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Old September 15 2013, 07:48 PM   #675
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

sojourner wrote: View Post
For pre-code movies, the sequel to Tarzan the Ape Man is really interesting. Jane's swimming scenes!
Wow, you said it. I just got the DVD, which includes the fully-nude version of the swimming scene (though with a body double). That was rather astonishing -- I knew censorship was lax before the Hays Code, but I never expected the scene to show her that clearly for that long (though mostly from the rear/side, and reportedly the double was in a bodysuit). And there's a lot of sexuality in the rest of the film overall -- Jane naked under the furs when Tarzan wakes her up in the morning, Jane trying on stockings, Jane's silhouette as she changes in the tent, Martin's seduction attempts and suggestive dialogue, etc. Plus there's a scene early on where there's a topless African woman strolling by in the background, facing the camera, while Harry and Martin are chatting. I'm not surprised to learn that this film provoked a backlash against suggestive content in movies.

Overall, I think it's a better movie than the first -- still pretty racist, but Harry kind of redeems himself a bit by sacrificing himself to try to save the lead bearer. And it was refreshing to see Tarzan take a moral stand about the wrongness of desecrating the elephants' graveyard. In addition to the ethical questions, it made him stronger as a character to actually assert a belief and fight for it, rather than just acting on impulse and instinct. And Maureen O'Sullivan showed (well, she showed plenty, but aside from that) a broader range as an actress, as the story led Jane through more of an emotional gamut, and she even got to be pretty resourceful in action in the climax.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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