Tarzan the Tiger: Call of the Jungle (1929)

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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

Having successfully played Tarzan and Mary Trevor ("Jane" by any other name), respectively, in Universal's Tarzan the Mighty (1928), Frank Merrill and Natalie Kingston returned the following year for a sequel of sorts, this time based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. Also returning, but from the 1921 release The Adventures of Tarzan, was the nefarious Queen La of Opar, created originally by blonde Lillian Worth. This time, however, the role was portrayed by one Kithnou, an exotic dancer hailing from the island of Mauritius, who had come to Hollywood's attention after appearing in Rex Ingram's lavish Mare Nostrum (1925). Oddly, most sources credit Lillian Worth, a mistake repeated even on the box cover for the 1997 VCI Classic video release of Tarzan the Tiger. Frank Merrill, meanwhile, makes a rather dashing king of the jungle and although perhaps not the typical blushing English beauty, the exotic Natalie Kingston registers alarm prettily enough -- which, of course, is all the screenplay required. Al Ferguson, Sheldon Lewis, and, all too briefly, Paul Panzer add the necessary menace to the proceedings. Produced during the changeover to sound, Tarzan the Tiger comes complete with a synchronized score and sound effects that include the customary jungle sounds and the first recorded Tarzan cry of victory.