This "Tarzan" explores dark themes and thrusts the characters into gritty predicaments. Moreover, Day and co-scenarist Berne Giler eschew the typical comic relief that earlier "Tarzan" films had featured. Tarzan entrusts Cheetah in the custody of a friend while he undertakes a dangerous mission. Not only have those amusing primate antics of Cheetah been eliminated, but also Tarzan doesn't cut loose with his distinctive yell. One source contends that Weintraub felt the trademark holler had been lampooned too often to have any atmospheric value. Nevertheless, juveniles will enjoy this out-of-doors escapade, but "Tarzan the Magnificent" is geared more to grown-ups with its psychological tensions and hardships. Tarzan captures a notorious felon who has murdered one of his friends. The authorities had posted a $5000 reward on the villain's head when a British policeman named Wyntors invaded the criminals' campsite and took the treacherous Coy Banton (Jock Mahoney) at knife point as a hostage. Unfortunately, Coy kills Wyntors before the policeman can get him out of the jungle. A resourceful Tarzan intervenes with his bow and arrows, kills one of Coy's brothers Ethan (Ron MacDonnell), and then decides to escort a handcuffed Banton through miles of jungle to Kairobi. You see, Tarzan knew Wyntors and plans to hand over the bounty money to Wyntors' widow. Meanwhile, Abel Banton (legendary horror icon John Carradine) and his two remaining sons, Johnny (Gary Cockrell of "Lolita") and Martin (Al Mulock of "Tarzan's Great Adventure"), threaten to kill anybody who helps Tarzan. These threats scare everybody off and it puts Tarzan in a kind of "High Noon" situation. The Bantons make intimidating foes. Indeed, Johnny shoots a doctor for not furnishing them with information about Tarzan's plans for Coy. Furthermore, Abel shoots the captain of a riverboat, force the passengers off and burn the boat. The passengers walk into town along the river. When they learn that Tarzan is escorting the villainous Coy, they decide to string along with him despite the natural hardship that traveling through the jungle means. This is a good, no-nonsense survival of the fittest epic lensed on location in Africa. There is far more psychological depth in this "Tarzan" than you typically see.
  • comment
    • Author: nadness
    Although more a western than a typical Tarzan movie, this film has a good plot and is more violent than others. Gordon Scott plays a too stolid, clean and modern Tarzan fighting against a more rude and violent than usual heavy family (father John Carradine and his four sons). John Carradine and Jock Mahoney steal the show as the two main villains. As a mere curiosity, although in this Tarzan movie did not appear the famous Tarzan yell for the first time, in Spanish dubbed version it did! Also, in Spanish dubbed version, to avoid infidelity, censors decided to convert mr. and mrs. Dexter into father and daughter, leading to a rather peculiar situation. They did also changed black chief's wife illness from pregnancy to appendicitis, giving as post surgical result...a baby. There are nice shots of Africa (filmed on location) and a final good fight in the falls. All and all a nice and entertainment movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Nawenadet
    Gordon Scott's last film as the Edgar Rice Burroughs legendary jungle hero is Tarzan The Magnificent. Scott was my favorite Tarzan and I really wish he had continued in the part for a few more years.

    This film finds Tarzan escorting a prisoner Jock Mahoney to the civil authorities to stand trial for crimes innumerable to mention. But Mahoney is the oldest of a group of family outlaws and patriarch John Carradine wants his pride and joy back at all costs.

    When Carradine and the boys blow up the boat that Tarzan was taking Mahoney back on, Tarzan finds he has to escort all the passengers and crew through the jungle where Carradine and the clan are almost as at home as he is. The boat captain is Earl Cameron and the passengers are Charles Tingwell, Alexandra Stewart, Betta St. John, and Lionel Jeffries.

    St. John and Jeffries are married and she's got a roving eye which Mahoney takes full advantage of to cause trouble. As if Tarzan hasn't enough to deal with.

    The influence of John Ford is plain in this Tarzan film. It plays a whole lot like a western and the outlaw Banton family could be country cousins to either the Cleggs from Wagonmaster or the Clantons from My Darling Clementine.

