Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 16-Nov-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1941
Running Time 77:55
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Richard Thorpe

Warner Home Video
Starring Johnny Weissmuller
Maureen O'Sullivan
Johnny Sheffield
Reginald Owen
Barry Fitzgerald
Tom Conway
Philip Dorn
Cordell Hickman
Case ?
RPI Box Music David Snell

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Boy finds some pieces of gold in the river near their home - there's gold everywhere. Intrigued by Jane's stories of the value of gold in civilisation, he wanders off determined to buy himself an aeroplane with the gold pieces he has collected. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the escarpment he wanders into a village where the plague has sway, and the villagers decide that the pale-skinned boy needs to be sacrificed, and they proceed to attempt this. But just then a couple of trucks arrive, with some white hunters who rescue him. The natives, though, are not be be scared off so easily, and the safari itself needs to be rescued by Tarzan.

    In exchange for saving Boy's life, Tarzan agrees to help guide the safari through the jungle. Boy inadvertently gives away the existence of the gold, which leads Medford (Tom Conway) and Vandermeer (Philip Dorn) to plot to get their hands on the vast quantities of gold in the hills by foul means.

    The fifth of the MGM Tarzan films is more juvenile than the previous films, with Boy now acquiring a "piccaninny" companion in Tumbo (Cordell Hickman). There is still a lot of stock footage from the previous films, and still a lot of Cheta engaging in monkey business. Again, some European actors were brought in to play the interlopers, with Briton Tom Conway (brother of George Sanders) and Dutch star Philip Dorn as the bad guys. Another Englishman, Reginald Owen, and Irish actor Barry Fitzgerald play the not-so-bad guys. The latter gets to see the Gooney bird this time, in footage taken from Tarzan Escapes.

    This is not a bad entry in the series, though some of the comedy elements seem out of place. It was successful enough for MGM to make one last film in the series, all of which are included in The Tarzan Collection.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The film, despite the claims on the cover, is not presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.37:1, but in 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is nicely sharp and clear, though the frequent stock footage and scenes lifted from previous entries in the series are in problematic condition. Shadow detail is good. Contrast levels are just about right, with well handled greyscale levels. Blacks are solid with no low level noise visible. The stock footage is very soft and has many more film artefacts visible.

    There is basically nothing in the way of transfer problems, apart from some telecine wobble and judder visible during the opening credits. Film artefacts are present, though not as severe as in previous entries. These artefacts are mainly white flecks, dirt and thin scratches, though there are some reel change markings at 18:09, 36:53 and 57:18.

    The optional English subtitles are reasonably accurate to the dialogue, and are well- timed in a clear white font. The characters have a dark border so that they are visible against white backgrounds. The made-up jungle lingo is not subtitled.

    The film comes on a single-layer, dual-sided disc with Tarzan's New York Adventure on side B.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The default audio track is English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, and there are alternative Italian and French audio tracks. I listened to the default track only.

    Dialogue is clear and distinct throughout. There is no audible hiss or distortion on the soundtrack, and although the frequency range is lacking, the audio is quite good for a film of this era.

    The music score is credited to David Snell, though apart from some "jungle" music at the beginning there does not seem to be much music in the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No extras are provided on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 release has an additional disc, which includes the following extras:

    Region 1 is a clear winner on the extras count.


    The comedy is starting to take over from the thrills and adventure in this lesser entry in the Tarzan series.

    The video and audio are good, although the film has not been restored.

    It is a pity that the extras available in Region 1 are not included.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE