AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Tarzan and the Leopard Woman
Alternate Title: Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Leopard Woman
Director: Kurt Neumann (Dir)
Release Date:   Feb 1946
Production Date:   late Jul--late Sep 1945
Duration (in mins):   72 or 75
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Cast:   Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan)  
    Brenda Joyce (Jane)  
    Johnny Sheffield (Boy)  
    Acquanetta (Lea)  
    Edgar Barrier (Dr. Emir Lazar)  
    Dennis Hoey (Commissioner)  
    Tommy Cook (Kimba)  
    Anthony Caruso (Mongo)  
    Cheetah (Cheetah)  
    Iris Flores (Zambesi maiden)  
    Lillian Molieri (Zambesi maiden)  
    Helen Gerald (Zambesi maiden)  
    Kay Solinas (Zambesi maiden)  
    Doris Lloyd (Superintendent)  
    George J. Lewis (Corporal)  
    Robert Barron (Caravaneer)  
    John Shay (Soldier)  
    Marek Windheim (Silk merchant)  
    King Kong Kashey (Tongolo)  
    Louis Mercier (Snake charmer)  
    Georges Renavent (Ivory merchant)  
    Robert Strong (Leopard man)  
    Ken Terrell (Leopard man)  
    John Roth (Leopard man)  
    Cy Schindell (Leopard man)  
    Charles Regan (Leopard man)  
    Bobby Samrich (Leopard boy)  
    Bobby Frasco (Leopard boy)  
    Ray Dolciame (Leopard boy)  

Summary: When an injured man rides into a Zambesi village and reports before dying that the caravan he was traveling with was destroyed by leopards, Tarzan is baffled. Knowing that leopards kill with their teeth as well as their claws, Tarzan tells the commissioner of Zambesi that the man, who only has scratch wounds, could not have been attacked by leopards. The commissioner dismisses Tarzan's verdict and forms a safari to hunt the killer leopards. Before the safari leaves for the jungle, the half-white Dr. Emir Lazar, who seemingly embraces the white man's culture, informs his secretive, cave-dwelling tribe about Tarzan's suspicions. Lazar and Lea, the tribe's high priestess, decide that in order to protect their homeland of Bagandi, which is being invaded by Westernized Zambesis, they must ridicule Tarzan and continue their attacks on Zambesi caravans. To that end, they order real leopards to attack the safari, which has been joined by Tarzan, his wife Jane, their son Boy and their pet chimpanzee Cheetah. Although Tarzan kills several leopards himself, he still doubts that they were responsible for the caravan deaths and is mocked by the commissioner. Unknown to Tarzan and the safari, the hunt is being watched by Lea's young brother Kimba. The petulant Kimba, who is disliked and mistrusted by Lazar, decides that he will earn his manhood by killing Tarzan and his family. Pretending to be lost and hungry, Kimba appears at Tarzan and Jane's jungle home and asks for refuge. Although Tarzan and Boy are suspicious of Kimba, Jane insists that they care for him until his tribe is located. While Tarzan and Boy are collecting bamboo for their outdoor shower, Kimba steals a knife from Jane and dresses up in his tribe's leopard skin attire. Tarzan and Boy return home just as Kimba is about to lunge at the unsuspecting Jane. Later, as the commissioner reassures a group of young Bagandi-bound Zambesi teachers that their caravan will be safe, Lea and Lazar rally their warriors to ambush the teachers. Then, while the young Zambesis are set upon by the warriors, Boy is nearly mistaken for Kimba when he unwittingly dons his leopard skin. Alerted by Cheetah, Tarzan rescues Boy from the Bagandis' clutches and almost saves the teachers, but is caught. Kimba then tries to kill Jane and Boy, but is knocked out by the ever-resourceful Cheetah and is locked in a bamboo cage by Boy. In the Bagandis' cave, meanwhile, Lea demands that Tarzan, who is tied to a pole, tell him where Kimba is, then orders her men to kidnap Tarzan's family. After a fierce fight, Boy and Jane are overwhelmed by the Bagandis and brought to their cave. There Lea and Lazar order that all of the teachers and Tarzan and his family be sacrificed to their leopard god. As the warriors are performing their sacrificial dance, however, Cheetah sneaks in and unties Tarzan, then frees Boy and Jane. When Tarzan brings down the pole to which he is tied, he causes the ceiling to collapse and precipitates a cave-in. Moments before the cave's total destruction, Tarzan witnesses Kimba shoot Lazar and then be crushed by the falling rocks. Their ordeal over, Tarzan, Jane, Boy and Cheetah happily return to their jungle home. 

Production Company: Sol Lesser Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Kurt Neumann (Dir)
  Scott R. Beal (Asst dir)
Producer: Sol Lesser (Prod)
  Kurt Neumann (Assoc prod)
Writer: Carroll Young (Orig story and scr)
Photography: Karl Struss (Photog)
Art Direction: Lewis Creber (Art dir)
  Phil Paradise (Prod des)
Film Editor: Robert O. Crandall (Film ed)
Costumes: Robert Martien (Ward)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus score)
Sound: John R. Carter (Sd tech)
Dance: Lester Horton (Dance dir)
Make Up: Irving Berns (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: Clem Beauchamp (Unit mgr)
  Olga Celeste (Leopard trainer)
Country: United States
Series: Tarzan

Source Text: Based on characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Authors: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Sol Lesser Productions, Inc. 31/12/1945 dd/mm/yyyy LP254

PCA NO: 11099
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Jungle
 
Subjects (Major): Africa
  Cultural conflict
  Jungles
  Leopards
  Murder
  Wild men
 
Subjects (Minor): Attempted murder
  Caravans
  Caves
  Chimpanzees
  Family relationships
  Fights
  Human sacrifice
  Kidnapping
  Manhood
  Physicians
  Rescues
  Rites and ceremonies
  Safaris
  Schoolteachers
  Shootings
  Tribal life

Note: The working title of this film was Tarzan and the Leopard Men . The opening credits read: "Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Leopard Woman ." Tarzan and the Leopard Woman was the fourth film in the Sol Lesser/RKO Tarzan series. Bank of America archival records indicate that Lesser borrowed $950,000 from the bank to make the picture. According to HR news items, Sol Lesser Productions borrowed unit manager Clem Beauchamp from RKO and art director Lewis Creber from Twentieth Century-Fox for this production. For more information on the "Tarzan" series, consult the Series Index and see the entry below for Tarzan Triumphs and the entry for Tarzan, the Ape Man in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   16 Feb 1946.   
Daily Variety   8 Feb 46   p. 3.
Film Daily   18 Feb 46   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Jun 45   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jun 45   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Aug 45   p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Sep 45   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Feb 1946   p. 3, 13.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   22 Sep 45   p. 2655.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   16 Feb 46   pp. 2849-50.
New York Times   11 Feb 46   p. 25.
Variety   13 Feb 46   p. 10.

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