    Tarzan The Magnificent is one of the most adult themed of the Tarzan movies and being shot in East Africa it also does not contain all the jungle clichés from Hollywood films of the Thirties, Forties, and early Fifties. Although Tarzan's Greatest Adventure is my favorite Tarzan film this one comes close.

    And who would be the next Tarzan, but Jock Mahoney playing the villain here. Scott and Mahoney have a protracted fight at the climax which rivals The Spoilers. Although Mahoney did the role credit, Scott should have done more Tarzan films.
  • comment
    • Author: Fhois
    In his last outing as the ape man, jungle king Gordon Scott (as Tarzan) must escort murderous Jock Mahoney (as Coy Banton) through the African jungle because locals are afraid to take charge of the dangerous criminal. They encounter dancing natives, stock wildlife footage, and Mr. Mahoney's vengeful family. Papa John Carradine (as Abel) with brothers Gary Cockrell (as Johnny) and Al Mulock (as Martin) want Mahoney back before Mr. Scott delivers him to authorities. The married member of Scott's party, attractive Betta St. John (as Fay Ames), becomes attracted to the villain. Interestingly, Mahoney would become "Tarzan" in the next series film. This was the second in the more adult-like movie adventures, which was off to an excellent start in "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" (1959). This follow-up is comparatively routine, unfortunately. But Mahoney and Mr. Cockrell put up a good fight.

    ***** Tarzan the Magnificent (7/6/60) Robert Day ~ Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Gary Cockrell, John Carradine
  • comment
    • Author: Talvinl
    Gordon Scott is a physically impressive actor and put his talents in good use in the italian muscleman genre.But he is no Tarzan.There is almost nothing savage about this character.He speaks well,he behaves

    like any "civilized" person and as far as appearance,is better groomed than most ordinary folks!Just try to remember that Tarzan grew up with Apes!!!That said,this is not a bad movie and considered as an adventure is pretty good.I guess by the time these movies came out people were simply tired of a real jungleman.But for any real Tarzan fan,these movies do not add anything to the Tarzan myth.
  • comment
    • Author: Sti
    Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

    *** (out of 4)

    Tarzan (Gordon Scott) must try and escort criminal Coy Banton (Jock Mahoney) and a group of people through the jungle to try and turn him over to authorities. Not only is Tarzan forced to drag these people through the dangerous jungle but he also has to deal with Banton's crazy father (John Carradine) and brothers who plan on getting him back. This was the sixth and final time that Scott would play Tarzan and this is clearly the best of his pictures and I'd probably say that overall this is the best Tarzan film since TARZAN AND HIS MATE. This film pretty much has everything you'd hope for in a Tarzan movie and that includes action, drama, a strong story, a terrific setting, great villains and of course of strong Tarzan. Scott was clearly in charge here as he delivers a wonderful performance as the ape man. There's no question that his physical ability was fine for the role but he also managed to make Tarzan a human and pull off the actual performance. As was the case in the previous film, this one here features a terrific supporting cast. Mahoney, who would take over the role of Tarzan in the next film, is perfect as the bad guy. What's so great about Mahoney is the way he really doesn't say much but instead you can see his evil thoughts simply by looking into his eyes. The two large men are perfectly matched against one another and especially the end sequence, which ranks among one of the best fight scenes of the series. Carradine is terrific as always playing the cold-blooded father and we also get strong support from Betta St. John, Lionel Jeffries, Alexandra Stewart and Earl Cameron. The final line from the opening credits lets viewers know that this film was shot in Africa and the on location shooting certainly helped build up some terrific atmosphere. The jungle looks really good and the various wild life really helps bring this film to life. The entire film is pretty much a chase sequence because we have Tarzan trying to get these people through the jungle with one issue coming up after another and on top of all of this he has to deal with the crazy family following. The action scenes are extremely well done and I'd say they're some of the most suspenseful of the series. This is especially true during a scene where Tarzan and Coy fall into some quicksand and must struggle to get out. TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT is without question one of the best films in the series and even those non-fans should be able to enjoy this one.
  • comment
    • Author: Nahn
    Gritty, violent (mostly suggestively), well-made and adult in tone (there is even an attempted rape, and hints of perversity in Betta St. John's character), but with a few too many slow spots. Gordon Scott is rock-solid (literally!) as Tarzan, and Jock Mahoney (the following Tarzan!) is a worthy antagonist; their climactic fight is exhausting. **1/2 out of 4.
  • comment
    • Author: Rolorel
    This well made adventure yarn is full of action and excitement from beginning to end, making it a real treat to watch. Yes, all of the genre staples are in there, like Tarzan swinging from vine to vine repeatedly (although his famous "jungle call" is noticeably missing), but this film also has a real plot too, and complex multi-layered characters with it - something generally missing in films aimed at a juvenile audience like this one, where they usually just don't bother with having real people and instead cardboard cut-outs.

