Issue 0629

Lex Barker
Barker Tarzan Film 1 of 5
Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949) ~ Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950)
Tarzan's Peril (1951) ~ Tarzan's Savage Fury (1952) ~ Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953)

Tarzan's Magic Fountain was Lex Barker's first Tarzan film -- producer Sol Lesser interviewed more than 1,000 actors to replace Johnny Weissmuller in the role of Tarzan. Barker turned out to be one of the better film Tarzans, even though Weissmuller was obviously a hard act to follow after his 16 years and 12 films at MGM and RKO studios. Magic Fountain is Brenda Joyce's last appearance as Jane (making her the only Jane ever to appear opposite two different Tarzans). The film is about yet another tribe of people hidden in the jungle somewhere. In their secret valley is a fountain of youth, which keeps a woman who crash landed in the jungle decades ago looking as young as she was when her plane went down.  After she had returned to the outside world, word of the fountain leaked out and unscrupulous hunters are now trying  to find and exploit it. Tarzan tries to keep the hunters from finding the hidden valley of the fountain. The flyer ages as the effects of the fountain wear off -- a theme previously explored in James Hilton's Lost Horizon.  Elmo Lincoln, the original Tarzan from 1918's Tarzan of the Apes and a few silent film sequels has a cameo as a fisherman.
Alternate Title: Tarzan and the Arrow of Death
Produced by Sol Lesser
Directed by Lee Sholem
  Writing credits: Edgar Rice Burroughs (characters)
~ Harry Chandlee ~ Curt Siodmak

Lex Barker: Tarzan 
Brenda Joyce: Jane 
Albert Dekker: Mr. Trask 
Evelyn Ankers: Gloria James Jessup 
Charles Drake: Mr. Dodd 
Alan Napier: Douglas Jessup 
Ted Hech: Pasco 
Henry Brandon: Siko 
David Bond: The High One (uncredited) 
Henry Kulky: Vredak (uncredited) 
Elmo Lincoln: A Fisherman (uncredited) 
Rick Vallin: Flaming Arrow Shooter (uncredited) 
Running Time: 73 minutes

Original Music: Alexander Laszlo
Cinematography: Karl Struss 
Film Editing: Merrill G. White ~ John Sheets
Production Design: Phil Paradise 
  Art Direction: McClure Capps 
  Set Decoration: Otto Siegel (uncredited) 
  Makeup: Norbert Miles
  Production Management: Barney Briskin 
Assistant Director: Bert Briskin
  Sound: Franklin Hansen
  Wardrobe Supervisor: Frank Beetson Jr.
Musical Director: Alexander Laszlo
Cheetah Trainer: Albert Antonucci
Sript Supervisor: Shirley Baron
Unit Publicist: Bob Fender
Still Photographer: Madison S. Lacy
Gaffer: John M. Lee
Camera Operator: William Margulies
Publicity Director: Harry Niemeyer
Grip: Morris Rosen
LOCATION: RKO Culver City 40 Acres backlot 

Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Press
A Life's Journey Through the Newspapers of the World
A Collection of newspaper clippings and articles from 
Chicago to Tarzana  ~ around the world ~ and back to Encino/Tarzana 

Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs and 
Lex examine a stack of Tarzan books.


Onetime decathlon man, new Tarzan Barker 
is in condition for role.
Here he attacks evil with Tarzan's accustomed vigor.
Tarzan's Magic Fountain, soon to be released is the twenty-fifth of a motion-picture series that began in 1918 with Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan. In it is an actor who should bring new polish to an old role, Alexander Crichlow Barker II (Lex Barker on the screen), the tenth and newest Tarzan, has a background that includes Phillips-Exeter Academy Princeton, New York society and the Broadway stage. A barrel-chested, six-foot-four 200-pounder, he even has the ability to memorize and deliver lines.

Barker family includes 
wife Constance, Alexander III, 1 
and Lynn, 5. 

Latest Tarzan, Lex Barker, 
exhibits jungle emotion to Brenda Joyce, 
who also played opposite Weissmuller.

Lex Barker regularly suns himself
by the swimming pool of friend's home
to acquire, keep legendary Tarzan tan.

Tarzan the tenth keeps in condition with rigorous exercise

As swim champ Johnny Weissmuller's 
successor, Lex must swim daily,
learn speedy crawl stroke.

Horizontal bar workouts help keep 
Lex's muscles trim and also keep weight 
down to a Tarzan-like 200.

Shower ends Lex's non-acting day 
that includes lifting weights, 
punching bag and many other exercises.

Tarzan chronology shows the series has been popular for 30 years, an all-time motion-picture record.
Note: The photos above for Polar and Pierce have been switched.
Also, Gene Polar was far from being a "silent-serial star" and "movie idol of his day."



Familiar Series With New Tarzan
New York Times ~ February 7, 1949 ~ by H. H. T.

Johnny Weissmuller finally having swung down from his jungle throne of sixteen years, RKO is launching its new muscle king, Lex Barker, in "Tarzan's Magic Fountain," current at the Globe. And score one for Mr. Barker. 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.

Not even the props have been spruced up, from the cardboard mountain ranges to the studio's backyard underbrush. And the theme, if you missed the last four or five in the series, is still white man's greed disrupting the serenity of the jungle where Tarzan presides from his tree roost.

This time the invaders are led by an English aviatrix, nicely played by Evelyn Ankers, who is seeking a hidden valley where she had lived for twenty years, imbibing from a youth-retaining fountain. Albert Dekker and Charles Drake, the culprits, are all for turning the valley inside out and commercializing the natives right into the next world.

Of course, Tarzan is just the boy to put a stop to that sort of thing. And for our money, the Barker brand of heave-ho is the only asset to the whole tired, silly shenanigans. We wish him luck. If "Tarzan's Magic Fountain" is the shape of jungles to come, he's certainly going to need it.

Tarzan's Savage Fury I ~ Credits ~ Barker Trivia ~ Posters ~ Locations ~ Jungle Land 1-15
Tarzan's Savage Fury II ~ Lex Barker Bio ~ Photos ~ 3-D Cards 16-30
Tarzan's Savage Fury III ~ Stills ~ Barker Filmography ~ 3-D Cards 31-45
Tarzan's Savage Fury IV ~ Barker Dell & UK Comics Covers ~ Ref Links ~ 3-D Cards 46-60
ERBzine Silver Screen Guide
Edgar Rice Burroughs Bio Timeline
e-Text Editions of the ERB Novels
ERB and the Press
A Life's Journey Through the Newspapers of the World: 1875-1950

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