I have just this day finished watching the six classic MGM Tarzan films starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. Needless to say, my life will never be the same again.
In Tarzan the Ape Man we first meet Tarzan, the lonely feral lord of an LA studio backlot populated by African stock footage. The film features Tarzan kidnapping Jane and seducing her by thumping his chest as he declares "Tarzan!" then striking her chest hard enough to leave a bruise as he yells "Jane!" It's a romance made in heaven.
The plot of the second film, Tarzan and His Mate revolves around Jane's sexy jungle costume, the climax of the film occurring during her nude swimming scene.
Tarzan Escapes was originally entitled The Capture of Tarzan, and in it we see Tarzan escape after being captured by an evil hunter who wishes to put him on display as a sideshow freak.
In Tarzan Finds A Son! Tarzan finds a son and Jane dies only to miraculously return to life moments later in the best tradition of Duke from G.I. Joe: The Movie.
In Tarzan's Secret Treasure, Tarzan becomes friends with a funny-looking, drunken Irishman. Concurrently, a scientist and his guide are corrupted by the allure of gold, their desire leading them down a path that involves murder and kidnapping and ends with their capture by natives and eventual demise in the snapping jaws of hungry crocodiles.
Finally, my romp through Tarzanland ended with Tarzan's New York Adventure which sees our bronzed jungle hero donning trousers and heading to New York to rescue Boy who has been kidnapped by evil circus owners.
While all of this was, to say the least, great fun, I must reluctantly admit that these movies have dealt a serious blow to my "Tarzan Is Gay" theory. At a minimum, they force me to ask several questions.
The information is so contradictory that I find it difficult to collate it properly. But after much thought, I have come up with three (3) possible solutions to the question of Tarzan's sexuality.
This would explain the lack of reproduction but not the absence of jewelry and eye shadow.
If this is the case I don't even want to think about why he and Jane routinely make out.
Look, just because he can swim doesn't mean his little fellas can. And just because he can mount a rhinoceros and stab the blade of his knife through its thick protective hide does not mean Jane's ova are being penetrated.
Copyright 2006 Jessica Menn