Most Tarzan enthusiasts consider 1934's Tarzan and His Mate to be the best of the Johnny Weissmuller-Maureen O'Sullivan Tarzan efforts. Certainly it is the sexiest, with Weissmuller and especially O'Sullivan wearing next to nothing for most of the film's running time. Picking up where 1932's Tarzan the Ape Man left off, the film's plot is set in motion by avaricious ivory hunter Paul Cavanaugh, who arrives in the African jungle in search of the fabled Elephant's Graveyard. Accompanying Cavanaugh is Neil Hamilton the former fiance of Jane Porter (Maureen O'Sullivan), who for the past two years has been living with jungle lord Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) without benefit of clergy (this is strictly a pre-code effort, as evidenced by Jane's bikini-like attire and the now-famous skinny-dipping sequence). Jane briefly entertains notions of returning to civilization, but opts for her blissful outdoor existence with Tarzan. The plot rears its ugly head again when Cavanaugh shoots Tarzan and leaves him for dead, the better to seek out the precious ivory unimpeded. Rescued by his simian friends, Tarzan races towards the elephant's burial site, where Cavanaugh and Hamilton have been eaten by lions and Jane is next on the menu. A convenient elephant stampede--heralded by that classic Tarzan ahh-ee-yahhhh-ee-yahhhh--saves Jane from the lion's fangs in the nick of time. Tarzan and His Mate was the last of MGM's "Tarzan" series to be targeted for a strictly adult audience: the remaining MGM Tarzans, made under stricter censorship guidelines, were geared for the whole family.
by Hal Erickson synopsis