Tarzan and the Lost Safari

Tarzan and the Lost Safari is a 1957 action adventure film featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous jungle hero Tarzan and starring Gordon Scott, Robert Beatty, Yolande Donlan and Betta St. John. Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone, it was the first Tarzan film released in color, Eastman Color. It was also MGM's first Tarzan film since 1942 and filmed in Nairobi, British East Africa. The character of Jane does not appear in this motion picture.

Tarzan and the Lost Safari
Tarzan and the Lost Safari movie poster
Directed byBruce Humberstone
Produced byJohn Croydon
Sol Lesser
Written byMontgomery Pittman
Lillie Hayward
Based onCharacters created
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
StarringGordon Scott
Robert Beatty
Yolande Donlan
Betta St. John
Music byClifton Parker
CinematographyC.M. Pennington-Richards
Edited byBill Lewthwaite
Sol Lesser/Solar Films
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • April 12, 1957 (1957-04-12)
Running time
86 min.
CountryUnited States


An airplane crashes in the jungle, stranding passengers Gamage Dean (Yolande Donlan), Diana Penrod (Betta St. John), "Doodles" Fletcher (Wilfrid Hyde-White), Carl Kraski (George Coulouris), and Dick Penrod (Peter Arne). Before the plane slides into a gorge the group is rescued by Tarzan (Gordon Scott), who undertakes to lead them back to civilization.

Diana is kidnapped by warriors from Opar under Chief Ogonooro (Orlando Martins). The Oparians desire the strangers as sacrifices for their lion god. She is recovered by Tarzan and hunter Tusker Hawkins (Robert Beatty), whose advances Diana rebuffs. Secretly, however, Hawkins is in league with the Oparians, and plans to sell the castaways to the natives for a fortune in ivory.

Tarzan, rightly suspecting Hawkins' untrustworthiness, exposes his treachery. Now openly in league with the natives, the hunter helps them take the white party captive in Tarzan's absence. The ape man returns to save them before the sacrifice can take place, aided by his chimpanzee ally Cheeta, who sets fire to the native village. He then leads them to the safety of a nearby settlement.

Hawkins meets his fate at the hands of the Oparians, to whom Tarzan has signaled the villain's double-dealing by a creative use of jungle drums.



The film contains more echoes of the original Burroughs novels than usual in a Tarzan movie of the period, including the ape man's brief account to the female lead of his origin (which echoes Burroughs' version), and the use of Opar, though reducing the romantic lost city described by Burroughs to a generic native village. Tarzan, while retaining his then-customary film characterization as an inarticulate simpleton, nevertheless displays considerable shrewdness and resource, foreshadowing the restoration in later movies of Burroughs' original concept of an intelligent, multitalented ape man.


According to MGM records the film earned $915,000 in the US and Canada and $1.4 million elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $432,000.[1]

See also


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
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