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Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958)

Approved | | Action, Adventure | July 1958 (USA)
Dr. Sturdy is trying to establish a modern hospital in the jungle. His efforts are strongly opposed by Futa, the witch doctor, and Ramo, a native warrior. There are kidnappings, a race ... See full summary »


H. Bruce Humberstone (as Bruce Humberstone)


Edgar Rice Burroughs (characters), Thomas Hal Phillips


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Complete credited cast:
Gordon Scott ... Tarzan
Eve Brent ... Jane
Rickie Sorensen Rickie Sorensen ... Tartu, Tarzan's Adopted Son
Jil Jarmyn ... Ann Sturdy
James Edwards ... Futa
Carl Benton Reid ... Dr. Sturdy
Harry Lauter ... Dr. Ken Warwick
Woody Strode ... Ramo
Cheta Cheta ... Herself


Dr. Sturdy is trying to establish a modern hospital in the jungle. His efforts are strongly opposed by Futa, the witch doctor, and Ramo, a native warrior. There are kidnappings, a race against time for serum, capture of Tarzan, the struggle of modern medicine against magic, etc. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrilling Adventures of the Greatest "Tarzan" of Them All! See more »


Action | Adventure


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

July 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarzán lucha por su vida See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sol Lesser Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


All three of this film's principal actors (Gordon Scott as Tarzan, Eve Brent as Jane and Rickie Sorensen as Boy) would later reprise their roles in a failed 1960 attempt to feature Edgar Rice Burroughs' character in a television series. Three episodes were filmed, but when none of the TV networks at the time picked up the project, M-G-M spliced all three episodes together and they eventually aired as the TV movie Tarzan and the Trappers. See more »


There are several continuity breaks in the film: a brown-haired stuntman can be seen from behind doing stunts for the black-haired Scott, shots from other Scott-Tarzan films are inserted into action scenes, and the handle on Scott's hunting knife changes when some of these inserted shots are close-ups. See more »


Dr. Sturdy: He's taken deadly poison.
Dr. Ken Warwick: That stuff will kill him!
See more »


Follows Tarzan's Peril (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Not Enough Action
8 August 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958)

** (out of 4)

In the deep jungles Dr. Sturdy (Carl Benton Reid) is trying to introduce medicines to the local natives but a witch doctor (James Edwards) feels that they are trying to steal his power. Soon the tribes are ready to attack the new hospital but Tarzan (Gordon Scott) and Jane (Eve Brent) know the good that could come from the medicines. This was the third film to feature Scott as Tarzan but this is actually the first I've seen. I think Scott fits the role perfectly as God knows he has the perfect body for the part but I also found him to be quite charming in some of the more comic moments and he also handles the action very well. According to a few posts I've read, Scott was nearly killed by a 18-foot python that he fights in the film. I'm not sure how true this is but the scene here is full of excitement and it's easy to see how that creature, when wrapped around Scott's neck, could cause some major issues. Brent, as Jane, doesn't give an Oscar-worthy performance but she has the right look for the part as that blonde hair and curvy legs look just fine in color. Reid and Jil Jarmyn playing his daughter aren't too bad and Edwards is clearly having fun as the witch doctor. We've also got Woody Strode playing one of the bad guys. While the cast is certainly up for anything the screenplay on the other hand is pretty flat and boring. The first portion of the film has the doctors talking to one another about why this medicine is needed while on the other side of the jungle we get countless scenes with the witch doctor throwing a fit. We then go away from this and visit Tarzan's home where Jane is suffering from an illness that might need the attention of a real doctor. There's way too many dialogue scenes and it's a shame that the filmmakers didn't try to capture more action and scenes in the wildlife. There's no question that this is being filmed on sets but they're well decorated and at least look somewhat real. The countless stock footage is of course cheap but you've got to expect this. Coming in at 88-minutes this thing is just way too long and there's not enough going on to make it one of the better entries in MGM's long-running series.

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