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Customer Review

on August 5, 2001
Please Don't Call Me Tarzan is the story of Bruce Bennett a Hollywood survivor for forty years. He starred in several major Hollywood films, but somehow that elusive goal of super stardom stayed out of his reach. He was a handsome, versatile actor and why he didn't obtain his goal his anyone's guess. This book finds some of the answers. Bruce Bennett was born Herman Brix in Tacoma, Washington in 1906 and we follow his teenage life in the rugged lumber camps of that state, where he developed his work ethic along with a well built physique. To the University of Washington where he excelled in track and football, culminating in the Rose Ball in 1926 and the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam where he won the silver medal in the Shot Put. You will feel his anguish, in the many disappointments that lay in store for him, until he landed his first major film role in The New Adventures of Tarzan. Which in itself was a more grueling experience than any that had gone before, and you will read many of the misadventures of the Tarzan crew. But his performance in this film has become legend, it was heralded as the only time in the sound era when Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan was brought to film exactly as Burroughs created him. He still receives fan mail from this film sixty-five years later. Typecasting was to rear it's ugly head, but he survived the next five years making quickie films for Sam Katzman and serials for Republic, until he reinvented himself as Bruce Bennett and signed a contract with Columbia and later, Warner Brothers. The rest of the story is as engrossing, his friendship with Doug Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, Humphrey Bogart and others and you will get a look at Hollywood from the Depression to the Golden Age. Included is a filmography of the actor's 113 films and several are covered in detail in the main text. Also of interest is a sample of fan letters from various corners of the world. It is a well written book, illustrated with over 90 stills from Bruce Bennett's personal files. Highly recommended. A must for anyone interested in Bruce Bennett, the history of Hollywood, serials, or Tarzan films.
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