The cousins of Jane Parker (Maureen O’Sullivan) -- Rita (Benita Hume) and Eric (William Henry) -- are brought to the Great Escarpment by safari master Captain Fry (John Buckler).
Their mission is to convince Jane to return to England with them, so that she can claim a vast financial inheritance on all their behalf.
Fry sews further discontent, claiming that Jane has grown tired of Tarzan and that if he loves her, he should let her leave.
Home sweet home...in the jungle.
By now, many ingredients featured here have become quite familiar.
For example, in all three of the Tarzan movies produced thus far, a character falls from the Great Escarpment’s mountains, and dies. In all three movies thus far, we hear Tarzan’s yell before we see him.
And in all three films, we get a climactic encounter with a hostile/dangerous tribe. The creative formula or equation is locked in cement.
Similarly, the footage of Tarzan killing an animal and cutting it for purposes of cooking meat, is also rerun footage, but from Tarzan the Ape Man.
In this case, Eric and Rita are both liars. Although they are pursuing their acquisition of wealth (as was the case with Arlington in the previous film), Jane need not return home with them, as they claim.
Fry is also duplicitous, seeking personal wealth. He tries to trap Tarzan and rid himself of Rita, Eric and Jane in the nastiest way imaginable; selling them into slavery to a local tribe.
On every occasion of intersect, the white people try to trick Jane into leaving Tarzan, and kill or capture him so as to acquire that elusive and invisible thing they term “wealth.” It is no wonder that, at first, Tarzan forbids Jane to see the white people.
They universally bring strife.
He has been there all along, observing their actions, but has remained silent. This shot beautifully captures his stealth, intelligence, and also his status as outsider.
I also love that shot of Fry dying in the bog, his hand slowly sinking below the surface.
Tarzan Escapes is still a top-flight adventure film, but one can't help but to long for a bit more of the Tarzan and Jane dynamic, and some fresh plot lines.
My favorite scene here is the one in which Jason and Tarzan reckon with saying goodbye, and Jane informs him exactly how many passages of the moon will occur in the sky before her return. Weismuller and O'Sullivan still make magic together.