Tangent Online

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Tarzan -- "Arab Vengeance"

E-mail Print

Tarzan aired "Arab Vengeance" on June 14, 1951. The first of the Tarzan novels, Tarzan of the Apes, was published in 1914. Tarzan's adventures first came to radio in 1932 as the first major syndicated serial and ran until 1936. Burroughs himself was involved and his daughter Joan played Jane, while her husband, James Pierce, played Tarzan.

Following WWII (when the pulps and radio turned many of their stories to defeating the Nazis or Japanese) Tarzan returned to radio in 1951 as complete half-hour stories rather than its former serial format, now with Lamont Johnston playing the Lord of the Jungle. It ran until 1953, near the end of Old Time Radio's reign due to the rise of television. Despite the wonderful Tarzan movies -- those of the Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) era -- having Tarzan barely able to speak English ("Me, Tarzan. You, Jane."), Burroughs depicted Tarzan/Lord Greystoke as being highly educated and able to speak numerous languages. This aspect is accurately portrayed in the radio shows.

In "Arab Vengeance" we see Tarzan's curiosity, and his abhorrence to slavery of any kind, piqued, when he overhears a dispute between an Arab sheik and the father of an 11-year old girl, for it appears the girl has been sold as a young virgin bride to the Arab for 20 pieces of silver. But the situation isn't quite what it seems and Tarzan must unveil the truth and set things right at his own peril.

Play Time: 26:28

{Ahh, to be a kid again, without a worry in the world. You could listen to Tarzan on the radio, or read about Ki-Gor the Jungle Lord in the adventure of "The Monkey Men of Loba-Gola," or travel outward with Thrilling Wonder Stories and read Jack Vance's "Son of the Tree."}

{Left: Jungle Stories, Spring 1951 (there was no Summer issue) - Center: Painting by Norman Rockwell - Right: Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1951.}