    The lively script invokes good performances from the seasoned cast of performers, who bring real depth to their roles. Even the villains are not totally bad, just devoted to another cause. John Carradine steals his scenes with his hammy performance of the chief baddie, yet Jock Mahoney is the real villain of the piece, and he does the sneering bit exceptionally well. Strangely enough Mahoney would take up the gauntlet of the Tarzan role after Scott, which is strange considering his lean appearance here. Lionel Jeffries is once again very good in a kind of comedic/tragic role, as a born loser. Yet Scott dominates the film with his muscular physique and imposing manner, portraying Tarzan as a tough, serious, yet good-hearted man. There is little warmth or friendliness in his Tarzan, as he is a man more suited to getting the job done. Yet his natural charisma shines through, as it did in MACISTE AGAINST THE VAMPIRE, just one of the many entertaining peplum movies he made in Italy in later years.

    Alexandra Stewart is the pretty, blonde-haired damsel in distress, and isn't required to act much. Betta St. John, who appeared in a number of adventure/horror pictures around this period, is the unlikeable female lead who goes off with the baddie and gets eaten by a lion for her sins - that'll teach her. This scene is just one of a number of surprisingly brutal moments, another occurs when a doctor is shot in cold-blood - and for no reason - by one of the brothers.

    Most of the film consists of a journey through the jungle. The locations are varied, with our characters travelling through heavy undergrowth, wasteland, native villages, and waterfalls. Some of this film was shot on location in Africa so the scenery is very picturesque and nice to look at, especially one moment of back projection showing our heroes gazing out over a valley which is quite convincing. It's a fast-moving story, and one which is packed with action. There are a number of gun and arrow battles, fist fights, even some quicksand thrown in for good measure. The film may seem naïve and predictable to a modern audience (who couldn't guess that the unattached black character was going to get killed?) but the sense of adventure and fun it has makes it impossible to enjoy. The ending consists of a protracted battle between Tarzan and the remaining villain, and is quite exciting. Altogether this is a well-made, well-paced adventure yarn to be relished by fans of an era long since gone.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Gordon Scott Gordon Scott - Tarzan
    Jock Mahoney Jock Mahoney - Coy Banton
    Betta St. John Betta St. John - Fay Ames
    John Carradine John Carradine - Abel Banton
    Lionel Jeffries Lionel Jeffries - Ames
    Alexandra Stewart Alexandra Stewart - Lori
    Earl Cameron Earl Cameron - Tate
    Charles 'Bud' Tingwell Charles 'Bud' Tingwell - Conway (as Charles Tingwell)
    Al Mulock Al Mulock - Martin Banton
    Gary Cockrell Gary Cockrell - Johnny Banton
    Ron MacDonnell Ron MacDonnell - Ethan Banton (as Ron McDonnell)
    Harry Baird Harry Baird - Warrior Leader
    Christopher Carlos Christopher Carlos - Native Chief
    John Sullivan John Sullivan - Wyntors
    Ewen Solon Ewen Solon - Dexter
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