Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Why Not A Pro Wrestler As Tarzan? by Dave Goode

I was watching THE LOVES OF HERCULES again the other day. That's the sinew & sandal flick in which Mr.Universe 1955 Mickey Hargitay portrays Hercules. And his wife blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield in dual roles portrays two of his loves. Tina Gloriani plays another. It got me to thinking. Mickey and Jayne might have made for an interesting Tarzan and Jayne. Or at least a Tarzan-like hero and his mate. In fact in the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway play WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?,Mickey plays the Tarzan-like star of a television series. Wife Jayne recreates the role she made famous on Broadway as the Marilyn Monroe-like Rita Marlowe. It's not hard to imagine the duo starring in a musical-comedy parody of Tarzan. Or a remake of BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON with Mickey as Jackra the Magnificent.

Jackra the Magnificent always sounded
to me like the name of a pro wrestler.
And in BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON Richard Denning with his wavy blond hair and leopard loincloth sure looked like a refugee from the squared circle.Hmmm. That might have been a great storyline for the Mickey and Jayne "jungle man" movie. A wrestling promoter vacationing in Africa discovers a Tarzan-type 'rassling gators and gorillas and brings him and his mate back to civilization to make a fortune in the grunt & groan racket. That makes me wonder why no Hollywood producer ever thought to cast a professional wrestler as Tarzan. Swimmers, track & field stars , football players. And in the case of Frank Merrill a national gymnastics champion. But no pro wrestlers. Unless you count Joe Robinson in TARZAN ROI LA FORCE BRUTALE.

TARZAN ROI LA FORCE BRUTALE (Tarzan The King of Brute Force) was an unauthorized European Tarzan film. It was seized and released only after the producers agreed to change the hero's name to " Thaur ". I have no idea why they chose to name the character Tarzan to begin with. The character in no way resembled Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle hero. The flick itself was more of a peplum picture. The star Joe Robinson might have made for an interesting Tarzan though. Robinson was a third generation pro wrestler, physical culturist and judo champion turned actor who played in a number of peplum movies. My favorite movie that he appeared in though was A KID FOR TWO FARTHINGS. In that film he plays opposite Britain's Jayne Mansfield , Diana Dors. Or was Diana Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe. In any case Joe plays her boy friend, a bodybuilder turned wrestler. And he was perfect in the role.

have a terrific comic book for fans of the atomic and silver ages of comics!

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1 comment:

  1. Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield were in fact partial inspirations for Brad King and Sugar Caine when I created THE GOLDEN ADONIS comic.You can find more of them in JUDO COMICS.