Tarzan's Magic Fountain

Tarzan's Magic Fountain is a 1949 Tarzan film directed by Lee Sholem and starring Lex Barker as Tarzan and Brenda Joyce as his companion Jane. The film also features Albert Dekker and Evelyn Ankers. It was co-written by Curt Siodmak.

Tarzan's Magic Fountain
Film poster
Directed byLee Sholem
Produced bySol Lesser
Written byCurt Siodmak
Harry Chandlee
Based onCharacters created
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
StarringLex Barker
Brenda Joyce
Albert Dekker
Evelyn Ankers
Music byAlexander Laszlo
CinematographyKarl Struss
Edited byMerril G. White
Sol Lesser Productions
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • February 5, 1949 (1949-02-05) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
73 minutes
CountryUnited States

This was Barker's first appearance as Edgar Rice Burroughs' ape-man, while Joyce had played Jane opposite Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan in four previous films. She was one of only two actresses to portray Jane in movies with two different actors as Tarzan. (The other was Karla Schramm in the silent era.) Tarzan's Magic Fountain was Joyce's final turn in the role, and different actresses played Jane in each of Barker's four subsequent Tarzan movies: (Vanessa Brown, Virginia Huston, Dorothy Hart, and Joyce MacKenzie). Elmo Lincoln, who had been the first screen Tarzan three decades earlier, appears uncredited as a fisherman repairing his nets.


Ankers portrays an aviator who went missing many years ago. Tarzan and Jane hear news of a man back in the states who is about to be convicted of life imprisonment the only way he can be cleared is for Ankers testimony. Tarzan secretly leaves for the hidden valley where Ankers has been living for the past 20 years and brings her back to testify.

She looks decades younger than her actual age and this prompts a pair of men to ponder the rumor of a magic Fountain of Youth and try to find it after she returns from testifying and heads back there.


Critical reception

The New York Times welcomed Lex Barker's new Tarzan as "A younger, more streamlined apeman with a personable grin and a torso guaranteed to make any lion cringe, he seems to be just what the witch-doctor ordered for this tattered series. The picture, though, is a matter of stale peanuts at the same old jungle stand. Instead of resorting to new ideas and treatment and a timely overhauling job, the studio has dragged out a mouldy script, the same sheepish-looking extras, and the wheezing chimpanzee, Cheetah, who isn't getting any younger, either."[2]


  1. "Tarzan's Magic Fountain: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  2. "MOVIE REVIEW Familiar Series With New Tarzan - NYTimes.com". movies.nytimes.com.
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