Tarzan and the Mermaids

Tarzan and the Mermaids is a 1948 adventure film based on the Tarzan character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Directed by Robert Florey, it was the last of twelve Tarzan films to star Johnny Weissmuller in the title role. It was also the first Tarzan film since 1939 not to feature the character Boy, adopted son of Tarzan and Jane. (Boy was described in the film as being away at school, and the character never returned to the series.)

Tarzan and the Mermaids
Directed byRobert Florey
Produced bySol Lesser
Written byEdgar Rice Burroughs (characters)
Carroll Young (screenplay)
Based onCharacters created
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
StarringJohnny Weissmuller
Brenda Joyce
George Zucco
Andrea Palma
Music byDimitri Tiomkin
CinematographyJack Draper
Gabriel Figueroa
Edited byMerrill G. White
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Release date
  • April 27, 1948 (1948-04-27) (Premiere-Los Angeles)[1]
  • May 15, 1948 (1948-05-15) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
68 min.


The setting is a coastal African village where swimming and diving are central to the culture, hence the term "the Mermaids." Tarzan and Jane (Brenda Joyce) help a native girl (Linda Christian) who has fled the village to avoid a forced marriage to a supposed local god. George Zucco portrays Palanth, the corrupt high priest attempting to force the girl into marriage, and Fernando Wagner plays a con man impersonating the god Balu.



The film was shot in Mexico by RKO during its collaboration with Churubusco Studios at Acapulco, Teotihuacan and Mexico City.[2] It was the first official Tarzan film to be filmed outside the United States since Herman Brix's The New Adventures of Tarzan.

The film is noted for its cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa, exotic Mexican scenery and coastal locales, a Dimitri Tiomkin score and much group singing.


Two members of the film crew were killed during production.[3] One Mexican crew member was crushed by a motorboat whilst Angel Garcia, a stunt diver who doubled for Tarzan's high dive, was killed after he survived the dive but was swept by the surf into the rocks of the cliffs.


  1. "Tarzan and the Mermaids: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  2. p.4 Schneider, Jerry L. Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Silver Screen Vol. IV The Locations 2009 Lulu
  3. p.169 Vernon, Alex On Tarzan 2008 University of Georgia Press
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