I can’t say I’ve ever been able to understand what women saw in Johnny Weissmuller but for a time he was probably the closest thing that women had to porn. It’s not surprising in one way as I’m not generally one for being attracted to blokes, yet I can often see why women, or men would find a particular guy attractive. I don’t want to in any way devalue Johnny’s status as a true Hollywood legend, but I think his undoubted athletic prowess and the distinction of being the only ripped, bare-chested actor on the screen at that time had a lot to do with the success of his Tarzan character.
Yes there were other leading men to make the ladies swoon, but none of them had a good excuse to show off their torsos with such frequency. More than that the other actors of the time were never in a position to show off their basic animal side. Yes, OK, there was never any on-screen rumpy-pumpy, but there were a few powerful clinches in his films. The Tarzan character had no pretensions to sophistication, he said what he felt and did not have the baggage associated with the outside world and its so-called civilisation.
That’s what is so attractive about characters such as Tarzan. They are fundamentally good and not tainted by the problems associated with life in the modern world. We so called civilised creatures exhibit all of the seven deadly sins to a greater or lesser extent, whereas in a character like Tarzan women can see a strong, protective and uncomplicated partner and potential mate who’s only sin might be being over-protective.
Though I think that the chat-up line “Me Tarzan – You Jane” might not work as well as it used to. LOL