dochermes (dochermes) wrote,

Why Tarzan actors didn't like working with chimps

It's because adult chimps are not only bad-tempered and unpredictable, they are much stronger than any human beins and they have fangs. Not a good combination of traits for a co-worker. Every actor who plays Tarzan and has to do scenes with a chimpanzee will sooner or later mention how much they hated and feared the animals. This is Mike Henry after he tried to pick up Dinky while filming TARZAN AND THE GREAT RIVER. Dinky took a little nip that required twenty stitches and he had to be destroyed (being replaced by another chimp in later scenes). Mike Henry decided maybe Tarzan was not the best role for him after this. He was actually considered for Batman and the mind staggers at how different the TV series or a feature film would have been with him as the Caped Crusader. As it was, he went on to THE GREEN BERETS and SMOKY AND THE BANDIT, could have been worse.

Actually, Mike Henry wasn't bad as Tarzan. He was a bit stiff but that could be polished out with a good director, and he certainly looked awesome enough. TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD remains a fun Sunday afternoon flick, with a lot of 1960s James Bond influence thrown in. At around this time, a film of THE THOUSAND-HEADED MAN was planned with Chuck Connors starring. Watching a few episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, I'd agree Connors was a good choice for Doc Savage. Throw in Mike Henry as Renny, John Carradine as Johnny and Richard Widmark as Long Tom, with maybe Gene Barry as Ham. Monk is (as always) a casting problem.
Tags: movies, tarzan

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